The Enclosed Balcony

The Enclosed Balcony

In the 1970s, John Elwyn returned to painting still-life: vases of flowers, potted plants on the windowsill, and on his wife’s Steinway piano with its elaborate fret-work music stand.

He painted interiors of his sitting room, the conservatory (an enclosed balcony), and views from his studio window looking down on to the walled garden, its trees laden with blossom.

Until the end of his life, John Elwyn remained a keen gardener and nurtured a well-stocked kitchen garden and flower beds.

Overlooking the garden, the enclosed balcony is an elegant Victorian cast iron construction that spans two bay windows on first floor elevation at the back of John Elwyn’s Winchester home. Although sunny and south facing, it was overshadowed by a magnificent giant sequoia tree that stands immediately alongside the house.

The tessellation of the balcony’s delicate traceries and the complex shadows cast by the metalwork appealed to the artist’s love of pattern, colour, light and shade. John Elwyn returned to this subject over many years.

A large oil painting bearing the same title and of a similar composition is held by the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff.

Study of plants in the enclosed balcony (ink wash on paper, c.1975) 21 x 30 ins
John Elwyn and his ginger tomcat Boris in the enclosed balcony, 1996 (no sound)