Weeding Onions

Weeding Onions, by Thomas Hennell, reproduced with kind permission of Dr Chris Beetles, Chris Beetles Gallery, London

They don’t like competition and are rather greedy for all the water and nutrients – onions, that is! So the soil has to be tickled to keep weeds from taking what belongs to them! It is this most ordinary task, one that gardeners perform year in year out, that Thomas Hennell has depicted, most beautifully. It is titled and dated 25 May, 1943. It is a timeless scene, but that particular time was in the midst of the second terrible war ripping the world apart. Yet the good earth, in its seasons, will give of its plenty, with a little care and attention.

I love the way Hennell uses watercolour washes to depict the vibrant, moody sky – showing the big, big skies of the countryside, and how his earthy brown shows the richness of the succulent soil. Central to it all are the two women bending over, weeding the onions. He uses black lines in a lovely way to outline various shapes of the women, with folds in their garments as they hunch over the soil.

I saw this today at St Barbe’s Art Gallery, Lymington in their exhibition The Seasons: Art of the Unfolding Year. What a wonderful way to spend the afternoon!

Connecting with the World https://wordpress.com/page/howtowriteaboutart.com/63

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