Walking home, a winters afternoon. The sun sets in a blaze of orange fire chased away by the fingers of cold inky night. Trees against the sky, scratchy branches holding up a few black crows. It is cold, there will be a frost tonight.
I have been working a few sketchbook pictures into oil paintings. I like to see what a difference the medium makes to the feel of a picture. Also, working from my sketch book means that I can fit some painting into a very busy schedule. Sometimes just the act of painting is like a salve to the soul, a big deep breath, like lying back in a lovely hot bath...aaahhh!
Leaden sky with just a hint of blue beyond. The sea is brewing up, waves are gathering and a mist of spray covers the cliffs. For a moment the sun breaks through like a searchlight and picks out Loe Bar.
A little painting that will be a gift I think, see Muddy Red Shoes to work out who it is for.
This was an evening walk, just before the sun slipped behind the trees in a blaze of glory. The river was liquid gold. Tiny specks of bright light piercing the winter woods, like a light scattering of precious stones.
Cold but sunny, I sit on the beach and try to paint the rushing water. This is a narrow bit between two sandbanks where the river rushes out to meet the sea. Beyond, the winter trees reach right down to the water.
If you want to see what I take with me on sketching trips please visit Muddy Red Shoes.
(another of my pesky panoramas, click on the picture for more of a look)
I adore winter skies with its beautiful colours and rain being back lit by a reluctant sun. I always feel that there is more sky in the winter...do the leaves really take up that much room!
I sat in my little car to do this, the rain hammering on the canvas roof one moment then bright light the next. The sea turned from steely grey to deep blue by the minute and huge clouds gathered, billowing up and over the landscape. All the while the little farm on the hill looked on, impassive underneath all the drama.
Tan ta rah!...Watermarks is launching today, we are a group of artists who all do work inspired or influenced by water, on it, in it, beside it, near it, the watery stuff is what gets us going. So to see the development of watery subjects, watch a group of artists responding to the same stuff in very different ways take a boat trip to WATERMARKS, bookmark the site and visit often to see how it all develops. I am very honoured to be a member of this group and am hoping that a whole lake of work will develop and the tap of talent will be impossible to turn off!
What's up? There are ripples on the water, there is flotsam and jetsam on the shore, something is occurring...I would like to say, but I cant. You will have to wait...only until tomorrow. I will tell you then, I shall whisper in your shell-like...the sea, the sea...she is calling...
And...two of my pictures sold on the opening night on Friday...woo hoo.
And there will be a jolly advent-changing-picture over on Muddy Red Shoes from tomorrow.
The slow, cold thickened river moves past carrying a leaves like little boats. Curlew calls echo round the winter woods, falling down onto the water like mournful liquid sound. A morning breeze scribbles ruffled lines on the surface, meaning nothing but time passing. Reflections show other worlds, limped forests upside-down, mingling with the underwater forest of waving weed, so clear through the darkly mirrored water.
Tonight it is the opening night of the Christmas show at Beside The Wave in Falmouth so I shall get on me glad rags and go and see what my pictures look like framed and in good company. Visit their web site here if you want to browse or buy.
Whoops, forgot that I was going to only do panoramas in this book, might have to extend this! It is a study for a larger painting. Beautiful colours in the winter trees, quiet rising tide, early morning on the river. Peace.
Obviously this is a larger painting, I wanted to get the effect of the reflected light on the water, I think I shall have to do some detail pictures as you really cant see it very well here, so...more moorings later! Actually if you click on the picture it does come up quite a lot bigger, I have just tried it. There are leaves floating on the water, I love that "three worlds" feeling that I get when studying water... do you know what I mean by three worlds?
Winter sunshine and a brisk wind setting the bunting on a crazy fluttering dance across the sky. Prince of Wales pier in Falmouth still has a few hardy pasty eaters sheltering from the wind and seagulls, squinting in the sunshine and enjoying the boat riddled view.
A Celebration...A bigger painting than usual. I have just finished it, it is the right time of year and it is also my 500th painting posted up on this blog, and lastly new hope in America! Celebrations all round.
So there you go, Christmas lights, wet sand, a sparkling and darkening sea, lights caught in bare branches, a Cornish town wrapping its arms around itself, harbour walls against the storms.
You really have to click on this one to see it properly, go on, click the picture and behold!
My friend has a new boat, I think she is beautiful, she is nearly 50, made of wood and has red sails. At the moment she is settling in to her new home up the creek, the colours of autumn reflecting up on her.
I love trying to paint at night. I like the way your eyes adjust to the light and different places show their colours as you look at them. I also love the quietness, how the sounds of the night become so sharp. This is in my tiny garden behind my house, it is just about 4am. a toad hops slowly across the gravel, owls hoot and far away a dog barks. Ha...I can hear someone snoring!
Sometimes the sunset is so beautiful that it is just impossible not to sit down and paint it. This is the view from my new conservatory/studio, well from my home and I shall post some pictures of this most lovely place (in my opinion) over on Muddy Red Shoes.
With the autumn settling in more boats are being pulled up for the winter. The top of the beach down at St Anthony is cluttered with big and little craft, their swooping shapes highlighted in the first rays of the sun.
I had a day out, much needed, total bliss. The Eden Project is lush, green, exotic, interesting, inspiring...it was great. I want to live in the temperate zone, inside the domes, make a bed among the vines, cook beneath the olives, while outside it can rain I wont care I shall be snug in my micro world, grow my own food and feed the tame birds that live there.
