Sunday, 22 February 2015

"Summer over Southease" Painting the view over Southease in Sussex from Itford Hill

Itford Hill, Sussex
Itford Hill is situated just a couple of miles south of the town of Lewes .
 From the top the views are breathtaking!
 North takes you over the river Ouse towards Lewes.
East has wonderful views of Mount Caburn and the Sussex Weald.
Looking South you can see the sea at Newhaven and Seaford.
West overlooks the Ouse valley and the South Downs....this is the view that will be the subject of my painting.
On a hazy Summer day I headed to Southease, a tiny little rural village in the Ouse valley that has an interesting and unusual church with a round tower
Southease, Sussex

The walk through the village to Itford Hill is part of the South Downs Way and takes you over the River Ouse via a swing bridge. The bridge was extensively restored in 2010 and seems to fit in so well with it's surroundings.
The swing bridge at Southease

Shortly after you come upon the railway station which always seems to be in a rather odd place as it's in the middle of nowhere! I think it gets used mostly by walkers as there's a youth hostel next to it . As I crossed over the footbridge I stopped to watch a train go by. As you can see by my photo it's a very rural location ...
Distant view of Mount Caburn from Southease station
 I followed the track that would take me to the top of Itford Hill, looking forward to the views that awaited me.
Heading up Itford Hill
It turned out to be a lot steeper than it looked! On my way up a group of young lads passed me, they had stayed at the hostel for the night and were in the process of walking the South Downs Way from one end to the other  (160 km from Winchester to Eastbourne) . They were on a quest to complete their task and were soon ahead of me and out of sight . I admired their determination but was a little saddened that  their rush meant they were missing the chance to absorb so many splendid views.
At least I wasn't the only one taking my time.....;)

Finally I reached the top , it was a bit hazy but the scenery was wonderful!
Looking back I could see the path that I had taken and the reason for my walk.
 To paint the landscape over Southease.
 As a very young child I lived on two different farms in this area , alas too young to appreciate it !
But what I do appreciate is that pudding bowl  haircuts are a thing of the long distant past!!!!!!
So back to the painting... the composition will be of  Southease nestled in the South Downs in the Ouse Valley. Just the church and swing bridge can be seen surrounded by the harvest fields of Summer..
Work in progress...."Summer over Southease"  (Acrylic on box canvas 24"x 18"x 1.5")
Work in progress. Painting the view over the Ouse valley and Southease (Sussex)

Started work on the buildings , bridge and trees ...
Whilst letting the other areas dry I have added the first layers of paint to the fields, these will eventually have several hay bales in them . It's a dark and dreary day so unfortunately it hasn't photographed very well .....roll on Summer!
Finally  I have completed the  painting. Days of Summer, rolling hills, hay bales, red berried Hawthorn and sunshine!

                                           "Summer over Southease"
"Summer over Southease" landscape painting of the South Downs at Southease in Sussex

Friday, 30 January 2015

Fun on the beach ......

I've decided I've had enough of the bleak Winter weather and thought I would have a bit of Sussex seaside fun.
Eastbourne is a well known retirement resort and seemed like the perfect setting for my composition. Working from several reference photos and changing the clothing I have created somerthing that I hope you will find amusing and perhaps a little typical of our British seasides .
As we get older, rounder and slower , perhaps we all still hold a childhood desire to be a Super Hero !

                            "Seaside Super Heroes" 
                              Acrylic on canvas 24"x 18" x 1.5" 
Fun seaside painting set in Eastbourne, Sussex

Then of course I couldn't leave the seaside theme without a pretty girl sunbathing on the beach ,waves crashing on the shore ensure a cooling spray to make a perfect day....

                                               "Hot Pink and Heatwave"
                                                      Acrylic on canvas 24"x 18"x 1.5"
Hot Pink and Heatwave , beach painting

Friday, 2 January 2015

"Winter Walk" Painting inspired by the early morning frost

Early morning frosty views on the outskirts of Newick, Sussex
Christmas was wonderful but after several days in the house I was glad to get out and about again. We've had a few frosty mornings lately so I decided to venture out for a walk to catch the sun rise and enjoy the tranquility of the countryside on the outskirts of my village.
The low Winter sun and widespread frost revealed a new range of colours to use for a painting.
I love how the landscape changes so much with the seasons and weather and each walk becomes a new inspiration on an old path...
I have chosen to paint a view of the track I followed on the edge of Newick Park Estate. The sun had just started to rise, lighting up my path ahead like a giant candle glowing fiercely  through the trees.

Work in progress... "Winter Walk" Acrylic on box canvas, 18"x 24" x 1.5"
Work in progress..."Winter Walk"
I started by giving the canvas a wash of pink and yellow for the background then painted in the trees in the middle. Once dry 2-3 thin washes of white and yellow were painted over them to knock them back into the distance. Next I repeated this procedure for the tree at the back left.
 Bit by bit I am working towards the foreground adding in the shadows and sunlight as I go.
Working on the foreground 
 This morning I have started to make good progress on the foreground . This area is mostly made up of frost and ice, it's also in the shade so there will be a lot of blue tones to paint in.
The track is created by merging  many small dots of colour, once this is dry I will be able to add the highlights and shading.
Well another day's painting means I have now completed the painting....I hope you like it !
                                    "Winter Walk"
                               Acrylic on box canvas 18"x 24"x 1.5"  
"Winter Walk" Acrylic painting on box canvas
Painting inspired from a Winter walk on the outskirts of my village of Newick in Sussex

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

"Cupcake Temptation" Colourful still life painting featuring cupcakes

 It's nearly Christmas  so I've been busy baking.
I  don't enjoy cooking but on special occasions I will brave it into the kitchen and attempt to create  something yummy. Cupcakes are easy and fun which means they are a good option for me.
I am pleased to say that they turned out rather scrummy,
the only problem being was not to eat them all !
So much temptation on a plate!
I decided the best way to resist was to use the last one in a still life composition. I found a nice selection of items that I thought would look good together and so the painting was started ....
"Cupcake Temptation" work in progress

I slightly altered the colours to avoid too much white in the background as I wanted a stronger contrast. I'm happy with the result and I now have a cupcake that's non fattening and calorie free! ;)

                                 "Cupcake Temptation"
                                                     Acrylic on standard canvas 18"x 24"
"Cupcake Temptation" Acrylic still life painting with cake