With having our own visitors and visiting others, things have been busy of late. We are with friends in the Cotswolds and this morning I got up early and ventured into the fields to do some painting.
It was a dullish morning and generally I would turn over and go back to sleep, but I needed some paintings and it was a new place to explore – so I gave it a try.
Without sun, objects were a bit flat and washes took ages to dry. But despite the problems I wasnt too displeased with the results and came home with wet feet to a well earned breakfast. I can relax for the rest of the day.
On Monday morning the forecast was for a clear start so I got up early hoping to take advantage of the light as we have had some mixed weather of late and are about to get some more rain this week.
I’d decided to cycle to the moss, a low lying, drained area, now mainly now used for agriculture, which is behind the sandy coastal strip where I live. Arriving soon after 5am, to my surprise, the whole place was shrouded in mist.
I decided to make a start near the higher coastal belt, and set up alongside one of the many drainage ditches.
As I worked the mist slowly dispersed and the trees in the background appeared – I thought that they were clouds at the start- and then houses also came into view – though it was too late to include them. The picture directly above was the result. In the damp, cool conditions drying the washes was difficult and parts were still glossy wet when I packed up to leave. I carried the painting open on my bike, hoping to dry it as I wobbled along, searching for another subject. By now the sun was out and I eventually found a path across the fields as a subject shown at the top.
The week before last I was visiting my ailing mother on the southcoast and did some paintings as I sat around beside the sea in between preparing lunch and tea.
The last one is my stepbrother’s cafe in St Leonards, Sussex which I might work up into something more finsihed later.
There isnt much across the moss – drained marshland behind the coastal dunes. Even less when the lowland is blanketed with mist and all you can see is a ghostly tree and a row of staggering poles. This was done with loose washes and then a bit of drybrush in the foreground.
Another corner of a field and another repeat. In my last post it was a restrained approach to a similar subject. This was more about pouring and spraying and trying to make something of it after the deluge.
I certainly liked my last version of this, but it stayed on the shelf after many outings. So it was back to the easel and this time I have removed some of the darks and put in more foreground colour. I have emphasised the light through the trees and introduced a fence post to redress the compositional balance – anything for a sale.
Continuing the series of repeats. I have exhibited the first version of this many times but it never sold . I liked the tight range of hues which I hoped emphasised calm and quiet. This time I have increased the lights in the wooded area and darkened the field shadows. I have also ensured that the yarrow flower heads contrast against the shadow areas in the field. We’ll see how this goes.
In the late rush for replacement paintings to populate the exhibition, I reworked this image which I posted a few years ago. I tried to better meld the buildings with the landscape and simplify the foreground to enhance the feeling of stillness. Whether I did or not, who’s to say, but it’s up on the wall now and a feeling of calm has descended upon my studio allowing a tidy-up for the second time.
I have been going through my back catalogue after the surprise sale of nine paintings. My framer should have six more frames ready today and I have some paintings to go in them – so we can bring the exhibition back up to 30 paintings with a few in reserve. However, I didnt have many larger paintings that I felt comfortable showing. I decided to redo a painting, but this time in acrylics, to fill a larger frame. This is a view over the Lancashire Plain back to where I live in Southport, on the coast. Just beyond these hills – and they are only small bumps – sits the town of Ormskirk, which would be behind the viewer.