In 1964 a solo exhibition of Grace Cossington Smith's work was held in Sydney at Macquarie Galleries, her first since 1952. Over that twelve year period, her work had been included in a few of the group shows held at this prestigious gallery, however, between nursing her dearest sister, Diddy and developing her new paintings, she did not feel it necessary to keep up with the regular exhibition demands.
Spanning for fifty years by this time, Cossington Smith's painting career had stylistically held true to her post-impressionist influences. Her experiments with techniques of different artists - Van Gogh and Cézanne being the strongest - allowed her to develop a technique of dappled colourful brushstrokes that became her trademark. However, where in her earlier work figuration - be it domestic or social commentary - was her interest, by the late 1920s that changed. Cityscapes, her local upper North Shore area and later the charm of her domestic environment became the focus for her paintings.
It is interesting to see that at the same time her subject matter narrowed, the scale of her works enlarged, almost like a celebration of the subject. It was during this period she painted many of her greatest works - 'Interior with Wardrobe Mirror', 1955 (Art Gallery of New South Wales collection); 'Interior with Blue Painting', 1956 (National Gallery of Victoria collection); 'Way to the Studio', 1957 (Newcastle Region Art Gallery collection); 'Interior in Yellow', 1962-64 and 1'Jug with Fruit in the Window', circa 1962 (both in the National Gallery of Australia collection); and this wonderful painting 'Still Life with Jugs', 1963, still in a private collection.
Cossington Smith had such a great love of nature. Even when she chose the interior as her subject, it was not enough to paint just a room, a still life, a chair. She often gave us a glimpse of the landscape reflected in an open cupboard door mirror; through the French doors that led into her studio; or as seen in this painting, just making it into the picture frame through the small window behind the drapery. As Bruce James notes, "pictures within pictures, views through windows and reflections typify the works from this point. These were the obsessional devices marshalled by Cossington Smith to gather the wider world in to her private one". (B James, Grace Cossington Smith, Sydney, 1990, p. 138)