This one really must be clicked on to see the larger image. I love doing double page panoramas in my sketchbook but here they always present so small, so please click on the picture to see it better. This is the early morning sun rising over misty autumn fields, they have just ploughed in the stubble, the colours were so subtle and earthy, surprise surprise!
New moleskine sketchbook, always exciting and ever so slightly daunting, after all you don't want to mess up on the first page. So like a prise idiot I happened to be in Falmouth when the "urge" struck and so I had to go for it...quite a complex scene but I think it worked, especially the distant hills, click on the picture to see them!
Anyway Falmouth, great place, I went to art school here, many many years ago. I worked in a stinky little cafe on this very pier, called the "KoffeeKup", frying chips and providing disgusting drinks which called themselves coffee, it was the 70's, my paint water would have passed as coffee then!
I have decided to leave the very lovely group of daily painters that I have been a member of. For no other reason than I don't really feel that I am painting daily enough. I want to spend more time on studies towards larger pieces. I really enjoyed being in the group, I think they are all very worthwhile artists and was very proud to be associated with them, the caliber is high and I shall be keeping in contact with them but it is time for me to venture out into the wilderness , alone! Alone with my trusty moleskine and my dog...lets see what happens...
Long car journeys are fabulous when following a road less travelled, by me anyway, all of a sudden the landscape is spread out before you in a beautiful quilt of colours. Swooping down from escarpments or ridges, windows wide open, England seems to go on forever decked out in early autumn finery, a feast for the senses, as the smells of new places invade the car, bonfires, leaves and rushing wind. As home approaches you can even smell the sea.
Taking one of our lads up to start at university, we were on the road before light and, as the sun came up, I couldn't resist doing a little painting as we travelled. Mist was lifting off the fields giving everything a soft ethereal beauty. I might add that I was not doing the driving!
Calm thought, careful consideration, it is good, reflection. Sometimes it can be touched with melancholy, like the deep pooling of memory, time passing and then lit up with bright flashes of pure colour. Ah Ha! Me thinks I spend too long on the banks of this beautiful place, lost in thought and deep in reflection!
Very high tide, early morning, at the top of the creek swans gather quietly and two people fish from a small boat. Occasionally they row the boat, the sound of the oars dipping into the water gently breaking the silence. Still and green and peaceful.
Up on the fields of Little Dennis looking down to Gillan Harbour and along the creek. In the distance two people dig for bait. The tide is out and the tracery of the river can be seen. Sun catches on the water like a handful of carelessly scattered diamonds and the wind is high but warm.
This is a study for a larger painting. These big views lend themselves to much larger canvasses and besides I enjoy getting lost in them!
Hidden away between some rocks on the edge of the bank, beneath some huge old cedar trees, not a soul in sight. Cracking open the silence are the cries of the oyster catchers. Then suddenly six swans, following the river, fly with a rhythmic hoop-hoop of rushing air past
I love these thick woods that pour down the sides of the valley into the river, delicious deep rich greens, almost black at times. At low tide the exposed roots of the old oak trees seem to dabble into the estuary mud, like gnarled fingers, making little rivulets of water that trickle into the remaining river, breaking the reflections. Deep blue shadow turns to pink-grey while the river ribbon holds deep greens and peaty browns.
I have been out painting en plein air, the plein air that I was in was so still and softly purple grey that I was lulled into a bucolic dreamlike state, painting in a trance, ignoring the dog. After many hours, watching the tides rise and fall, listening to the silent river, I trudged home, covered in paint and cold but happy.
Then my camera broke so I had to use the lesser camera to take a picture of my efforts.
Then the weather changed into a big blowzy, wind-blown, sun-filled autumn day.
Now my paintings feel as if they are in the wrong place, so forgive me. The photograph of this painting and the next few offerings is woeful, the mood for me, now is out of kilter. I am a creature of changeability, like a barometer. I shall have to go out again, to be buffeted by the sun and wind and paint a different sort of day.
The tide is just on the turn, a little Egret stands motionless. Oystercatchers and Kittiwakes cries echo down the creek, the only sounds to break the silence. The estuary mud lies waiting for the water to return, there is an air of anticipation.
A friend of mine has been growing these beautiful tomatoes and I thought that a watercolour still life of them would do just nicely for tomato Tuesday over on the Daily Paintworks group, I will pop over there later to see if anyone else has "done a tomato". Getting the black of the black prince was lovely, it is a deep red/green, glorious colour.
This is for sale for £100 or $200 post and packing included. Please email me if you are interested.
It is the quiet time between the tides. The river meanders her way towards the ocean like a ribbon of mirror. The mud flats of the estuary offer up treasure, the smells of the sea, iodine and seaweed and soft reflections of the trees as if in dull pewter.
This is for sale for £100 or $200, post and packaging included. Please email me if you are interested.
It feels as if autumn is fast approaching, the woods dip down to the mud flats on the tidal reaches of Gillan Creek, their leaves just beginning to show a hint of yellowing. It is quiet and egrets make tiny specks of white in this still, slow time of day.
I am becoming obsessed with this footpath. I love its secret way, the feeling of something faery, ancient magic dwelling on this very old route. We have had a bad summer weather wise, leaves are strewn about after a storm and water glistens on the trees, throwing back the light like a petulant sprite.
This is for sale for £100 or $200, post and packing included, please email me if you are interested.