BC071

Orchard with Plum Tree

[1]

Landscape. Right of centre red brown vertical which curves at upper left. Suggested white house, green window, red roof. Some evidence of diagonal element overpainted with blue and green, relieved with smudge of white mid left margin. Vertical wedge shape lower right corner.

Other title(s)
Bry-sur-Marne
Date
1969 1970
Object type
painting
Medium and materials
oil on canvas
Dimensions
267x347mm
Place Made
Bry-sur-Marne, France
Inscriptions

LL ochre brush point H Scales

LL ochre signature overpainted with red brown brush point F Scales

Details
Credit Line
Current Collection

Private Collection

Current Location

Auckland, New Zealand

General notes

Title and date supplied by the artist for Auckland City Art Gallery exhibition, Helen F V Scales, 1975-1976. Listed as artwork no. 34 in this exhibition.

Purchased by Linda Gill from the artist in her Brentwood Avenue flat, Mt Eden, Auckland, New Zealand, 27.08.1976. Gill recalls that Flora Scales “... came to the back door wearing an eye shade blue on top and green underneath – she was ‘cleaning’. Scales talked about wanting to paint and, not being a millionaire, that she didn’t live very comfortably and how ‘with all that standing up at the easel she became most frightfully sick’ and that it was a strange and most unsatisfactory experience to return to New Zealand after 50 years.”

Central ‘V’ shape recalls masts and derricks of earlier work such as Shipping, Wellington Harbour [BC128] and Untitled [Mousehole Cornwall] [BC030].

References

Foreword by Colin McCahon, Helen F V Scales exhibition catalogue, Auckland City Art Gallery, November 1975

“We hope this exhibition will tell people of a lifetime of painting, from her sometimes didactic early work to the poetry of her plum trees [BC071-BC075, BC077] and the portraits [BC065, BC066, BC120].

The beauty of her vision comes from her thinking about painting and from the grace and care she gives to her work. Without this, how could the plum trees have grown and the portraits become so real?”

‘Flora Scales Work on Show’ by T. J. McNamara, New Zealand Herald, 9 January 1976

“Despite their small scale the works look best seen from a considerable distance. Most appealing are some anemones painted in 1968 [BC051], and a charming Orchard with Plum Tree [BC071-BC075, BC077] painted quite recently.”

'Art award a lottery for losers' by James Ross, The Week, 16 July 1976, pg 17

“In the 1969-70 series, Orchard with Plum Tree [BC071-BC075, BC077], there is an eastern almost zen-like approach to nature.”

‘A Personal Reminiscence’ by Gretchen Albrecht, Art New Zealand, issue 37, 1985, pg 52

“Also displayed along with the self-portraits was a group of Orchard with Plum Tree [BC071-BC075, BC077] paintings, exquisitely beautiful in their blushes and strokes of paint; edges dissolving and reassembling in planes of colour, and revealing an intelligent understanding of post-cubist ideas derived from Cézanne’s principles of organising pictorial space. My response to the poetic vision of these paintings was immediate and intense, and I left the Gallery driven by an urgent desire to meet and speak to the woman who had painted them.”

'A Friend of Flora' by Gretchen Albrecht, Flora Scales, The Suter Te Aratoi o Whakatū, Nelson, 2018, pp 39-43

“My response to these self portraits [Portrait 2 [BC065], Portrait 3 [BC066], Portrait 1 [BC120]] and a poetic group of landscapes all titled ‘ Orchard and Plum Tree’ [BC071-BC075, BC077], with their strokes of paint dissolving and reassembling edges and planes of colour, was immediate and intense. I left the gallery driven by an urgent desire to meet and speak to the woman who had painted them...For me she was living proof that painting could stand at the core of a woman’s life and sustain her through anything. She was humble and unambitious for herself but always hungry for painting knowledge, which ended in her 98th year. I am richer for having known and loved her.”

Related artworks
By other artists