Norman Lindsay’s passion for oil paintings began in the early 1900s and continued through his life. His early paintings were subtle and often charming whilst those that achieved great fame and notoriety were completed during the 1930s and 1940s. Indeed it was during this period that he completed what are commonly referred to as a series of large "gallery" paintings.
It would be fair to say Norman Lindsay’s painting s fall into one of three categories, the smaller works which often featured rich contrasting colours and often included ‘plein air’ works in which he captured different lights. The next category of oil paintings was the larger portraits of studio models. These models included Phyllis Silverwood, Pearl Zweig and Rita Young (nee Lee).Of course the most impressive when the big gallery paintings that where often based of subjects from history, literature or mythology. Such paintings include Springs Innocence which sold to the National Gallery of Victoria for $333,900 in 2003
Lindsay kept a book full of the names and contact details for models and kept most of them busy. But it was Rose in her early days and Rita later in his career that he considered his two most beautiful models. When he was unable to use live models he would refer to the pencil studies he had amassed over many years for the correct proportion and muscular definition. He was able to achieve more accurate skin tones with oils discovered it to be a medium in which his love of theatre and costume could be better expressed.