We just spent some time at my brother in law’s house in Durham. They live close to the river, so I took off in the morning and did some watercolour sketching whilst everyone was still in bed.
This first one is of Kepier Hospital just down the road, alongside the river. This building was constructed in the 12th century as an isolation hospital and this could be the gatehouse with a beautiful vaulted ceiling which is just visible. The stone work is visibly decayed. There are no signs telling you what this is, so for many this could just be another farm complex, but when you look a little closer you realise that this is a very old building.
We then went down the river towards the coast and visited Finchale Abbey, a thirteenth century Benedictine abbey which was made the worse for wear by Henry 8th. I suppose the main route of communication was the river which linked this abbey, the hospital and Durham City with its cathedral.
Back again this morning I sat amongst the rising shoots of Japanese knotweed and painted one of the many farms on the slopes of the Wear valley in the warm morning sunshine. A dirty business, but someone’s got to do it.
Other landscape paintings are on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com