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 café 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.
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.
This acrylic painting is now completed 24 x 30″. I started this composition by using an ultramarine acrylic spray 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.
May the wall rise up to greet you,
May the wall rise up and lift you,
Let the water elevate and heal you,
To face another day.
Dark waves will always push us back
We dive, evade, get blown off track,
Bless the water that finally heals you,
To face another day
Bless the water that finally heals you
To grace another day.
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.
This painting is of Broadsands Beach in North Devon as you would see it, out across the water from Watermouth Cove, 900 x 600mm acrylic on canvas. There is a marvellous view out over Broadsands from the top of the hill on the right of this painting which is called, as previously posted and mentioned, The Happiest View In Britain.
Below is a view of my present workspace with an old discarded, yet rather useful anaesthetic drug rack which is used as a base for painting, thanks to my colleagues at work. There you will also see the progression to the competed composition.
This will be the very last detailed acrylic of this kind as I’m moving forward with experimentation, and a fresher more immediate approach. I quite like the initial tonal shades of this painting and the temptation for me is just to leave it as it is, but I decided to ruin the freshness with some detailed brush work. Al
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!
To get off my usual way of working today I’ve decided to be a little more spontaneous and place a time limit on my work. This is the result an acrylic on gesso panel of Bucks Mills in North Devon at almost low tide. What a great morning spent there in the Spring sunshine watching the surfers off The Gore. I remember at the Bideford School of Art one of my teachers called Jimmy or James Patterson painted a wonderful watercolour of Bucks Mills now at the Burton Gallery in Bideford. Must go back and do some plein air! Below is a pen and ink of mine of Bucks with a nod to Jimmy. Al
A completed painting 900 x 600mm acrylic on canvas. Woody Bay in North Devon. I’m trying to create an atmosphere of shadowy warmth created by the oak covered cliffs around this beach. Al
Back to using my Bideford Black pigment on Bockingford paper 700 x 340mm. This time is a picture inspired from a circular walk from Watersmeet to the Blue Ball Inn at the top of Countisbury Hill. Then onto Lynmouth and back up to where we started our walk.
The Blue Ball Inn was so called because in the late 18th century it was used as a coaching stop. A blue ball used to be raised on a pole to notify the coachmen that someone was in need of passage. It has a history of haunting and highwaymen!
I would love to spend a few days here painting and drawing the North Devon coast at Bucks Mills. I used to surf here on Christmas Day and have many happy memories of summer days here. This is a pen and ink drawing it did a few years ago with a nod towards an old art teacher of mine at Bideford Art College/North Devon College called Jimmy Paterson ARCA. He painted this very scene and I’ve seen it displayed at the Burton Gallery in Bideford. Al