Roborough Hill.

I’ve finally mounted this Bideford Black painting of Roborough Hill in Barnstaple, North Devon 40 x 25″ on thick cartridge paper. Throughout the pandemic and various lockdowns I’ve found this area of Roborough to have been a great escape from all that mayhem. To look out over North Devon from this wonderful highpoint is a view to behold. I think this painting would be certainly a talking or focal point to any room! Al

A Night in Bodmin Jail.

My wife and I spent a wonderful time in Bodmin Jail. This jail has been fully renovated to accommodate a four star hotel. We spent the night in the Naval Wing in room 125.

Within the Jail’s walls is the only working Victorian Gallows in the UK and has claimed the lives of 55 prisoners. Each of the Hotel’s rooms has a plaque of an inmate who spent time there, ours was John Hoskins who stole of bushel of wheat and walked into the fresh air for the last time on the 11th August 1796. The prison closed in 1927.
Here is a video on my YouTube channel https://youtu.be/bz3Gx402co0

A visit to Padstow & Rock for inspiration.

I took an early morning walk along the quay in Padstow and it was wonderful to see the boats coming in during a quiet sunrise. Below is St Enodoc Church just a fifteen minutes walk out of Roc, the spire is actually that bent. On the way there we fed a tame robin by hand, the poet laureate Sir John Betjeman is buried here too. To get to Rock you have to take the ferry from the quay at Padstow which takes you across the River Camel giving you views out to the Doombar and down the Estuary.

We stayed two nights at The Old Custom House in the harbour and from our window had marvellous views out over Padstow and across to Rock; who needs a television or iPhones when you have such a view. It was wonderful to see Padstow without the throngs of tourists and after four at night was almost a ghost town. We ate at Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant and Paul Hainsworth’s Caffe Rojano and The Mariners at Rock, we had superb meals with friendly staff at all.

Leaving the Boardwalk.

After spending a few hours finalising this image taken on my iPhone it’s perhaps time to start a large Bideford Black painting. I use adobe photoshop to crop, enhance and continually overlay images to achieve the composition I want to paint. I suppose it’s an alternative to those preparatory sketches I used to make.

Above left, Tarr Stepps on Exmoor and above right a tree walk around Wistlandpound Reservoir.

Over Buck’s Mills.

This acrylic painting is well under way. I’ve started by using an ultramarine acrylic spray graffiti can to create an almost uniform blue base colour. I’ve then gradually dry brushed layer after layer to create some 3D depth to the sky. I’m now using some watered down paint to blow in the sea, waves and foreground, then using my favourite Payne’s Grey I’ve accented some depth to the pebbles. I must say I like the vapor trail of the plane on it’s way out to sea. During the pandemic the amount of flights have dropped and this has been evident in our North Devon skies. To be continued …

Blackchurch.

New acrylic on 24 x 30″ canvas entitled BLACKCHURCH. This is of the famous Blackchurch Rock on Mouthmill Beach on the North Devon Coast. Below are the stepped progress photographs. A little annoying trying to capture the colours of this painting with my camera, but for once I’m very pleased with this composition.

This little Cove was recently portrayed in a film called The Guernsey Literary and Peel Pie Society which showed off much of our idyllic coastline. This cove is rather isolated and takes about thirty minutes to walk to from the hamlet of Brownsham on the Hartland Peninsula, it is here where the National Trust has a carpark. There is a lovely circular walk from the carpark and if you continue along the coast you finally reach the fishing village of Clovelly where you return back overland to the carpark. Below are a few of my photographs from the area showing the cottage used in the film.

Archie’s video display in Exeter.

We spent an enjoyable day walking around Exeter, having a meal at The Old Firehouse and watching my son Archie’s Video display in the shopping precinct Princesshay. My son is in his second year at Exeter College studying film, camera and moving image. The Royal Albert Memorial Museum has put on an external display showing off their wide range of displays and artefacts, this has been a commission for an artist and students of Exeter College. I’m quite impressed.