Two more from my painting trips of last week. Since then I haven’t been out as we have been getting a lot of much needed rain. Presently I am working this sketch of a tree up into a small painting, so I’ll be putting that on the blog soon.
I might even work this one up as well. There is a great view on the other side of the cottage and the overhanging tree and cable poles give it character. Hopefully the good weather will make a comeback, but at least I don’t have to water the garden.
Well, the sun continues to shine, so I’ve been out on my bike again. This is an old track I used to ride down a lot on my way to and from work. I loved the variation of the trees and the line of reeds. After painting this I went back to where I painted Down Holland Farm (earlier post) and found my metal pallet in amongst the stinging nettles.
This one is an old cobbled canal bridge, looking into the sun. I had to stand in the middle of it to paint in order to see the buildings and light on the hedgerow. It is a bridge from an old farm track over the canal to nowhere (I cant understand why it was built) yet as I worked 3 dogwalkers came past, then a pony and trap and finally to people riding horses. Each time I had to move my gear to let them past. It’s tough out on the road, or bridge in this case. Though I might develop this further as I liked the scene and I haven’t done justice to the main tree.
Out in the early morning: this was a bit of a problem, as although the sun was shining, the air temperature was around 2oC. So the washes didn’t try very fast so I did a lot of pacing around whilst the painting sat drying on the grass in the sun. Still it’s great to get out and as I returned home I saw a couple of sites well worth painting on another visit. Always good having somewhere to go rather than wasting time looking around for a subject.
With some better weather of late I at last got out to do some painting last night. I cycled inland a little way and painted this 17th century hall and farm which stands by the Leeds Liverpool Canal. The canal is hidden between the foreground – a field of broad beans – and the first row of trees/bushes. I sat on a mound of stinging nettles where I think I left my palette and to round it off I got another puncture. The joys of painting plein air.
Moving up to the North Brittany coast into the Gulf of St Malo. I did some sketches as we walked along the cliffs. The above is at Val Andre looking south into the afternoon sun.
This again is from the Cliffs at Val Andre. The shoreline is much more rugged here than at Le Cloisic, our last stop. The building is a lookout post for marauding Brits (amongst others) they may be building more as Brexit unfolds.
Another small cove on our walks.
And here, in the low morning light, the cliffs at Pleneuf. In the distance is the start of a sandy beach that went on for a couple of miles, with egrets, terns, cormorants and the odd naturist popping up from behind the rocks.
With a couple of days good weather I have got out on my bike to do a bit of sketching around Southport. The first one is near Ormskirk on Clieves Hills one the few hills we have around here and probably what many would regard as bumps.
Then down towards Formby where coming out of the woods I glimpsed these horses.
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.