Margaret Stoddart

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1865, d.1934

Storm Clouds, Blythburgh, Suffolk (also known as Suffolk Village)

About the artist

Stoddart, Margaret Olrog (Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1865, d.1934)

Margaret Stoddart, from The Weekly Press 9 June 1909

‘Storm clouds, Blythburgh, Suffolk’ is typical of Margaret Stoddart’s growing interest in impressionism and painting outdoors while based in England between 1898 and 1906. The atmospheric conditions of the impending storm above Blythburgh have been rendered directly using wet washes of colour. Stoddart travelled widely, taking sketching trips to France, Italy and throughout Britain, often seeking out picturesque villages such as Blythburgh as her subjects. Stoddart enjoyed living at St Ives, Cornwall. The town’s reputation as a plein-air (open air) artists’ colony made it a magnet for New Zealand artists including Frances Hodgkins and Dorothy Richmond, who visited Stoddart there in 1902. (Brought to Light, November 2009)

earlier labels about this work
  • Margaret Stoddart was based in Britain between 1898 and 1906 and the east of England was one of her favourite sketching grounds. She spent the summers of 1905 and 1906 in the Suffolk region, when she would have completed this view of Blythburgh, near the coast.

    Stoddart’s style developed dramatically at this time. She was based at St Ives where she was encouraged by Norman Garstin and Louis Grier to develop a ‘plein air’, or outdoor, approach, concerned primarily with capturing atmospheric effects.

    Stoddart was born in Diamond Harbour, on Banks Peninsula, but in 1876 the family sailed for Britain and she received her early education in Edinburgh. The family returned to New Zealand in 1879 and in 1882 Stoddart enrolled at the Canterbury College School of Art. She was a founding member of the Palette Club whose members were concerned with painting outdoors. After living in England for several years, Stoddart returned to New Zealand in 1907 and settled at Diamond Harbour. (Two watercolour rotations, 2005 and 2008)