Sunday, 26 July 2015

"Down to Cricketing Bottom" Telscombe/Southease

  Southease to Telscombe, Sussex

I put a lot of thought into where my walks will take me. Good clear sunny days are quite  rare and I need to make sure I get as many good photos as possible so that I can keep painting on the rainy days too.
I thought this time that I would follow a circular route from the village of Southease.
The first mile was along the banks of the river Ouse , a nice flat walk before heading uphill  through banks of wild flowers.
Southease, Sussex
Skirting around the edge of Peacehaven  the views west towards Beddingham were delightful and a perfect spot for a quick break and to make sure I wasn't getting sun burnt!
Approaching the edge of Peacehaven.
 Next I headed off towards the village of Telscombe, a pretty little village nestled among the South Downs, just a short walk from the sea. Here splashes of bright red poppies lit up the fields and a vast array of wild flowers lined my pathway . (Another story for another day) .
Then it was all down hill...thank goodness! It wasn't a long walk, perhaps 4-5 miles , but climbing steep hills in the Summer heat can be hard work!
There ahead of me was my next painting...
a gleaming chalk track heading into a valley called "Cricketing Bottom"  A fabulous view greeted me looking towards Mount Caburn and the Sussex Weald whilst the fields were filled with an assortment of wild flowers and butterflies.
 The perfect spot for lunch and inspiration before heading off along the valley back towards Southease
 
                                   "Down to Cricketing Bottom"
 

Painting of the South Downs at Southease, Sussex. Acrylic on canvas
 


Saturday, 25 July 2015

Summer and "A Birds Eye View"

Well life has been rather hectic lately, all in a good way though.
I'm delighted to have made lots of sales, to the point where it feels like I'm at the post office as much as I am at home! Ha ha!
I have been busy this week working on a commission which I can't divulge at the moment other than it is a lovely landscape .
Then, on the best sunshine days I have been out and about exploring more places with my camera.  I am working on a South Downs landscape at the moment , a wonderful composition of distant views and wild flowers .....watch this space!

Of course it wouldn't be Summer without a trip to Brighton beach. I decided to go and do some "people watching" , the beach is always such a wonderful mix of people, kids playing, oldies snoozing, boisterous teenagers and pretty girls sunbathing.
They're talking about culling the seagulls at Brighton,  but to be honest the problems are caused by the people that feed them for their own entertainment . Just a small piece of bread thrown into the air causes a chaos of squawking and feathers that delight some and terrify others!
So, anyway, as I said, July has been hectic and I thought it was time for a bit of Summer fun .
 Going back to the pretty girls sunbathing, oblivious to anything other than the overwhelming heat of the sun and the desire to sun tan as much body area as possible.
They lie on the beach with no interest of what is going on around them, not even the cheeky feathered squawking seagulls that fly and swoop above .............
                                                          "Birds Eye View"
                                                           Acrylic on canvas 24"x 12"
"Birds Eye View" A little bit of Summer painting fun!
 

Sunday, 12 July 2015

"Bed, Breakfast and Boats" Painting the scene at East Worthing beach

East Worthing, West Sussex
Part of the reason for my recent trip to Worthing (West Sussex) was to explore the area east of the pier.
 Here you will find  typical seaside bed and breakfast houses all wonderfully painted in different candy colours, like chunks of seaside rock.
They overlook the beach, scattered with fishing boats  and where the fishermen  sell their daily catch.
The whole scene really captures the feel of  the British coast and a wonderful subject to paint.
It won't be the easiest picture that I have ever painted as there is so much detail , the more I look the more I see ! But I think it will be one of my favourites and probably the most complex composition of the Summer.
So...I had better get painting!
Work in progress  ....
" Bed, Breakfast and Boats", Acrylic on canvas 24"x 18"x 0.5"
I have so far spent about 5 days painting, each part needs 3-4 layers of paint before I can start overlaying with different tones, shading and highlights...it's a long process so I tend to flit around the canvas on different bits to allow other areas to dry.
Painting the beach at Worthing, West Sussex
 Once the paint has thoroughly dried I can start to add some of the finer detail...
Work in progress "Bed, Breakfast and Boats"

Good progress and the painting is starting to come to life :) ...

Finally, after an awful lot of painting I have completed the picture. It's been a bit of a labour of love at times but I've enjoyed every moment ...

                                           "Bed, Breakfast and Boats" (Worthing)
"Bed, Breakfast and Boats" acrylic painting of the beach at Worthing, West sussex
 

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Seaside and Heatwave

Heading out to the beach
For the past few weeks I have been planning a trip to Worthing in West Sussex.
 I have spent many hours researching the coastal resorts for the best places to visit to take some reference photos for painting. I wanted a typical British seaside with blue skies and sunshine ....not such an easy task to achieve in this country!
Worthing appeared to have all that I required....pier....boats....sea....sand....deckchairs....etc.
I just needed the weather....and then.....wow! A heatwave! Blue skies and sunshine!
It has coincided with Graham having a week off from work which meant my explorations would be much better with him there.
I'm happy exploring on my own but there are times that it would be so much nicer to have some company...to share a moment....to make memories .
Mmmm company.....now there lies a dilemma....
Yes, it would be good to have the company and I have to admit there are times when I get bored of my own, but it's not that easy as I don't really know many people and they would have to fit in with my criteria .....
1: No speeding ahead....the scenery changes with every step and I need to keep stopping and checking out the view in every direction....you never know when the perfect view/ composition will suddenly appear.
2: No mobile phones.....you may as well stay at home!
3: No constant talking....It's a distraction! Look around....take in the scenery....embrace...enjoy!
Other than that all are welcome....ha ha!
Anyway....back to Worthing. As it happens yesterday gave us the most perfect weather. There was not one single cloud in the sky and the sea was beautiful!
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 I was delighted to find so many different subjects to paint and easily managed to stock up with reference photos . A wonderful mixture of specific scenes of the location and an assortment that will contribute to a selection of more generic subjects that I can combine and use to play with ideas.
Worthing , West Sussex
As it was such a glorious day we headed on to South Lancing to check out the beach huts, they wern't at their best but it gave them a bit more charm in a strange sort of way....weathered....used...and loved...
Beach huts at Lancing beach

After a brief visit we moved on to Shoreham harbour, it's an area that combines industry with history and a rather pretty beach where clumps of wild flowers grow among the pebbles...
Shoreham beach and harbour

So....there's a peek of my day out....my explorations....my inspirations.....!
 There will be several paintings on the horizon as a result from our wonderful visit.
 Firstly I wanted to capture the general feel and ambiance of the day....so...here we go...
Work in progress...." High tide and Heatwave"
                                      My first day has been spent painting in the composition and filling in the larger areas. I have also started work on the pebbles as it can be quite time consuming.

Work in progress, "High tide and heatwave" Acrylic on canvas



Today I have concentrated on the deck chairs, lots of wonderful Summer colours! It will take a couple of days to complete them as the wooden frames are all different shades and require several coats of paint to achieve the desired result....

Painting in the deck chairs
I was up this morning with the sun rise! Far too early, but it's a habit I can't get out of . Once I'm awake I find it impossible to just lie in bed . The result was a 6am early painting session !
It did however turn out to my advantage as it turned into another very hot day, so much so that the paint was drying on my brush before I could paint with it! By noon I had to admit defeat but I'm happy with the day's progress......
Seagull and shadows now add to the painting
Another early painting session this morning means the painting is now all finished...

                                    High tide and Heatwave"
                              Acrylic on canvas 24"x 18"
"High tide and Heatwave" Acrylic painting of deck chairs on the beach