PUTSBOROUGH BEACH & COFFEE.

An enjoyable walk from Putsborough Beach to Woolacombe and back for some Sunday exercise. There has been a break in the latest cold weather spell so out comes the winter sun to draw out the dog walkers and cold water swimmers. I forget how good it is to walk this beach and in the distance you can see the inviting white houses of Woolacombe illuminated by the sun. On the return we had cups of hot tea at the Putsborough Beach Cafe busy with the chatter of wet bathers wearing those ubiquitous Dryrobes, here we looked out at the surfers making the most of a small beach break.

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.

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

Over Buck’s Mills.

This acrylic painting is now completed 24 x 30″. I started this composition by using an ultramarine acrylic spray 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.

May the wall rise up to greet you,
May the wall rise up and lift you,
Let the water elevate and heal you,
To face another day.
Dark waves will always push us back
We dive, evade, get blown off track,
Bless the water that finally heals you,
To face another day
Bless the water that finally heals you
To grace another day.



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