Reg, Bill and BT van, Early Spring, West Bergholt

Oil on board, 1220mm x 610mm
digital image colour balanced by John Cupitt Collection Accenture plc

Reg Cockle and Bill jack with the artist at auctioneers Reeman and Dansie, Colchester.


A " blue planet day" (Will Self). Late afternoon in early spring, in the same field as the other West Bergholt paintings. The winter wheat has not yet started its spring growth. Planes - upper left - approach London Stansted and a gibbous moon is just visible. A British Telecom van - center distance - is parked up for a lunch break. This land is farmed by only two full time workers: the farm manager, Bill, and Reg as all rounder. They use state of the art agricultural methods and equipment and bring in a few contractors for special jobs. Reg is walking towards us looking across at his own work.


The Belgian astronomer M.G.J. Minnaert ('Light and Colour in the Outdoors', first published 1937) describes the distribution of light over a clear sky. Colour distribution is caused by a combination of three factors :

1. An increase in brightness and whiteness as you approach the sun.

2. At a distance of 90 degrees from the sun the sky tends to become darkest and bluest blue, but also

3. The light intensity and whiteness increase from the zenith to the horizon.

When the sun is not in the picture, as here, the darkest blues are just as much an indicator of where it is as the brighter part of sky.

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