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.
Another from my early morning outdoor starts. I had spotted this the day before and there was much more tonal contrast when I first saw it. I still like it and there might be scope to work this up into a more finished piece.
Some old cottages spotted across the fields. The power cables in the hedge were a good lead in and I was able to sit painting undisturbed whilst taking in the early morning birdsong and sipping my tea.
This morning I was roused from my slumbers at 5-30 and the sun was shining, so I went out to do some painting. It’s still cold here, but I took some tea to drink whilst the washes were drying and all was well with the world.
This was the second sketch of the day. I crossed the canal and ventured towards Clieves’ Hills – an area I paint a lot.
Here are some earlier sketches I did when we had a warm spell in April. They are up on the Cumbrian Coast in the Lake District. It took us an age to get there and on the way back the car started to do some very strange things. We limped home but it wasnt a happy day.
This is a view of the area as we climbed the hills behind Ravenglass.
This was a view over the River Esk as it comes to the sea at Ravenglass. The gorse was in full flower with bright burst of yellow all over the hillside – though from the sketch above you might think that they were daffodils.
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.
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.
The coastal path from Southport to Crosby takes you along sandy beaches, through Pinewoods and skirts an army rifle range before depositing you in front of Anthony Gormley’s Another Place. Here, in the painting, the path leaves Formby as the morning sun breaks the scrubby, wind sculpted trees and dances over the long grass.
This is another repeat of a painting I have posted before. I hope I have got the light in the grasses better and improved both the contrasts on the pathway and the textures in the bracken and brush.