Friday, 26 July 2019

Summer and the frustrated painter!

Well here I am right in the middle of the Summer.
 As a landscape artist I should be in my element......but I 'm not!
I'm surrounded by beautiful countryside and wonderful beaches, so many places that I wish to walk, so many views that I want to paint.
It's the weather that frustrates me so much. Each time I venture out to explore, the clouds appear, the light dims and my quest becomes futile. Yes, there have been some wonderful sunny days but they have either been far too hot for walking or I have had other commitments .
(I don't drive and as the busses are so few and far between my trips need planning in advance . I can't just jump in a car when the sun comes out. )

So I sit here at odds wondering what to do .....
I  make so many demands on myself  ...
perhaps too many ?
Should I persevere ? Change my artistic direction? Explore new ideas?
It's hard to think clearly when your head is full of clouds and your journey ends in disappointment.

I did manage to get to the Lewes Downs on a day when the sun broke through . It's a stunning area in the Summer . There is such a vast array of colourful flowers and so many beautiful butterflies and insects  .
 A frenzied dance on a warm scented breeze. ...
The Southerham nature reserve on the Lewes Downs
My trips here never fail to inspire ....
                                             "The Butterfly Path" 
"The Butterfly Path" Acrylic painting on canvas 
 After a few fruitless outings I decided my best dose of self medication would be to spend a day at the beach. A colouful and fun filled trip to Brighton.
 Seaside, sticks of rock, deck chairs and the new up-side-down house was sure to put a smile on my face! 
Brighton Summer 2019

 It was a good day and just what the doctor ordered!
 It also reminded me that as we near the end of July that my painting "Joan and Nancy's trip to the seaside" is the August picture in the Artist and Illustrator's 2019 calendar that's a bit special :) 
My painting in the Artist and Illustrators calendar :)
 To mark the occasion I thought I would have a similar bit of fun including the old West pier .....
                                               "Sun, Salt and Seaworn" 

A fun seaside painting "Sun, Salt and Seaworn"
The "Sun" is for sunbathing.
The "Salt" is for the tattooed sailor .The tattoo says "sink or swim", which I felt was very apt in regards to the fragile state of the pier.
The "Seaworn" refers to the West pier ruins

For now though I shall go back to watching the weather forecast ...
back to thinking....
thinking of what to do .

Thursday, 13 June 2019

"Castle Heights" Painting Lewes castle

Lewes castle from the mount
I live just a few miles from the town of Lewes. The county town of Sussex.
Situated within the slopes of the South Downs it is steeped in history and wonderful architecture.
Over the past few years I have  painted  2 of the views overlooking the rooftops
Two of my previous paintings of Lewes
This time I wanted to paint the castle and some of the surrounding buildings. After much thought I decided on the view from the Mount near the Priory ruins. No one really seems to know what the mount actually is but there are some great views from the top and further information about it here  The Mount, Lewes
I went up it last year but unfortunately trees obscured the view  . However on a recent visit I noticed that the trees had been felled ....happy me!  The view was just what I was hoping for! It took a lot of work to paint but I enjoyed every brush stroke .

                                                   "Castle Heights" 
                                    Acrylic on canvas 24" x 18" 
"Castle Heights" Painting of Lewes Castle
The South Downs above Rodmell
The Bluebells faded away and the countryside turned to lush greens and brilliant whites . New crops  growing in the fields, Cow parsley along the verges and Hawthorn blossom adorned the trees .
The sun came out and it was a perfect day for a walk over the Downs .
My path took me from Rodmell , past Telscombe and to the sea at Saltdean.
It was a lovely walk with amazing views !
Views from my walk from Rodmell to Saltdean
On my way I passed the vineyard at Breaky Bottom . It sits nestled among the patchwork fields that curve and slope around it . A perfect composition to paint !
                                        "Blossom over Breaky Bottom" 
"Blossom over Breaky Bottom" Acrylic on canvas
Arriving at the coast I was greeted by the colourful flowers that grow wild along the cliff tops at Saltdean . Thay made a vivid contrast against the white chalk and sea views.
                                                      "Wild by the sea" 
Painting the wildflowers on the cliffs at Saltdean

Friday, 3 May 2019

Painting Bluebells and streams

My oh my! Where did April go? Spring has suddenly arrived in all it's glory!
My painting World has so busy with artworks selling before I've finished them! This means I've got a bit behind with my blog and have little to add to my online galleries. I'm not complaining, life is very good, it just seems that I can't paint fast enough and feels a bit overwhelming at times  !
Anyway, April arrived and I waited enthusiastically for the trees and hedgerows to burst into leaf and colour.
My first walk was along the footpaths between Scaynes Hill and Danehill. A pretty walk of woodland and open fields. It also took me over the Bluebell Railway line , I arrived just as a train passed by.
The Bluebell Railway

 A little further on I came upon a stream at the edge of the woods. It was such a pretty place that I decided to stop and have my lunch there also became the subject of a painting...of course...
                                           "Woodland Spring" (sold) 
"Woodland Spring" Acrylic painting

 Then  the Easter Bank Holiday arrived and in just a few days the trees and hedgerows burst into leaf
 and the Bluebells were a mass of scented blue...heaven !
Bluebells at Wivelsfield
The weathar was wonderful so we headed off to Horsted Keynes to explore a few more paths . Our walk took us by the wonderful old Mill house
The old Mill house at Horsted Keynes
If you wish to see more photos from my walks then please take a look at my Facebook page Footpaths and photos
To my delight I found another stream. Usually the trees tend to block out the light but here the blazed through .....  just perfect to paint !
                                         "The Bluebell Stream" 
"The Bluebell Stream" Acrylic painting on canvas
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