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
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!
An enjoyable visit to Watermouth Cove today. We parked in the harbour then had tea and cake at the Storm in a Teacup Cafe. The we walked out to the point and back along the coastpath. From the path you can see over to Broadsands Beach, down to Combe Martin and see Little and Great Hangman Cliffs in the distance. There were many paddle boards and kayaks out on the water and the cliffs were strewn with campers. You can tell foreign travel is off the cards this year. I find this a very picturesque stretch of the North Devon Coast so will go back to sketch and take more pictures in view of a large painting. Below is a link regarding the Hangman Cliffs which are the highest sea cliffs in England.
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 was quite taken by this surf sticker infested sign in a lay-by overlooking Saunton Sands Beach. I’ve decided to paint this sign as a challenge and nod to all the people who have had a hand in it’s creation. From these lay-bys you get a magnificent view out over Saunton Sands, the Burrows and all the way to Westward Ho and beyond. I’ve entitled this composition ‘If you’re not local then leg it!‘ In days gone by surfers used to stake claims on local breaks with words such as ‘locals only’ etc. Acrylic on gesso panel 760 x 600mm.
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. 😉
Whilst looking through one of my hard drives I came across this image of an old, and rather large watercolour of mine. It is of Wringcliff Beach at the bottom of The Valley Of Rocks in North Devon, painted about 1980. I recall placing this on ebay for sale with no reserve, some lucky person in Lynton picked this up for £10, well you live and learn. Al
Well another foray out towards Watermouth and Broadsands although Broadsands Beach was closed due to the walk down pathway giving way. Today we remembered our flask of tea so decided to drive along the coast to Combe Martin. I must say I’ve never seen the tide out so far and there were a few women cold water swimming in the harbour. My wife and I decided to stay on our rock and drink our tea!
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 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.