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

Saturday, 8 October 2016

"Downland Haze" Painting the South Downs

Early Autumn on the South Downs in East Sussex
Autumn has arrived ! The trees are only just starting to change colour and the sun is still shining!
This time of year can be rather bland and colourless so my explorations ....be they small ....took me to the South Downs at Berwick in East Sussex
Here a mixture of sea mists , low cloud and sunlight cover the South Downs with a soft  Autumn  haze.
The fields have been recently ploughed and I just love the white glow of the chalk soil !
Among the picturesque surroundings you will find the pretty little church of Berwick. If you are interested in the Bloomsbury Group then this church is a must ! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloomsbury_Group  
  They painted the interior with beautiful murals .....
Berwick church, East Sussex

Paintings at Berwick church
Any way....back to the painting. It's the chalk white views that really caught my eye and a lovely old farm cottage in the middle of it all set the scene perfectly!

                                            " Downland Haze"
                                Acrylic on canvas 24"x 18"
"Downland Haze" Autumn painting of the South Downs in East Sussex

This is the same place that I painted a couple of weeks ago but last time the view was from the top of the South Downs looking towards the house and church

                                                 "September Downs"
"September Downs" Acrylic painting of the South Downs at Berwick
Now, on another note, due to past problems (loss, damage etc ) I lost confidence in  shipping abroad. However there has been such a large amount of requests that I have now joined an online gallery that will deal with all the things that tend to stress me out . So please visit my gallery to see what's available ..... thank you ......https://www.fineartseen.com/artist/paula-oakley-original-art/

Friday, 23 September 2016

Firle Hill Climb revival and painting "September Downs"

Bo Peep and Firle Hill Climb
September saw us jaunting off to watch the Firle Hill Climb. It's an event that used to take place between 1949 and1967 when it was ended due to an unfortunate accident. This is the second year of it's revival but now days the cars drive up the steep slopes of Bo Peep for fun rather than racing against each other.  It's a really good day out and great to be able to see a good selection of old and classic cars actually being driven.(The event is held to raise money for Chailey Heritage school.)
Firle Hill climb 2016
You can see more photos from the hill climb here https://www.facebook.com/paula.oakley1/media_set?set=a.10210109239225370.1073742124.1169430909&type=3
The weather was a bit cloudy at first but as the sun started to break through  the lure of the South Downs got the better of me and I wandered off to explore the route towards Alfriston .
The South Downs way, Bo Peep to Alfriston
It was a good walk and the views towards Cuckmere Haven were wonderful but impossible to photograph due to the direction of the sun .
 Looking north over the Sussex Weald saw a patchwork of freshly harvested fields .
 A short diversion off the South Downs Way took me down a chalk track where the view  just had to be painted! As the Summer draws to a close and Autumn enters in then so the colors of the landscapes change. Much more subdued with longer shadows cast by the early Autumn sun....

                                                 "September Downs"
                                     Acrylic on canvas 24"x 18"
"September Downs" acrylic on canvas
                              "Along the South Downs Way"

Painting the South Downs Way

                                       One of the familiar sign posts along the South Downs Way where the wonderful views over the Sussex Weald fade off into the horizon.
Late Summer flowers put on their final display of colour among the wild and windswept grass. (The view between Firle Beacon and Alfriston)

Friday, 9 September 2016

"The Enchanted Place" Ashdown Forest and Winnie the Pooh

Ashdown Forest and "The Enchanted Place"
About 10 miles north of where I live is  Ashdown Forest  where the author A.A.Milne lived with his son Christopher Robin.
 Their walks took them over the forest landscape..
 “in single file threading the narrow paths that run through the heather”
  inspiring the delightful stories of Winnie the Pooh.
This Summer our grandchildren came to stay and we thought it would be fun to find some of the places in the books so they could see them for real.
Now we couldn't possibly go on a "Pooh Expotition" without a visit to Pooh bridge and indulge in a game of Pooh Sticks . Although the weather wasn't at it's best our six  year old granddaughter enjoyed it, just like Christopher Robin ...
Playing Pooh sticks
We then headed off to find the memorial plaque commemorating A.A.Mile and E.H. Shepard . From here you can see some wonderful views over the forest and beyond.
 Most of the year the landscape is a blaze of yellow from the gorse bushes but in Summer the heather carpets the forest in purples and pinks.
The A.A.Milne memorial
Next we passed "Rue's Sandy Pit" (Old quarry) and headed off to  "Galleons Lap" (Gill's Lap)....
in the words of A.A.Milne....

“Being enchanted, it’s floor was not like the floor of the Forest, gorse and bracken and heather, but close-set grass, quiet and smooth and green. It was the only place in the Forest where you could sit down carelessly, without getting up again almost at once and looking for somewhere else. Siting there they could see the whole world spread out until it reached the sky, and whatever there was all around the world over was with them in Galleons Lap.”
–  The House At Pooh Corner; A.A Milne
Here at "The Enchanted Place" you could see what so inspired Milne to write his stories. The beautiful views, the vast array of earthy colours and the endless places for a young Christopher Robin  to explore.
I have taken a small piece of his inspiration and have used it to inspire myself!
Thank you A.A.Milne......
                                           "The Enchanted Place"
                                   Acrylic on canvas 24"x 18"
"The Enchanted Place" Ashdown Forest , Acrylic on canvas