Sunday, 22 February 2015

"Summer over Southease" Painting the view over Southease in Sussex from Itford Hill

Itford Hill, Sussex
Itford Hill is situated just a couple of miles south of the town of Lewes .
 From the top the views are breathtaking!
 North takes you over the river Ouse towards Lewes.
East has wonderful views of Mount Caburn and the Sussex Weald.
Looking South you can see the sea at Newhaven and Seaford.
West overlooks the Ouse valley and the South Downs....this is the view that will be the subject of my painting.
On a hazy Summer day I headed to Southease, a tiny little rural village in the Ouse valley that has an interesting and unusual church with a round tower http://southeasevillage.info/
Southease, Sussex

The walk through the village to Itford Hill is part of the South Downs Way and takes you over the River Ouse via a swing bridge. The bridge was extensively restored in 2010 and seems to fit in so well with it's surroundings.
The swing bridge at Southease

Shortly after you come upon the railway station which always seems to be in a rather odd place as it's in the middle of nowhere! I think it gets used mostly by walkers as there's a youth hostel next to it . As I crossed over the footbridge I stopped to watch a train go by. As you can see by my photo it's a very rural location ...
Distant view of Mount Caburn from Southease station
 I followed the track that would take me to the top of Itford Hill, looking forward to the views that awaited me.
Heading up Itford Hill
It turned out to be a lot steeper than it looked! On my way up a group of young lads passed me, they had stayed at the hostel for the night and were in the process of walking the South Downs Way from one end to the other  (160 km from Winchester to Eastbourne) . They were on a quest to complete their task and were soon ahead of me and out of sight . I admired their determination but was a little saddened that  their rush meant they were missing the chance to absorb so many splendid views.
At least I wasn't the only one taking my time.....;)

Finally I reached the top , it was a bit hazy but the scenery was wonderful!
Looking back I could see the path that I had taken and the reason for my walk.
 To paint the landscape over Southease.
 As a very young child I lived on two different farms in this area , alas too young to appreciate it !
But what I do appreciate is that pudding bowl  haircuts are a thing of the long distant past!!!!!!
So back to the painting... the composition will be of  Southease nestled in the South Downs in the Ouse Valley. Just the church and swing bridge can be seen surrounded by the harvest fields of Summer..
Work in progress...."Summer over Southease"  (Acrylic on box canvas 24"x 18"x 1.5")
Work in progress. Painting the view over the Ouse valley and Southease (Sussex)

Started work on the buildings , bridge and trees ...
Whilst letting the other areas dry I have added the first layers of paint to the fields, these will eventually have several hay bales in them . It's a dark and dreary day so unfortunately it hasn't photographed very well .....roll on Summer!
Finally  I have completed the  painting. Days of Summer, rolling hills, hay bales, red berried Hawthorn and sunshine!

                                           "Summer over Southease"
"Summer over Southease" landscape painting of the South Downs at Southease in Sussex
                                            BUY