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
Spring is my favorite season, complete with lambs, buds, blossom and all its promise of what’s to come. I absolutely adore the delicious ethereal light and gentle mists! The painting below is inspired by walks and drives in the countryside in the first few days of Spring. It is oil on board and measures 24 x 29.5 ins and is titled “First Days of Spring”.
My Dungeness series of paintings from my Prospect cottage stay, are now at last dry. Whilst only there for four days, I was blessed with many different weather conditions, producing all kinds of different light. This is what I have endeavored to convey in my series.
Below are two examples, the rest are now all on my website:
I hope you enjoy looking at them 🙂
“Eternal Desert, Dungeness”
Oil on canvas 39 x 31.5″
Dungeness is in fact Britain’s only official desert. This painting is from memories of gazing out of the window at
the back of Prospect Cottage, where the view seemed to go on forever.
“Warm Dawn, Dungeness”
Oil on canvas 24 x 18″
Each day, I made my way to the beach at dawn, to see what the light was doing. This painting was inspired by the first morning, which was gloriously warm for October.
Its been a frustrating business, finishing my series of paintings from my Prospect Cottage stay!! Christmas of course, was an enforced break, with lots to do before hand. Also my brother who lives in Spain, had asked me to find him a country home near me, to buy. Luckily, I have now found him a beautiful rural idyll, just up the road from me. However, all this took up so much of my time, which I found extremely frustrating, as I was itching to complete the Dungeness series. Finally though, I completed the last of the nine paintings today. When they are all dry, I will be putting them on my website. Meanwhile here is one of them. Painted from my memories of looking out of the kitchen window, at Prospect Cottage, this one is titled “Big Skies and Cottages, Dungeness”. It is oil on board and measures 30 x 24 ins.
Below are some of the various bits and bobs I did whilst staying at Prospect Cottage, Dungeness. For me (though at the moment, I must say everything is still very fresh in my memory), they bring back the atmosphere of the place and the time, which I hope will be translated in my work . I found the whole trip so inspiring I’m nervous I won’t do it justice when painting!
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.