A pension, the house of Madame Coccoz, 76 rue Sibilli, Place des Lices, St Tropez, France, October 1931.
Julia Holderness: We stand outside in the warm air, near a small tree. We can hear their voices from the verandah nearby. Some sort of outdoor restaurant at the rear of the house. There is the smell of fish cooking in butter. There is probably a basket of cut bread and red wine on the table. New Zealand painters Maud Burge, Gwen Knight and Flora Scales are sharing a meal together. Frances Hodgkins was invited, but prefers to spend the evenings in her own pension, which is a little further East. We decide, speaking softly and exchanging smiles, that one of the women at the table feels relieved that Frances didn’t come. She would need to be very attentive to the conversation, careful with her opinions of other artists. She can relax now.
Small landscape with figures seated around a table in a courtyard. Hues suggest a dusk setting.
Maud and George rent their own villa, and Flora is often invited there for supper. It feels satisfying for her to have the other women here this evening. As usual they compare notes on where they painted that morning, and where they might arrange themselves next. Flora wants to get up behind the town, a wider, higher view than she had today. Maud is enjoying the tight views to the sea from the streets near the port.
Inky blue next to rusty ochres.
The two-storeyed pension is pink and shuttered. Madame Coccoz rents several rooms for a couple of francs each day, and this includes two meals. Flora tells the others that while the room is basic, it is comfortable and has a view of Place des Lices below. She is also grateful that it includes a writing desk.
Six elms in a curving line, one is smaller. Lower half of canvas.
This is the evening that Gwen urges Flora to return to Munich for a longer period of tuition at Hans Hofmann’s school. We can’t make out all of their conversation, but later I wonder how Flora feels about this advice, this position of guidance her friend assumes? Perhaps it is just us who feel irritated.