The return to England

As the cost of living in France increased, Stella Bowen was forced to supplement her allowance by taking on portrait commissions. She went to America for six months during 1932, to paint a series of portraits in the hope of making enough money to keep living in France; but eventually, in 1933, she was forced to return to England.

Bowen always loved the green of England, what she called its “verdure”, but she disliked the greyness of London. She made two short trips with friends to her beloved south of France to paint, and there developed her “conversation pieces”, works in which she portrayed people in relaxed poses and everyday settings. In late 1939 Bowen moved to a cottage in the English countryside, determined to have a garden and to continue painting, despite the onset of war.