In the heat of the day...

There was little time for painting and drawing in the long hot summer days of the 1930s when the younger Sven was trying to survive by working in the fields in Cornwall. However, he managed to fill postcard sketch books with a record of the varied work including this welcome moment of rest.


Workers in the fields taking a break 'Croust'. A pencil drawing by Sven Berlin from 1939.
A rest after haymaking in the fields of Cornwall, 'Croust' by Sven Berlin (from the collection here)

"There would be the welcome rest for croust, the large midday

meal, after which men and women would return, rather more

mellow, to their labours, working until sunset in a rhythm which

Berlin came to appreciate, 'rather than look upon it as a

penance'." Timeless Man, Millersford Press 2016

Later in life, Sven often found the heat of the summer days oppressive, commenting on the 100°F plus temperature in his overcrowded timber chalet studio. In defiance, he would rise early and, in the midst of the long heatwave of 1976, produced no less than ten large watercolours in one day…. so what have you produced in the last few hot days... let us know!

To find out more about how Sven survived as an artist against all the odds, it's worth dipping into our biography, Timeless Man, available here