When I was seven we moved from Beckenham, Kent (which is now Greater London) to Downe, Kent the home of Charles Darwin. Back then it was known as the first genuine village outside of London and I was in heaven!! The village itself was the stuff of “Darling Buds of May”. I adored the countryside and roamed free along with my dog.
I was also very privileged that my parents had a holiday home on the coast in Salcombe, Devon. There, I also roamed free in a boat called “Cecily” and it was where my love affair with the sea started.
As an adult I lived in the country till seven years ago, when we moved to a former fishing village on the Kent coast. I adore the sea but have to admit to having missed being in the middle of the countryside. I count myself incredibly lucky therefore, to be able to stay in my brother’s beautiful rural period cottage. He has recently bought it and I can go there whenever I like, while he is out of the country (about 7 months of the year). It is just under 3 miles away and I am loving it. Now I have the best of both worlds – coast and country!!
The paintings below are inspired by the surrounding landscape near my brother’s cottage.
“Spring Fields” Oil on board
“Spring Lane” Oil on canvas
I painted this from memories and feelings, after walking through the National Trust wood, in our village. Its small, but beautiful at every time of year and particularly of course when its covered in bluebells. I was worried this could turn into a kitsch painting because of the subject matter, it took ages to do and consumed a lot of paint!!
Oil on Canvas 24″ x 30″
Despite a colder May than I can remember, the light has been fantastic. This image is from my memories of my May walks, it is oil on board and very textured.
I love the seasons and am fascinated by how different, the same place can look, at varying times of the year. The photos below are of a meadow, near my home. The winter photo was taken yesterday and the spring photo, at the end of May, last year.
At long last we have sunshine and oh what sumptous autumn light with beautiful receding mists.
I walk everyday and love just snapping away with my camara. I have no interest in producing a good photograph but instead I do it simply for my own pleasure and as a reference point for my work. When I get home, I’ll have a nice cup of coffee, get my photos on my laptop and have one quick look through. Sometimes i will go straight to the studio and paint what has inspired me from memory. Other times, there will be some frustrating reason why I can’t get straight to work. Then I panic I will loose the feeling and memory of whatever has inspired me. But, luckily what seems to happen is that gradually, some sort of image will keep repeating itself in my mind’s eye. So when I do get to paint, all I have to do is tap into that and off I go.
Snaps From My Walk Today