PUMPKIN COTTAGE

B. E. Chapple

UHPC 1/1, Oil, 255mm (h) x 339mm (w)

B.E. (Bessie) Chapple (1883 - 1965) trained under James Nairn and M.E.R. Tripe from about 1897 until 1901 at Wellington Technical School. She had a long association with Pumpkin Cottage and the various incarnations of the Wellington Art Club from 1907. She painted this between about 1920, when St Patrick's College added the lean-to at the rear to the original cottage, and 1946 when the old wooden brudge on Hutt Main Road (now Fergusson Drive) was  replaced by a concrete culvert. In this painting, Bessie focuses on the expanse of Whirinaki Creek at the Pumpkin Cottage ford. From a low viewpoint, she rendered the water in pure blue dabs of paint which contrast vividly with the green weeds and grasses. Such a painterly Impressionist composition with its shapely cropped angle of the bridge would have made her former art teacher, James Nairn, proud.

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