Catalogue entry

Margaret Mellis 1914-2009

T01267 Blue Anemone 1957

Inscribed on reverse of board ‘Dec or Nov 1957/Blue Anemone/Margaret Mellis’.
Oil on paper laid on board, 13¿ x 13¿ (33.5 x 35.5).
Purchased from the artist (Gytha Trust) 1971.
Coll: Bought by the artist’s father, O. B. M. Mellis, from exhibition at the Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh, 1959; the artist.
Exh: A.I.A., April 1958 (28); Scottish Gallery, Castle Street, Edinburgh, November 1959 (22).

The artist wrote (letter of 16 May 1971): ‘Blue anemone 1957 November. This was painted from the idea of the shape of dying anemones in an almost empty jam jar. I used irregular square shaped patches of paint and bent lines of colour to join them together. Colour usually unmixed direct from the tube. No modulations allowed except by the density of the paint on each patch. To get the right density the paint was put on with a palette knife in places and brushed on in others. Parts were left un painted.’

‘This period lasted from about 1956 to 1959. It was halfway between my first abstract period (1940–8) and the present (abstract period) which came about gradually between 1959 and 1963, and is to do with colour.’

Published in The Tate Gallery Report 1970–1972, London 1972.