Friday, 2 October 2020

Summer painting and The South Downs

 Summer has now sadly drawn to a close. It's been a strange one this year with so much uncertainty with the Covid virus still around. 

I wasn't able to get out very often so I had to make sure that I made the most of my walks and choose the places that I thought would be best for painting and give me a variety of views. This I decided would be The South Downs.

In the height of Summer I headed off  to Beddingham and Firle. It was a hot sunny day. The paths were filled with wild flowers and butterflies and the fields full of golden crops and sheep grazing at their leisure. Perfect!

I knew it would be busy on the South Downs Way  at Firle beacon so I walked up Beddingham Hill and set off  south towards Newhaven . I was greeted with stunning views towards the sea . From there I headed back north to Firle beacon .  I really couldn't have made a better choice for a walk !

Beddingham to Firle walk

It was an inspiring day and I returned home with plenty of wonderful views to paint ...

                                          "Downland to the Sea"

                                        "Golden to the Sea"

                                          "Summer Heights"

I am very happy to say that they have all found new homes.


My second main walk took to to Ditchling beacon and along to the windmills at Clayton  . The Summer was gradually fading away and the colours were more muted. I love this time of year as the Hawthorn bushes are ablaze with red berries like beacons on the slopes . 

Ditchling beacon to Clayton 

Once again it was a wonderful walk with stunning views over The South Downs and the Sussex Weald . I'm still happily painting and holding on to the memories of Summer for as long as I can ! 


Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Landscapes in lockdown good intentions of keeping my Blog up to date seem to half fallen apart like the World around us !!!!
Goodness...we never expected this!  I do hope that you are all keeping safe and well in this crazy situation !

So along came the Spring and I found myself  to be a landscape artist in lockdown . This did not go well for a while . My paintings depend upon my walks. Paths that I could no longer explore .

Thankfully Spring  meant the arrival of the Bluebell season. I am very fortunate to live in a village surrounded by some beautiful woods that were all within my allowed daily excercise area..phew!  They certainly helped to save my sanity and kept me painting .
It was all very touch and go for a while though, especially as art materials became harder and harder to obtain. 
Here is my Spring  collection .....
 Springtime Paintings 2020
Now things have eased a bit I can go further afield . This is good news, but  I don't drive and I have no wish to use public transport yet . I needed a plan, something positive to focus on .
 The sun arrived in all it's glory and the amazing weather was far to good to miss, so with the help of my husband  I have been able to get to my most local part of The South Downs. 
It's a beautful area where The South Downs Way winds it's path along the slopes and  panoramic views over the Sussex Weald are a delight to behold.
Perfect weather ...... perfect views !
 So my plan now is to capture some of them on canvas and wait and see how things go over the next few weeks .

                                    "Way Over the Weald" (Plumpton) 
"Way Over the Weald" Acrylic painting on canvas .

 "Sometimes your feet are weary, Sometimes the way is long,
Sometimes the day is dreary, Sometimes the world goes wrong;
    But if you let your voices ring, Your care will fly away,
                So we'll sing a song as we march along,
                            Of Sussex by the Sea.

                        Oh Sussex, Sussex by the Sea!
                          Good old Sussex by the Sea!
                  You may tell them all we stand or fall,
                            For Sussex by the Sea."

 (SUSSEX BY THE SEA is the county's unofficial anthem. It was written in 1907 by William Ward-Higgs ) 

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Autumn paintings

Autumn seems to have arrived late this year, rather like me keeping up with this Blog ! Ha ha!
I don't think anyone really reads it but it's good for me to be able to look back at my artistic journey. To see what does or doesn't work .
I'm still out walking and posting pictures from my walks on my Facebook page here
I'm also still busy painting and posting my works in progress on my art page here Paula Oakley Art

My Autumn quest started several weeks ago, I was looking for something a little different, a bit more challenging. My travels took me to Ditchling Beacon on the South Downs just as the sun was starting to fade away. The soft evening light was just wonderful , creating a blend of peach and purple hues.
These were new colours for me to explore . I liked the idea of focusing on the South Downs Way sign post as it gave a good sense of direction to my painting

                                     "The Twilight Way" 
                    (Acrylic on canvas 24"x18")
Painting of Ditchling Beacon at sunset
 Then I waited for the trees to change colour...and waited....and waited ...but nothing seemed to happen for ages ! Very slowly the yellows and oranges crept in and very quickly the rain came ! The weather was against me and my walks became few and far between. 
At this time of year I don't venture far from home as the light fades away so quickly and the low sun can make the woods seem very dark and rather eerie ! 
Luckily I am surrounded by beautiful countryside that constantly changes and a delight to see.
I headed to North Chailey and found just what I was looking for to paint .
                                        "Autumn Path" 
Painting the Autumn colours from my walk to North Chailey
  The break in the weather was short lived and once again I was housebound by the rain. I did try a couple of walks but the ground was so very wet and many of my paths were totally flooded . 
Again I waited...and waited until the sun eventually broke through. Once again I headed towards Chailey  where I have several favourite walks.
 There is a gate along one of the paths and whenever I reach it a Pheasant suddenly flies up into the air screeching . It always makes me jump !  Here  the rain had made large puddles that beautifully reflected the trees above. A perfect scene to paint ! 

                                                   "After the Autumn Rain" 
"After the Autumn rain" Acrylic painting on canvas


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