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.
An acrylic painting on 1000 x 700mm canvas just to keep my flow going during the first part of this year. This composition was going to be of a Hercules C130 transporter flying low over Crow Point at sunset, but after completion I have decided to omit it. My wife and I had been walking around the Point from Saunton Beach then decided, as it was getting late, to walk back along the boarwalk before the light went. Looking back towards the sunset the sun bleached boards were almost luminous under the ebbing light. This is my attempt at setting that scene! Al
The first out of the blocks for this year a warm up as I’ve not painted for over a month. Another Biddie Black of one of my favourite walks out to Crow Point in North Devon. New Year’s Day 2010 was very busy here with people observing the latest lockdown. I’m really surprised with this as for many years Crow Point has remained quiet, even in the summer. During the Covid Pandemic locals have reacquainted themselves with this quiet beach and now it’s busier than I have ever seen. It was lovely to bump into a few friends here that I’ve not spoken to in a long time.
Another lock down so my wife and I spent a cold afternoon walking around my favourite section of the North Devon coast, from Bull Point Lighthouse to Morte Point then back into Mortehoe. It was surprising to see so many people out but social distancing was adhered. There was a large group of teenagers at the top of the hill by Mortehoe Station gathered together without masks. The weather was quite warm with no wind, that was until we rounded the Point, then the cutting winter wind reared it’s ugly head. There were some unusual cattle roaming the hills, all black except for a band of white around their bodies. My wife named them the Oreo Cows after the biscuit. By the time we arrived back the light had gone so a slow dark drive home. The Pen & Ink drawing at the top was completed a few years ago, today’s image almost matches the original.
A few pictures of mine inspired by Baggy Point in North Devon. I’ve shopped some Hercules Transporters in the first and a Spitfire in the second. In the distance you can see Croyde Beach famous for its surf. I’ve climbed Baggy Point many times over the years with one of the climbs oddly titled Kinky Boots as seen in the picture below! I’ve recently taken a few weeks out of my painting schedule to have a break and gain fresh inspiration. I’ve been fighting with my usual illustrative techniques and have been attempting to find new directions, sadly to no avail. I hope in the New Year to start with fresh optimism and enthusiasm. See you in 2021. Al
Spent a rather enjoyable walk along the beach at Westward Ho in North Devon and met up with some old friends and caught up on old times. Similar to many years ago when I painted the watercolour below of the same friends when we had our children with us!
I was taken by an image, on Facebook, of a couple of old fisherman’s huts at Crow Point in North Devon and decided to sketch them in leu of a painting. I made my way to the White House at Crow and walked left along the thorn ridden breakwater; this is now the only way to get to these huts as part of the inner wall has collapsed. I arrived and marvelled at their rustic charm, rusty orange corrugated iron, weather bleached wooden doors and crude cobbles which remained from years ago. Quickly I took a series of photographs and made a few reference sketches eventually the dark clouds forebode and soon it began to rain. Luckily one of the huts wasn’t locked and I weathered out the storm in it’s solitude loving that sound of rain on iron. The smells of the estuary mud and seawater filled the air as I made my way back slipping on the mud and pebbles. Perhaps a painting to come? Al