CROYDE BAY PUMPING.

Continuing on with the sunny weather we decided to have a meal at The Thatch in Croyde Village followed by a walk down to the beach. The waves were working so we watched surfers enjoying a clean winter wave from a grassy outcrop. I never take living in this part of the world for granted, in North Devon you’re never far from either a world class beach, dramatic coastline or the picturesque views of Exmoor. That reminds me, I must get my long board out this year after a long lay off due to injuries! Al

WINTER ON THE MARSH.

After the rains of the New Year the weather finally broke so I decided to make the most of the day and cycle along the Tarka Trail into Braunton, across the Marsh, down the Old American Road to Crow Point and then return home along the Tarka Trail. The air was warm and there was a kind of stone cold neon cheap light across the Estuary which made the whole trip so worthwhile. Above is one of my favourite Linhays on the Marsh which I’ve painted on several occurrences. Al

Above left, a view out across the Taw Estuary to Fremington. Above right, the beach at Crow Point looking towards Appledore & Instow.

BLACKPOOL MILL COTTAGE.

This is an image of mine of the famous Blackpool Mill Cottage on the North Devon Coast. It’s a the end of a wonderful walk from Hartland Abbey, but can also be reached along the coast from Hartland Quay. This cottage has appeared in a few films such as the BBC production as Barton Cottage in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, in Rosamund Pilcher’s The Shell Seekers, and the 2016 location for The Lanyon in BBC’s The Night Manager starring Tom Hiddleston.  On warm summer days the pebble beach here is a welcome reward for the walk, there is a cool waterfall to plunge into and rockpools to explore.

A LOOK BACK AT 2021.

Well this year has been quite an ordeal both on a personal as well as a professional level. As a family we’ve experienced more tragedies than any family should, in my professional life I’ve also experienced great sadness over the year.
Due to this blasted Covid situation I’ve not exhibited due to lack of heart, purpose and commitment; finally after applying I managed to be selected for the Burton Gallery’s Christmas Show. Looking back over some of my recent compositions I can see real progress and growth, at least I now believe I’m going in the right direction with regard to painting and artistic confidence.
A highlight of the year has been walking the South West Coast Path from Ilfracombe to Combe Martin and on a warm, idyllic summer’s day managed to sketch Broadsands Beach; the finished painting is at the top of this post. Another highlight was walking the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall where I’ve managed to paint a few images of the wonderful storms and light experienced there, these have now been successfully sold.
I’ve a few projects already lined up for 2022 including a reunion of the Black Arts with an organised residential course. I’m looking towards a more abstract way of working and perhaps arranging a few solo exhibitions. Let’s hope 2022 is going to be a partial return to the way we used to live and love. Peace for you all in the next year! Al

BLACK ARTS.

The return of BLACK ARTS, a project I’m involved in with artists Adrian Beasley and Stephen Raff.  We create our images in black and white using Photography, the Wet Collodian process and use of Bideford Black pigment, hence the name BLACK ARTS.  We aim to undertake this three day residential experience later this year.  Below is a link to the webpage with more information to follow!

https://www.black-arts.art/

Below is a link of our first collaboration in 2019 on the closing night of The White Moose Gallery.
https://albrownartist.com/2019/11/02/last-night/

Blackchurch.

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.

Broadsands to Great Hangman.

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 

The happiest view in Britain.

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!

Watermouth Cove to Broadsands.

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.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hangman_cliffs