Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Painting "On the slpoes of Cissbury Ring" Steyning, West Sussex

Cissbury Ring
Spring has almost arrived! Yay! Blue skies and sunshine days are on their way!
My recent explorations took me over the border into West Sussex , to the picturesque village of Steyning. A place full of interesting  architecture topped off with the old Horsham stone rooftops.
Steyning , West Sussex 
My sister and I had a quick wander around the shops before heading off to the heights of the South Downs at Steyning Bowl, where the South Downs Way runs along the roadside.
 The weather made it a perfect Spring day and the views went on forever!
Views from Steyning Bowl

To the west lies the iron age fort of Cissbury Ring . Woodland slopes merge into a patchwork of patterned fields and grazing cattle and sheep.
I was fascinated  just watching the farmer plough the earth whilst being besieged by flocks of seagulls in search of an easy meal !
Seagulls flock around the plough
The view was captivating, it was so very typical of the Sussex downland . A perfect picture to paint! ...
                                              "On the slopes of Cissbury Ring"
                                     Acrylic painting on canvas 24"x 18" 
"On the slopes of Cissbury Ring" Acrylic on canvas  
For more views of this painting please visit my gallery

Friday, 3 March 2017

"Tracks to Blackcap"

"Blackcap" on the South Downs near Lewes, Sussex
The recent bleak weather meant that I hadn't been out walking for a while and although I don't mind staying in I finially reached a point where I just needed to escape outside.
Setting off from the outskirts of Lewes I headed west over the South Downs towards Blackcap.
It was a damp and foggy morning where the cloud covered slopes disappeared from view...
My path took me past the beacon at Mount Harry and on to the clump of trees at the top of Blackcap that were replanted to commemorate the coronation of queen Elizabeth in 1953.
At this point the sun started to break through so I decided to head on a little further onto
The South Downs Way . I had 2 choices, South towards Falmer or West towards Ditchling. I couldn't make up my mind so I walked a part way in each direction ....
The South Downs Way at Blackcap
The path ahead  towards Ditchling was very wet and didn't make for easy walking. I made slow progress, but looking back towards Blackcap I loved the way that the solid chalk track was patterned with a mixture of milky white puddles and cycle tracks . This I thought would be a good composition to paint :)
                                          "Tracks to Blackcap"
"Tracks to Blackcap" Acrylic painting 24"x18"

Thursday, 16 February 2017

"Winter trees" on the South Downs

In previous years because of the weather and light I have painted Still Life subjects during the Winter months. This year though I have decided to stay with landscapes.
The views look so very different at this time of year but just as impressive !
I love the sloping curves of the South Downs and the way that the fields interweave with each other.
I found the perfect composition at Falmer, the slopes and patterned  fields all set off by the lines of the Winter trees.
 A colouful mixture incorporating a selection of purples, greens and browns ....perfect!

                                                          "Winter Trees" 
                                                         Acrylic on canvas 24" x 18" 
"Winter Trees" Landscape painting of Falmer, Sussex
 For more details please check out my Artfinder Gallery

Monday, 30 January 2017

"Fading Boundaries" Painting the morning mist

Finally January draws to a close.
 It's seemed like long month full of fog and mist and not very good conditions to get out and about with my camera .
One day last week I couldn't even see the house over the road as the mist was so thick, so I decided it would have to be a cleaning day instead. However , just after 9am the sun started to shine through and I found myself spending more time looking out of the window than being productive.
It was no good trying to fight the desire to get out so I grabbed my camera, put on my boots and headed off.
I didn't want to walk far as my ankle is still rather painful after spraining it. With this in mind I decided to take a stroll along one of my favourite paths which is part of the Ouse Valley Way.
The path takes me north of the village through Rotherfield woods. These are lovely woods and have an almost magical atmosphere to them, they are the sort of woods that would make you believe in fairy tales !
Rotherfield woods, Newick (Sussex) 
On the far side  the path leads you to where the River Ouse meanders between the fields and the outskirts of  the Sheffield Park estate (Sheffield Park Gardens) . It's a lovely part of the river , I have spent many Summer days just watching the Dragonflies and Beautiful Demoiselles dance and swoop over the water.  But the Winter brings a different kind of light and it all looks very different.
Winter along the river Ouse
I usually end my walk when I reach the Bluebell Railway but the mist added such a magical atmosphere to the morning that I ventured a little further to explore the other side of the river .
Now my walk took me around the perimeters of  Sheffield Park , best known for it's beautiful gardens
This area is a much more natural landscape than the gardens and a delight to explore...
Sheffield Park, Sussex 
I could have spent all day there but the Winter light fades so quickly and I still had the walk back.
As I was about to leave I met the archaeologist  David Brown, who is working with the National Trust tracing the boundaries of an ancient deer park.
 I didn't realize at the time but this brief meeting would play a big part in my next painting !
On returning home I browsed through my photos and was delighted to discover that I had managed to capture some of amazing misty views that I had seen.
Now it was time to paint! I loved the way that the scenery just seemed to suddenly disappear and I chose a gate and fence to be the subject of my composition....a fence....a boundary....
it was then that I recalled my brief meeting with David Brown and how fitting the idea of the deer park boundaries disappearing just just like my own.....
                                          " Fading Boundaries"
                                 Acrylic on canvas 24"x 12" 
"Fading Boundaries" Acrylic landscape of a misty morning in Sheffield Park, Sussex
"In the grounds of Sheffield Park estate (Sussex, UK) Morning mist lays heavy over the long forgotten landscape of an ancient deer park. Now new boundaries disappear into a magical and atmospheric view bringing back images of the past.
This painting contains gentle iridescent highlights that catch the light enhancing the "glow" of the early morning mist."