It’s really difficult to know where to begin to describe my stay at Prospect Cottage. Suffice to say it was an incredible and inspiring experience!
Unsurprisingly, Derek Jarman’s presence was palpable in and outside the cottage. This had a profound and humbling effect on me.
I was treated to a whole spectrum of different weather conditions producing constantly exciting light. From soft to dramatic and everything in between.
I have started painting and to be honest am not at all sure how the Dungeness paintings are going to work out, that is yet to unfold ………
Below are a few of the photos I took, the sea and the gulls were early light, the second one is the taken from the kitchen. There is a story to the last one. I am a person that would never go out in my dressing gown, let alone with no make up on!! It was just after dawn and the light was so fantastic, I had to throw caution to the wind, and whizzed outside hoping no one would see me. I was taking this photo from the front of the cottage, when I noticed a man in the distance. He had a camera with a zoom lens which to my utter horror and mortification was pointing at me!
As a special favour from my friend Keith Collins, I am incredibly excited and privileged to be going to stay and paint for a few days at Prospect Cottage (Derek Jarman’s former Dungeness getaway). I have visited Dungeness on quite a few occasions but to be staying there is a different matter, let alone at Prospect Cottage. It means that for a short while, I will be able to see it in all its different lights at various times of day and, I am hoping, different weather conditions. I’m wondering what the sunrise may be like, if I get to see one. How will the light play on this oddly beautiful landscape?
To be staying in Derek Jarman’s cottage, surrounded by his extraordinary garden, obviously has a huge impact. I expect his presence will be tangible and I wonder what effect, if any, this might have on the work I intend to produce from this trip.
I painted the oil on canvas below a couple of years ago, from my memories of a trip to Dungeness. It is called “Warm September Day, Dungeness” 16″ x 20″.
Dungeness , which has always drawn me to it, with its unique and haunting atmosphere, I’m sure will not fail to inspire me!! I am going very soon and will be posting again about my trip, so watch this space ………
This painting is from memories of some stunning walks I have had, in this lovely warm weather we have been having. When, often its lovely and sunny in the surrounding countryside, but you can hear fog horns out at sea. Then sometimes the sea mist rolls up the hill and envelops the village.
I also just adore the early morning light in hot weather, the photos below are from a recent early morning on the beach. I had a wonderful couple of hours doing some colour sketches and taking photographs. There are very few people around at that time of day and the peace and ethereal quality is sublime!!
Warm July Light 16″ x 12″ Oil on Canvas
Its been fantastic to have some lovely warm weather (although a good deal cooler than the rest of the country). My daughter (pictured below), and I made the most of it with a lovely afternoon at the beach.
I love to do quick little colour sketches, as an aide memoire to my oil paintings. I use gouache paint, as it is the least messy medium that I can get on with, out and about.
From time to time I write what I call my “scribbles”. They can be found on the back of old checkbooks, receipts, and random bits of paper etc. They turn up stuffed in the back of an old drawer or desk and invariably as in the example below, are grubby and littered with coffee cup stains 😦 . I realize the image is fairly illegible, so I have typed it out underneath.
The mists on the hills
Are like the
Mists in our minds
They cover the truth
Till they clear with time
So that we can see
What really lies behind
What really lies behind!
The weather has been absolutely awful this year, no spring and when the rest of the country had lovely warm sunny weather, we did not. You do pay the penalty of cooler weather living on the coast but its mid June now and we still have not had any warm weather :(. Consequently, my paintings have taken ages to dry, finally “Misty Sunrise” (below) is dry and now for sale on my website.
I am really loving the light at the moment, there’s a fabulous clarity to it. And all with the wonderful hint of spring in the air, despite the cold! The painting below is oil on board and is inspired by the current weather conditions.