Artwork Description / Detail
Private Collection, UK (Gift of the Artist)
Private Collection, New Zealand
Auckland NZ, John Leech Gallery, Frances Hodgkins 1869 – 1947, June 1988, No. 19
Frances Hodgkins at Peaslake
In 1929 Frances Hodgkins spent the summer at Romary Cottage near Haywards Heath. She produced several large-scale drawings of the nearby villages and the Peaslake area.
I am so happy here – painting in the garden – groups of wild flowers – fruit blossom & funny cottage chimney ornaments – I feel peacefully dead – to the world …
She made regular trips into the nearby town of Haywards Heath, taking three watercolours to be framed and sent for exhibition to London.
The above drawing, The Croquet Game, Peaslake c. 1929 bears remarkable similarities to Stormy Sunset over Peaslake, Surrey (Hocken Collections, Dunedin). Both drawings stand alone as fine examples of the highly finished exhibition drawings Hodgkins produced during this period. The Croquet Game, Peaslake demonstrates Hodgkins’s exquisite calligraphic draughtsmanship as demonstrated by the more abstract rendition of the buildings on either side of the composition. This work, drawn from the hill above the village leads the eye down into the finer detail of the house and figures in the centre where even the croquet hoops can be clearly distinguished. The drawing is charecterised by an unpretentious directness and displays Hodgkins skill and bold technique, defined by her vigorous interplay between light and dark.
Eric Newton, in his foreword to Hodgkins’s 1946 Retrospective Exhibition at Lefevre Gallery, described her drawings as being
As delicate as cigarette smoke laid gently on paper: others, fierce with velvety blacks imply colour