What to do on a Sunday with a spare canvas and some hangover enthusiasm. Go out and paint one of my favourite scenes on the Braunton Marsh. Acrylic on 16 x 20″ canvas. This is what the Explore Braunton website says. No two linhays are the same, although most are of square or rectangular shape. Some have become dilapidated but around 30 still stand today. The one which attracts the most attention is the round linhay, a grade II listed building on the edge of the inner marsh road, which has been thatched and provides endless photographic or even painting opportunities. I visit this site many times throughout the year and each time it’s slightly different. Sometimes the water in the drain is crystal clear full of sticklebacks and at others fully of weed and cowslip plants. Local swans often glide past along with large dragon and neon blue damsel flies. In the winter it’s always quite bleak here hence the wind blown trees, all in all I prefer the spring/summer seasons. Below are two pictures I’ve photoshopped from a quick cycle around the marsh today.
Moving swiftly on a painting entitled ‘Cycling into the storm’ 600 x 600mm acrylic on panel. This painting is of the many beach huts that line the Tarka Trail at Instow. I was cycling on the Trail near the Cricket Club when a massive summer storm swept up the River Torridge towards me, quickly I took an image on my phone and this was the result. I remember the cyclist speeding by trying to get to shelter before the rain came. On the left you can see the secure boundary fence of the Instow Arm Camp and just out of frame to the right the old railway crossroad that leads down the Instow Beach.
I attended an interesting walk and talk arranged by the Braunton Countryside Centre about the Second World War and the Burrows. I sketched a quick picture of the waterside as I’ve never seen so many Evening Primrose plants in flower. Quite an unusual light this morning quite humid, it reminded me of that Monsoon type light. I was amazed at the amount of Evening Primrose in bloom, the flowers looked even brighter against the dark sky. This morning there was an enjoyable walk arranged by the Braunton Countryside Center it was about the Burrows and it’s World War Two usage for the D Day Landings. Many Americans were trained here for beach assault the person who lead the walk and talk was by Richard Bass a WW2 Historian from the Assault Training Centre Friends. If you can get onto one of these walks it’s well worth the effort. Al
An image of mine taken a few weeks ago at Millmouth Beach in North Devon. This is of the famous Blackchurch Rock. This beach was recently made famous as filming locations for the movie The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
It’s been a while, due to lack of unfolding confidence issues since I last painted, but here goes to get me out of my present artistic fog! This is a picture of Bucks Mills in North Devon with someone surfing at night making the most of a full moon’s light. 😉
The Wishing Well as we called it as children when we played in Anchor Woods was known in past times as a Holy Well or Sacred Spring. On the wall there are carved stones on the left 18 and the right 65, date 1865. Above the left stone a colony of bees resides. It has been noted that there was at one time another stone engraved BR after Sir Henry Bourchier Wrey (1829-1900) a member of the Devonshire Gentry. As children and even now when passing, if you pick a dock leaf for a folded spout and place it into the sandstone crack of the spring a cool steady flow of water flows. The water’s always tasted very cool and pleasant. Perhaps it should be tested now because of many new houses built at the top of the wood. I will add more to this article once a visit to our local Athenaeum has been made.
Today on a cycle ride I decided to revisit an old childhood haunt of Anchor Woods and this particular WW2 ammunition store. My late father mentioned in a memory that the field in which this store resides was used as a target range at the time of the second world war and this structure was store. If anyone has any more information about this pla please let me know. Al
Well it’s a warm sunny day so the three and a three and a half mile walk from Bideford to Appledore was in order. You join the coast path just past the skateboard park at the end of Bideford Park and follow the coast path acorn signs. The path meanders up and down through woods with tantalising glimpses of the River, at one point there are a number of WW2 tank traps to negotiate. It is rather nice to pass the impressive array of private houses and cottages with fabulous gardens and views out over the river. Finally you descend to the waterfront and walk past an impressive boat’s graveyard just beside the large Appledore dry dock now owned by Harland & wolff. You then walk around the dock and follow the road, through cottages and fish markets into Appledore.
In Appledore there are a number of great places to eat but after some deliberation we decided to have some wonderful Hocking’s Ice Creams in chocolate waffle cones and look out across the river towards Instow. Appledore is a hub for local music, arts and sailing and you can spend hours investigating the arty shops in the narrow alleys.
After the warm sunshine over the last week rain was the order of the day. I decided to make the most of the inclement weather and cycle to the coast hoping that there would be few people around. There wasn’t to my relief and I had an enjoyable visit to the Braunton Marsh and Crow Point. The area is often used by the military for manoeuvres as it was during WW2 and today was not an exception.