I attended an interesting walk and talk arranged by the Braunton Countryside Centre about the Second World War and the Burrows. I sketched a quick picture of the waterside as I’ve never seen so many Evening Primrose plants in flower. Quite an unusual light this morning quite humid, it reminded me of that Monsoon type light. I was amazed at the amount of Evening Primrose in bloom, the flowers looked even brighter against the dark sky. This morning there was an enjoyable walk arranged by the Braunton Countryside Center it was about the Burrows and it’s World War Two usage for the D Day Landings. Many Americans were trained here for beach assault the person who lead the walk and talk was by Richard Bass a WW2 Historian from the Assault Training Centre Friends. If you can get onto one of these walks it’s well worth the effort. Al
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
Sandy Lane Poppies 1220 x 610mm acrylic on panel. A painting of the dusty lane that leads to the Burrows Carpark in Braunton just behind Saunton Beach. I was quite taken by the poppies in the hedge and the stark neon whiteness of the sandy road.
This is my version inspired by Buckham’s work of Spitfires over the US Assault Training Centre concrete landing craft on Braunton Burrows. These concrete structures, were laid during the World War 2 by the Americans when practising for the D Day Landings on Omaha and Utah by 146th Eng, Co C, 1st Platoon. Al
I’ve been looking recently at the old 1920s aerial photographs by Alfred G. Buckham. I loved looking at his pictures in old faded books when I was a child and marvelled at their imagination and camera angles, I later understood that they were actually skilful photo-montages.
Alfred was born in London on 6 November 1879. He began his career in photography in 1905 and joined the RAF as a reconnaissance photographer in 1917. He became the first head of aerial reconnaissance for the Royal Navy, in the First World War and later a captain in the Royal Naval Air Service.
Buckham was involved in 9 crashes, 8 of which saw him relatively unscathed. After the ninth, however, he had to have a tracheotomy and breathed through a small pipe in his neck for the rest of his life. Despite this, he carried on his aerial photography career, often in very perilous conditions. He felt the best shots were made standing up, writing “If one’s right leg is tied to the seat with a scarf or a piece of rope, it is possible to work in perfect security”.
Many thanks to Adrian Beasley Imaging for these initial prints of one my paintings Hercules over Saunton, painted earlier in the year. Hercules practicing landing and take offs on Saunton Beach in North Devon.
Finished acrylic of Hut On The Burrows 405mm x 510mm). Another painting of the hut on Braunton Burrows North Devon. Just love this place and have spent recent hours watching the sticklebacks playing in the stream, which is called the boundary drain. Still liking the cow parsley! The last picture shows another picture of the same hut I painted during the winter wit early morning dew and ice on the water.
The linhays are another interesting feature of the Marshes. They were constructed as shelters for numerous cattle and almost all of them appear to have been built by the time of the 1842 tithe map. No two barns 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 opportunities. This excerpt is by Rowland Dibble on the Explore Braunton Website which is well worth a visit.
Pastel picture of Bideford/Barnstaple Bay (470mm x 300mm). Now and again you rush and produce something like this. Not very happy with the finished picture but there and again art is a moving and linear leaning process. The particular lesson learnt here, don’t rush when you’ve only got limited time and observe, observe, observe! Time spent 45mins. Al
Original picture from a photograph from Facebook. Not too sure who’s it was.
Out for a walk along the North Devon coast and came across this wonderfully wind swept tree. Looking at this photograph of me snapping it the composition was probably better from that angle lol. (410mm x 320mm) acrylic. Al