COMBESGATE

A painting of Combesgate Beach in North Devon. Acrylic on canvas 810 x 390mm, that’s 32 x 15 1/4″ in old money. Combesgate Beach is special stretch of sand just around the rocks from Barricane Beach near Woolacombe. When the tide is in not much of the beach can be seen, but at low tide, the golden sand, rock formations and views out to sea and Morte Point are breath taking. In the middle of this picture is The Watersmeet Hotel and dotted along the ridge are houses overlooking the view, I also like to surf the wave here on my longboard and it is known a little as ‘an old man’s break’.

SANDY COVE

Acrylic on 610 x 390mm canvas of Sandy Cove in North Devon. This secluded and somewhat idyllic beach is just around the coast from Lee Bay. When the tide is out you can walk to this beach via The Smugglers Walk, a meandering pathway through the rocks and cliffs which eventually brings you to this place. Quite often this beach is very quiet and a perfect place to hunt for sea glass, look through the rock pools or have a relaxing picnic. It is now becoming popular for sea swimming too!

MY MARTIN

Sadly my 16 years old Martin guitar has had a mishap in my studio. I’ve knocked it many times but this time, well this time a knock too many. I’ve played guitars most of my life including bass guitars and although not the greatest player I do gain great pleasure from playing. One of my many guitars now in the hands of luthier James Millman.
Finally my guitar has been returned repaired and the frets redressed, I quite like the lower action. Very pleased with the results and actually playing the guitar more due to it’s new feel and playability! Al

BOTTLE STOPPERS AT HELE BAY

It seems that a return to glass hunting on Hele Beach was in order today and although the tide was fully in we thought it possible to search the sands whilst the tide ebbed. We arrived, parked in the fee carpark and walked onto the beach, the tide was dropping quickly revealing shining wet stones and glass. It’s quite odd how searching in one direction you see no glass yet you can turn around and see everything, we believe it’s all in the angle of the reflective light and the wetness of the glass. You also have to crouch down quite close to the sand as sea glass fully reveals itself to only those who search intimately.
Today we found two bottle stoppers which are quite rare and some equally illusive blue glass. We managed to fill two small bags with our endeavours all the more with which my wife can continue to make her jewellery.

COMBESGATE BEACH

A quiet day at Combesgate Beach near Woolacombe in North Devon. With most of the summer visitors gone the beaches have now finally been reclaimed by the locals. We spent the day sitting in the sunshine on Barricane Beach drinking mugs of tea from the beach hut owned by the now locally famous Sri Lankan chef who supplies curries on summer evenings. In a week this curry house will be craned off the beach and stored marking the start of the approaching winter season.
Of course sea glass was found at Barricane but not so much at Combesgate around the corner although the rock formations there were outstanding. It’s on days like these, when you have the beach to yourself, you appreciate living in such a part of world.

LEE BAY

Well on a surprisingly sunny Sunday for October Donna and I decided to return to Lee Bay for a little more sea glass hunting. It was quite busy for this time of year but on our secret beach all was well. We spent a couple of hours strolling up and down picking sparkling sea glass out of the warm sand, so once our bags were full we decided to go to The Grampus and have some beer and cheesy chips.

GLASSY BARRICANE

We spent a memorable day looking for sea glass on Barricane Beach, my wife and I paddled in the warm, crystal clear water of an Autumn’s incoming tide. The Sri Lankan cafĂ© was luckily still open but sadly had only a few days to go until they crane the hut off the beach; for me this marks the end of the warm summer season. Donna and I drank hot mugs of tea whilst basking in the neon bright Autumn sunshine. Most of the noisy tourists have now gone only retired couples, grandparents with children and intrepid cold water swimmers remain! Perfect!

WORKING WITH THE BLACK ARTS

A wonderful few days spent again as the BLACK ARTS with organised residential workshops managed by Adrian Beasley. The workshops featured tutors Adrian with digital capture, editing and printing, Stephen Raff taking clients through the early wet collodian photographic process and myself painting compositions with clients using the unique Bideford Black pigment. Our clients stayed at the Seagate Hotel in Appledore, North Devon and were taken to venues each day. I had the great pleasure of being based at the scenic Northam Visitor’s Centre beside the beach at Westward Ho pictured above.

Below are pictures of some of our clients work produced over three days involving group discussions. Each evening a different venue was chosen where we chatted informally about our day’s progress over meals at Belluno in Bideford, The Beaver in Appledore and Moran’s Restaurant in Westward Ho. On the final evening we all got together to look at the final work produced which included ‘The Big Reveal’ where everyone could see each other’s compositions. As you can see from the pictures superb work had been produced and the fabulous Indian banquet cooked by Clea, Adrian’s wife, ended the three day course superbly.