We spent an enjoyable day walking from Lynton to the Valley of the Rocks along the South West Coast Path, some of the sheer drops were quite alarming. It was great to be out in the winter sunshine, the views up and down the North Devon Coast were breath taking. We watched the Wild Goats, that live the cliffs here, being herded across the road with lots of goat head butting along the way. After sitting in the warmth of the sun we walked back into Lynton and had tea and shared a cheese sandwich, I can thoroughly recommend the Cracker Barrel Café.
I spent an enjoyable afternoon walking from Hele Bay to Broadsands Beach along a magnificent stretch of the South West Coast Path. This is probably the last of the warm Summer days to be had before the Autumn chill hits the coast. I had a chat with a lady and she mentioned that the above view was voted the happiest view in Britain. Sadly this used to be a quiet, secret beach, now it is annoyingly buzzed with swarms of noisy jet skis and coastal sea safaris. Surely this must have an impact of the wildlife here, it certainly has an impact on people who want a peaceful experience!
We spent an enjoyable day visiting the Somerset side of the Exmoor National Park spotting deer and searching out cream tea rooms. We visited Selworthy, it’s Beacon and the Periwinkle Tearooms, then travelled on to the The Horner Tea Gardens for more indulgence. Full of cream and jam we decided to visit the Culbone Stone on our return home. Just off the A39 between Oare and Porlock there is a small junction which leads to a permissive path leading to the Culbone Stone. This mediaeval stone which has a Christian wheeled ring cross carved into it by and early Christian community about 1,200 years ago. It is approximately 3′ high and 20″ wide, and it’s style suggests it dates from perhaps the 6th or 7th century. This stone was discovered on it’s side at about 1939 and then placed upright where it was found, it is thought to be part of a long Neolithic stone row erected 3000 years ago which resides close by in the same wood. The earie wood, it’s ghostly trees and hanging moss suggests magical and mystical properties and has been suggested that St Beuno may have preached there. We searched for the stone row for some time but sadly gave up stumbling around through brambles, tics and dense bracken. Below the exmoorher.co.uk link gives a much better location for this row.
A warmish Bank Holiday Sunday so we drove to the carpark just above the Watersmeet Tearooms which are managed by the National Trust. Not too many people here because of Covid so we sat in the sun and each imbibed in a rather nice cream tea. The birds here are quite tame and at times you can hand feed the sparrows and chaffinches. After tea we walked down from the Tearooms to Lynmouth along the Lyn Valley. Finally we arrived at our destination and found a warm spot by the river out of the cold wind to relax in. I must say though that Lynmouth was heaving with tourists. Al ps The first two pictures of the Tearooms were taken a few years ago when Covid hadn’t been invented yet and leaves were on the trees!
A small acrylic on panel of a section of the South West Coast Path between Heddon’s Mouth and Lee Abbey, 370 x 610mm acrylic on panel. You can see the dot of the Abbey in the distance of this painting in the sunshine. I’ve tried to portray the cool shadows against the warm Spring sunshine and am trying to simplify my brushwork somewhat. We’re looking forward to visiting Hunter’s Inn again when it opens for a few drinks. Al
A beautiful walk from Hunter’s Inn down to Heddon’s Mouth and then on to Woody Bay. A quiet walk in the Spring sunshine with breath taking views out over the North Devon Coast. One direction out to Combe Martin and on to Lundy Island in the far distance, the other to Lee Bay and on to Lynmouth and the Valley of Rocks. More inspiration for future paintings.
An acrylic on gesso panel 37 x 37″. After spending a rather enjoyable day on Exmoor looking for herds of deer we made our way back home via Countisbury Hill. From a curve on the A39 road I saw this striking Autumnal sky, muted colours and dark shaddows. I took this picture on my iPhone and here it is in paint. Al
Just playing around with Adobe on my laptop. I find this quite a good way to play with composition and colour selection. Either presketch or Adobe, after all they’re all tools available to the artist. It’s also a lot of fun and for me doesn’t take very long at all! Al
From a plein air acrylic sketch made during the summer, seen below, I’ve added some additional digital layers to plan the progress of this painting. Heddon’s Mouth is a wonderful pebble beach on the coast of North Devon. The National Trust have the wonderful Hunter’s Inn here which is both pub, hotel & restaurant. The circular walk from this place down to Heddon’s Mouth and back is one of my favourite walks. More progress pictures to follow as this composition unfolds. Al