SEA GLASS & BEACHES.

A few beaches visited today with my wife. Broadsands, Hele Bay & Ilfracombe and you can tell the tourist season is almost upon us. At Broadsands a gang of Sports Direct clothed lads were there with disposable BBQs, packs of beer & larger. When they were finished they walked away leaving this beautiful beach like a toilet! The trouble was they weren’t the only people to do so! The adjoining campsites should be held responsible for the clean up!

POTTER’S HILL TO PUTTSBOROUGH.

What a wonderful day with my wife Donna searching secret North Devon Beaches for sea glass. Donna is returning to jewellery making using washed up colourful nylon line and sea glass. We spent the latter half of the afternoon on Barricane Beach where the beach cafĂ© has recently been dropped in by crane. Here during the day you can get tea, cream teas etc but in the evening they serve Sri Lankan veg and chicken curries to the masses. This beach used to be a local secret but sadly no more so it was lovely to have it to ourselves today! Finally I parked at Marine Drive carpark and walked up the steep Potter’s Hill to the cairn at the top. From here you can marvel at the panoramic view out over Woolacombe down to Putsborough Beach.

TROUBLED SUNSET AT CROW.

Troubled Sunset At Crow & Sundown At The Point 24 x 30″ acrylic on canvas. I had a terrible dream about waking up in the night and hearing repetitive thumps in the dark. I looked out and could see distant nuclear mushroom clouds glowing on the horizon it was Russia’s last gambit. In the dream I nudged my wife and said that I loved her and our time had come! After photo-montaging and adjusting several of my images the outcome is the preliminary image above. I tend to work with Adobe on my laptop or Procreate on an iPad and work up the images, a kind of preliminary sketching before finally stabilising the final image! Now to the canvas and paints.
I’ve decided to paint two pictures one with my usual process the other with looser more spontaneous brush strokes. In progress…

Below a triptych almost. The middle, and much larger painting already sold from last year.

LEAVING HEDDON’S MOUTH.

An acrylic painting inspired by a walk down to Heddon’s Mouth from Hunters Inn. We walked North up along the South West Coast Path from the Heddon Valley and had a picnic there amongst the rocks enjoying the views up and down the North Devon Coast. This view is looking toward Crock Point, Lee Abbey, Valley of the Rocks and in the distance Countisbury. 750 x 500mm acrylic on canvas.

FAIRLINCH CROSS.

A mixed media composition using Acrylic Paints and Bideford Black. Inspired by a drive back from Putsborough Beach on a winter Sunday when we came across Fairlinch Cross. The cold winter light shone off the wet road with the windswept trees bowing over the hedges, I was struck by the stark contrasts of dark, colour and the shadows of the hedge crossing the road.

It’s always very therapeutic slowly removing the masking tape on a completed painting! I just love that clean white edge; or is it just me?

THE PATH BESIDE THE MARSH.

At the end of the beach boardwalk heading towards the Crow Point Carpark there is a a little pond of brackish water on the left. It is here where the brightly coloured damsel and dragon flies hover during the warm spring and summer. With this painting I’m trying to capture that Tulgey Wood sense of dark foreboding. I’ve also made a dark brushstroke across the sky to hint at a starling murmuration. This composition is in Bideford Black on thick cartridge paper, with some scraping and pigment removal.

When using this medium I often apply the paint using twigs, rags and stiff brushes with which to spatter fine specks. I also use scalpel blades, course and fine sandpapers and cotton buds to soften and remove pigment, in fact anything to create depth and texture to the composition. It helps to have a strong resilient paper with which to do so.

PUTSBOROUGH BEACH & COFFEE.

An enjoyable walk from Putsborough Beach to Woolacombe and back for some Sunday exercise. There has been a break in the latest cold weather spell so out comes the winter sun to draw out the dog walkers and cold water swimmers. I forget how good it is to walk this beach and in the distance you can see the inviting white houses of Woolacombe illuminated by the sun. On the return we had cups of hot tea at the Putsborough Beach Cafe busy with the chatter of wet bathers wearing those ubiquitous Dryrobes, here we looked out at the surfers making the most of a small beach break.