"Painted in 1931. Painted at Keach's farm. Very large dramatic apple tree in very full bloom (white), little red barn and parts of Keach?s house beyond --- over them the mountains under a blue and white May sky---foreground lush green meadow with some white ducks in the grass. Sold to Miss Shea, N.Y. in 1956."
"Light and delicate with spring greens, looking too dark in this photograph. The little barn red, the tree snowy white, the clouds, delicate spring colorings, the hills pale blues and violets."
"Spirit of New England countryside in May. Lush May greens, barn pale pinky red, hills violet. Blue sky with May clouds. Apple tree in full bloom - white. A very happy canvas!"
The website first learned of this painting when it came up for auction in September of 2015. The auctioneer reported that there was no name on the stretcher. It resembled a painting named The Greening Tree, however, according to our records The Greening Tree, was a 27" x 30" painting and this piece was smaller measuring 16" x 20." We speculated that this painting much have been a copy. The only other information provided by the auctioneer was a handwritten name (B.B. Stevens) and address (pictured to the left).
More information was provided when a family member of the original owner contacted us regarding another painting. We were then informed that this painting was called Apple Blossom Time AND that there were actually 4 copies, all commissioned and purchased by 4 sisters.
The sisters were all big fans of Woodward. Barbara Bagg Stevens, a novelist from West Springfield, MA had either visted Woodward's studio or had attended an exhibition where she seen The Greening Tree and liked it so much she commissioned RSW to paint a smaller version to fit over her fireplace in the living room. The painting was so admired by her sisters, Beatrice, Phyllis and Shirley that they too commissioned Woodward to make a copy for themselves.
It is believed that this painting is the original of the four. Oddly enough, The Greening Tree sat in Woodward's studio another 25 years before being sold in 1956.
For more information on what a Greening Tree is, please Click Here!