Henrietta Catherine Angus, known as Rita, was born in Hastings on 12 March 1908. She was the eldest of seven children of Ethel Violet Crabtree and her husband, William McKenzie Angus, who began his working life as a carpenter and went on to establish the major construction company W. M. Angus Limited. During Rita’s childhood, building contracts kept the family on the move between Palmerston North and Napier. From 1922 until 1926 she attended Palmerston North Girls’ High School, where her art teacher, G. H. Elliott, recognised her talent and encouraged her to undertake further study.
From tutors such as Leonard Booth, Cecil Kelly and Archibald Nicoll at the canterbury college school of art she received a normal, quite training in life drawing, still life, and landscape painting. Although Angus never completed the diploma, her studies at the school continued, with interruptions, until 1933.
This painting by rita angus is one of my personal favourites...because of the way she has coloured the mountains and the simplicity of the sky, I love the way she made it so we can tell how big the trees are compared to each other.