Thursday, 24 November 2016

"Downland Dawn" and "Old Spot and Spuds"

Walking up Kingston ridge with views towards Lewes, Sussex
My painting world has been so very busy over the past couple of months . It's now nearing the end of November and this year's sales now amount to 37....that's just brilliant!
 I always paint what I want to paint rather than creating something  because I think it would sell, so it's very reassuring to know that  my artwork is well received.

We've been fortunate with the weather this Autumn so a couple of weeks ago I decided to take one last  South Downs walk of the year . I wanted to see the sunrise but unfortunately I had no way of getting there quite that early.
I caught the 7am bus to Lewes and headed off along the old Juggs road towards the village of Kingston. By the time I reached the bottom of Kingston ridge the sun was just above the horizon . It was a beautiful morning, no breeze, blue skies and a low lying mist hovering over the hill tops.
The view south east from Kingston ridge looking towards Beddingham
It's not the easiest of walks as it's pretty steep but the views were splendid !
As the sun rose it gradually lit my path ahead causing the grass covered slopes to almost glow . This would be my fondest memory of my walk and my wonderful  inspiration !

                                            "Downland Dawn"
                                                Acrylic on canvas 24"x 18"
"Downland Dawn" Acrylic painting of the path up Kingston Ridge
 I continued along the top for about 3 miles before returning. By this time the mist had cleared so on my return to Lewes I stopped to have my lunch by Ashcombe windmill. It has recently been restored and this was the first time I had seen it with it's new sails...looks rather magnificent ....
Ashcombe windmill, Kingston
 Now, just I was preparing to paint "Downland Dawn" I received a request for 2 paintings. I don't often take on commissions. They can often come with such a long list of requirements that the whole thing gets to feel rather laboured and the enthusiasm wanes . These however were not only local subjects and views that I am familiar with but also fitted perfectly with the compositions that I have been working on this year. To top things off I was entrusted to do things "my way". 
The first subject is the farm shop in the village of Piltdown "Old Spot Farm Shop" . It sells a splendid range of quality and locally sourced food. Well worth a visit if you're in the area http://www.oldspotfarmshop.co.uk/
As you know I'm rather partial to a good ale but a good Sussex cheese comes a very close second!

  It's a unique building  .Looks like a Swiss chalet  in the heart of Sussex .  I love the quirkiness , the colours and it's originality. Autumn also seemed a perfect time to paint it ...harvest time ....
                                            " Old Spot and Spuds" 
                                                      Acrylic on canvas 32"x 16" 
"Old Spot and Spuds" Acrylic on canvas
 Behind the farm shop the view takes you over the trees and fields to the village of Fletching. This was the second painting. The contrasting shapes and colours of the Autumn trees with the farms and church spire in the distance....
                                
                                                    "Fletching Views"
                                                       Acrylic on canvas 24"x 18"
"Fletching Views"
 As I said, life's been busy and as much as my gallery needs stocking back up I have decided to have a painting break . I'm now busy cleaning through the house and getting ready for the oncoming celebrations of my birthday and Christmas....life is good! 
 

Monday, 7 November 2016

Dark days and painting a "Misty Morning"

As the days get shorter and the sun sits low in the sky it becomes increasingly harder to get good clear reference photos for painting. I dislike these dark gloomy months and try to find ways of using them to my advantage.
I have therefore been venturing out really early whilst it's still dark so as to catch the bright morning light with the rising sun. The air is chilled and the first frosts blanket the ground with an icy glow.
The landscape looks very different now and quite atmospheric . You never quite know what awaits you around a corner or beyond the hedge.
It was on one of these days that I watched the mist form in the fields as the rising sun appeared over the tree tops.
 I witnessed a painting being created. Nature was the canvas and the sun was the brush.......

                                              "Misty Morning" 
"Misty Morning" Acrylic on canvas. Inspired from a walk around north Chailey
The dark days mean that my walks will now be few and far between.
 However, on the bright side this means that I shall be working through my reference photos that I have been purposely collecting during the year.
 There will be moments of colourful Summer fun to brighten up my days once again .
For a start I am delighted to announce that this month's Artist and Illustrators magazine have included my painting "Large Cod and Chips" in their 2017 calendar ....I'm "August"....perfect! 
My painting "Large Cod and Chips" in the A&I calendar
   

Sunday, 30 October 2016

"Autumn Highlights" Painting the colours of Autumn

Autumn around the fishing lakes at Horsted Keynes
It's been a rather busy week.
 My husband took a week off work which meant  I had good company to explore with and my painting "September Downs" is featured in this month's "Inside Sussex Magazine" and "Inside Kent Magazine" .....excellent!
Top left . "September Downs"

Between trips out I have been continuing with the Autumn paintings . The weather is unpredictable for planning walks and the seasonal colours will not be around for long.
I decided to to be slightly less obvious and chose to paint the conifer trees that looked so magical in the early morning mists in the woods nearby....

                                                "An Evergreen Autumn" 
                                       Acrylic on canvas 24" x 12" 
"An Evergreen Autumn"  Acrylic painting on canvas

Then the sun came out!
 We headed off to Horsted Keynes to find the fishing lakes. They are old hammer ponds that lie just south of Broadhurst Manor, a beautiful old building one occupied by my husband's ancestors ...
Broadhurst Manor, Horsted Keynes
   
The walk along the lakes is part of the "Sussex Border Path" and totally delightful!
 The bright sunshine really brought out the colour of the trees and their reflections creating so many  perfect scenes to paint ! 

"Autumn Highlights"
Acrylic on canvas 24"x 18"
  




Tuesday, 18 October 2016

"Horse Chestnut lane" Painting the colours of Autumn

Early Autumn around the village of Scaynes Hill.
I've spent the past couple of weeks exploring some of the footpaths in the near by villages of Chailey and Scaynes Hill.
 Paths that take me in and out of East and West Sussex.
Heading out before sunrise meant that I could catch the early morning light  and some splendid views...
Views from my early morning walks
The leaves are only just starting to change and I'm looking forward to revisiting these paths when they are in full Autumn colour.
 It's the Horse chestnut trees that always seem to be the first so you can imagine how delighted I was to find a path in Scaynes Hill that took me along a lane edged with a line of fiery conker trees !
An ideal view to become the first of this season's paintings ....
                                     
                                                "Horse chestnut lane" 
                                         Acrylic on canvas
"Horse chestnut lane" Painting the Autumn colours from a walk around Scaynes Hill, Sussex