Leaving the Boardwalk.

After spending a few hours finalising this image taken on my iPhone it’s perhaps time to start a large Bideford Black painting. I use adobe photoshop to crop, enhance and continually overlay images to achieve the composition I want to paint. I suppose it’s an alternative to those preparatory sketches I used to make.

Above left, Tarr Stepps on Exmoor and above right a tree walk around Wistlandpound Reservoir.

Over Buck’s Mills.

This acrylic painting is well under way. I’ve started by using an ultramarine acrylic spray graffiti can to create an almost uniform blue base colour. I’ve then gradually dry brushed layer after layer to create some 3D depth to the sky. I’m now using some watered down paint to blow in the sea, waves and foreground, then using my favourite Payne’s Grey I’ve accented some depth to the pebbles. I must say I like the vapor trail of the plane on it’s way out to sea. During the pandemic the amount of flights have dropped and this has been evident in our North Devon skies. To be continued …

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 

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.

Fishermen’s Huts at Crow.

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.
After a little photoshopping, which I use for preliminary planning, I came up with this composition of the old huts.  It’s often quite difficult to photograph paintings and the true colours and softness of the paint are missed, but on the whole I quite like this painting! These huts are placed at the crook of Horsey Island on the Braunton Marsh just where the River Caen (Braunton Canal) meets the River Taw. In the painting you can see The Taw in the background. Recently the inner tide Sea defences have failed and now Horsey Island has returned to the brackish muds of the Estuary.

600 x 600mm acrylic on gesso panel. Al

Evening Primrose at Crow.

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

https://assaulttrainingcenterfriends.co.uk/

Braunton Countryside Centre are on both Facebook and the net!