Upcott Sunset.

Attempting a timed piece to regain some spontaneity. Well here is the completed sketch although it’s quite difficult to get the right colours with the camera in real life I’m very pleased with the overall image. At least I’m regaining some freshness and honesty with my brushstrokes. This is of Upcott Vale near Bradiford Barnstaple, North Devon. From this high point behind the Upcott Folly you can see out over Barnstaple and down the Vale towards the Taw Estuary and beyond to Saunton. There is always the sounds of sheep and sometimes foxes can be seen. Sunsets are always magical here on summer evenings. This is acrylic on primed panel 670 x 410mm.

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

Linhay on the marsh revisited.

What to do on a Sunday with a spare canvas and some hangover enthusiasm.  Go out and paint one of my favourite scenes on the Braunton Marsh.  Acrylic on 16 x 20″ canvas.
   This is what the Explore Braunton website says.  No two linhays are the same, although most are of square or rectangular shape.  Some have become dilapidated but around 30 still stand today. The one which attracts the most attention is the round linhay, a grade II listed building on the edge of the inner marsh road, which has been thatched and provides endless photographic or even painting opportunities.
I visit this site many times throughout the year and each time it’s slightly different. Sometimes the water in the drain is crystal clear full of sticklebacks and at others fully of weed and cowslip plants. Local swans often glide past along with large dragon and neon blue damsel flies. In the winter it’s always quite bleak here hence the wind blown trees, all in all I prefer the spring/summer seasons.
Below are two pictures I’ve photoshopped from a quick cycle around the marsh today.

Cycling into the storm.

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.

The Dripping Well, Anchor Woods.

The Wishing Well as we called it as children when we played in Anchor Woods was known in past times as a Holy Well or Sacred Spring. On the wall there are carved stones on the left 18 and the right 65, date 1865. Above the left stone a colony of bees resides. It has been noted that there was at one time another stone engraved BR after Sir Henry Bourchier Wrey (1829-1900) a member of the Devonshire Gentry. As children and even now when passing, if you pick a dock leaf for a folded spout and place it into the sandstone crack of the spring a cool steady flow of water flows. The water’s always tasted very cool and pleasant. Perhaps it should be tested now because of many new houses built at the top of the wood. I will add more to this article once a visit to our local Athenaeum has been made.

https://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=47042