Wednesday, 23 April 2014

"Seagulls over Arundel" Painting the river at Arundel in West Sussex

Arundel, West Sussex
We recently visited Arundel in West Sussex .
 A very old picturesque town that is dominated by the castle on the hill.
We were there to have a look around the classic MG car show which was being held in the castle grounds.

Classic MG's at Arundel show
The cars looked great, especially surrounded by such wonderful scenery.
 Afterwards, as it was such a lovely day, a stroll along the river bank seemed the ideal thing to do.
The view towards the town was to be the subject of my painting.
 I loved the reflections on the river, the little boats gently bobbing on the water and the seagulls swooping in to find tasty morsels left by sightseers. It was all so colourful....
                                        "Seagulls over Arundel"
                            Acrylic on box canvas 24" x18"x 1.5"
"Seagulls over Arundel" West Sussex. Acrylic painting on box canvas

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

"Blackcap" Walking and painting the South Downs of Sussex

Blackcap on the South Downs
Spring has arrived!
 At last we have some good weather days to be able to go exploring again.
I chose a good clear day and decided I would take a walk along the South Downs just west of Lewes.
Starting at Offham I headed west over Mount Harry and on to  Blackcap, at 676ft this was a very steep walk!
 It was all worth it as the views were stunning. You get glimpses through the valleys of the coast to the south and wonderful panoramic views of the Sussex Weald to the north.
At the top is a small wooded area planted to commemorate the Queen's coronation...
Commemorative stone at Blackcap

At this time of year the fields below are a dazzling patchwork of fresh greens and bright yellow crops of rape which look just amazing in the sunshine...
Rape crops in the Sussex Weald
 The next part of my journey was all down hill....a very long way down hill !
 It was the part I enjoyed the most.
 A well walked chalk path twisting and turning down the steep slopes of the South Downs as if it would go on forever!
The chalk track down Blackcap

It was the view from the bottom of this track that inspired my painting.
 Views of the Sussex Weald, rape crops and the chalk path...Spring has definitely arrived!
                                    "Blackcap Down"
                                                Acrylic on box canvas 18"x 24"x1.5"
"Blackcap Down" Painting the South Downs of Sussex

Monday, 7 April 2014

Painting the "Chapel Hill Rooftops" of Lewes, Sussex

Chapel Hill, Lewes, Sussex
On a recently sunny day we decided to head for the Southerham nature reserve at Lewes. It's an area well known for it's butterflies and wild flowers. It's also very high up! Although the weather was lovely it was also very misty so we missed out on the extensive views from the top. I intend to return in the Summer when the area will be at it's best and hopefully get some wonderful photos!
Southerham nature reserve, Lewes
Reaching the reserve requires a very steep climb up Chapel Hill, not for the faint hearted but the views are spectacular over the town and far beyond. It's certainly  well worth the effort..
Views from Chapel Hill, Lewes
It was the hill that became the subject of my painting. The houses are very old and the view over the rooftops of the town is wonderful, such a lovely mix of architecture!
 Just a short way up the lane stands a bent lamp post that seems to fit the scene perfectly. I would love to know how it ended up that way, perhaps the result of drunken revelry from  bonfire nights past?
With so many buildings in the view it was quite a challenging composition and has taken a while to complete. But I'm glad I chose it :)
                                             "Chapel Hill Rooftops"
                                              Acrylic on box canvas 24"x 18"x 1.5" 
Painting of "Chapel Hill Rooftops", Lewes. Acrylic 24"x 18"x 1.5"

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

"Draught and Dray" Painting the horse drawn dray of Harvey's Brewery

Harveys brewery, Lewes, Sussex
My favourite subjects to paint are the ones  that mix nostalgia with  modern day scenes .
I'm also very partial to a good ale! So imagine my delight when I discovered that my local brewery Harveys had reintroduced the brewery dray cart.
It was originally brought in for the Queen's visit last October but was so popular that they decided to keep using it for deliveries and special occasions.
Photo courtesy of Maple Leaf Carriages

The dray has not been used by the brewery for over a hundred years and well suits the historic streets of Lewes.
                                      The brewery...
Harveys is a family run brewery that has been around since 1790 . Situated in the center of the town the building is a very impressive landmark situated on the banks of the river Ouse. For more details please visit their website

                                       The horses...
The horses are supplied by Maple Leaf Carriage Company. A lovely pair of Shire horses called
 Monty and Winston. They  look splendid and of course enjoy the odd tipple now and again !
Monty and Winston enjoying a well earned pint...gallon!
The dray...
The dray  is beautifully built and painted, laden with the barrels of beer it is a wonderful sight to see on the streets.
These are all topped off with a large comfortable cushion where you will find Barney enjoying the scenery ... I'm sure he gets a lot of attention too!
Harveys dray
Of course being "top dog" means proudly wearing your best Harveys coat !
Barney helping with the beer delivery. Photo courtesy of Jon Tooley

                                           The painting...
                                     "Draught and Dray"
Work in progress...Acrylic on box canvas 18"x 24"x 1.5"
 It's rather a complicated painting with lots of detail so it's going to take quite a while to complete.
I'm on my third day of painting, gradually building up the layers of colour so that I can work on the detail. 
Work in progress "Draught and Dray"

 I made good progress today. The painting is starting to come together now. Tomorrow I should be able to start on the finer details where I'm happy with the depth of colour. I shall also make a start on the remaining areas.
The painting is now starting to come togeher
It's felt like slow progress today as I've been adding some of the finer detail. The harness is almost completed and I've started work on the other horse...
Starting to paint in some detail and the second horse
Well, after many hours of painting I have finally completed the picture. It's been a delightful subject to paint !
                                                  "Draught and Dray"
                                Acrylic on box canvas 18"x 24"x 1.5"
"Draught and Dray" Painting the Harveys brewery beer dray and horses


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