Sea/landscape. Upper left headland with buildings on green hilltop, ocean to right. Bar of yellow ochre at lower margin with central pink brush strokes.
LR blue brush point F Scales
LR overpainted ochre brush point H Scales
LR blue brush point 1969
Verso (not in artist’s hand) ATL Scales Helen Flora V St Ives, 1969 oil 27 x 34.5cms 92173½ Rack 393
Donated to the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand by H. F. V. Scales, 1979
Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand
Wellington, New Zealand
Title and date supplied by artist at time of donation, 1979.
This is one of a series of paintings based on the location of the Pedn-Olva Hotel on Porthminster Beach, St Ives, Cornwall, England. Pedn-Olva means 'lookout on the headland'. The hotel is a registered navigational mark for ships which perhaps added to its attraction as a subject for Scales, with her lifelong interest in boats, ships, piers and the sea.
The location of this work was identified by British artist, Patrick Heron, an artist-in-residence at the International Art Workshop, Teschemakers Resort, Kakanui, Oamaru, New Zealand, 9 February - 1 March 1991.
In her series of studies of this subject Scales may well have moved between a greater and lesser degree of abstraction making it difficult to determine in which order they were painted.
Diana Mills, Flora Scales’s great niece, in a letter to B. de Lange, 12.11.1983, “I visited her there in a sparsely furnished house on the side of a hill. It was jolly cold and the wind was prevented from making life completely miserable only by thick red velvet curtains. Heavy as they were they still blew at an angle into the room...I was appalled by the lack of comfort with which she lived her life.”
After the death of her mother in 1948 Flora Scales moved to Cornwall, England. Flora Scales in conversation with Janet Paul, Rotorua, New Zealand, 27 March 1979, “I went to a horrible room in Mousehole, all yellow rocks. Not a good place for painting. Back to St Ives. I lived in a little hotel on the sea front at Penzance. Had a sale and then went back to St Ives. I used to pass Barbara Hepworth's studio and could hear her hammering. She was always hammering. I didn't like to disturb her and never went in."
The 1950s saw the burgeoning of the St Ives School of artists in England which included Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson, Terry Frost, Patrick Heron, Roger Hilton, Peter Lanyon, Bryan Wynter and Bernard Leach.
No. 29 in the exhibition Helen F V Scales, Auckland City Art Gallery, 1975-1976.