By Rosa Branson

Textiles and Craft
Subject Matter
Still Life and Flowers
Reg. Number
92 x 116 cm

This textile work is stylised representation of a woodland scene at night. The artist uses subtle shades of blues, greys and pale yellows to indicate the strange effects of moonlight
The picture is dominated by a huge white full moon, surrounded by halos in silvery grey. Beneath it is a line of trees, bearing leaves and fruit in conventional shapes. Most of the fruits are silver coloured, but those on the tree at the far right of the picture are pale yellow. Possibly the artist had in mind Yeats lines: The silver apples of the moon/The golden apples of the sun.

There are three smaller trees, all with silver and gold fruit, in the background. Along the front of the picture are a number of smaller trees, or bushes, in black -rather like miniature palm trees - and some white flowers with dark leaves. The flattened perspective and the omission of landscape features, such as hills, fields and buildings, help to give the work a naive appearance, rather like a picture book illustration.

The artists use of fabric emphasises the delicate light in the scene. The background material is a heavy embossed fabric, with some light over-painting. The huge moon is built up from layers of transparent chiffon. Both transparent and opaque fabrics in silver and gold form the fruit, leaves and flowers. Black material and embroidery are used for some of the tree trunks and for the small trees in the foreground.

Rosa Branson was born in 1933 and was a student at Camberwell School of Art, where she was taught by Stanley Spencers brother, Gerald, who told her bluntly Women cant paint. Nevertheless she has painted for over 53 years, most of them in her studio in Highgate, London. She specialises in very large oils in the classical manner. She is the co-founder of the Worlington Movement, which is dedicated to passing on classical oil painting techniques to younger artists. Throughout her career, Rosa has given many paintings to charity and she received an MBE for her charity work in 2010.

With thanks to John Jones for artist information

With thanks to The Worlington Movement for artist information

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