painting blog 2014


 Previous postings....


'View from the allotments towards Norwich Cathedral'

I've been visiting and researching this view of Norwich from St. James's Hill for several years now.  I feel I have eventually resolved the best composition and the best lighting for my latest studio painting on a large scale.  I think my 2014 Christmas card is sorted!


'Water tower and Cattle, Southwold'

It was a bright, fresh morning when I walked down to Southwold Harbour.  Scanning the horizon towards Walberswick there was very little colour, but turning back towards Southwold the fields were illuminated with autumn morning sunshine.  The water tower shone out on top of the higher ground towards the town.  The lighthouse was visible as the lightest note in the composition.  The cattle in the waterlogged fields beneath, completed the view as the morning clouds accumulated with pinks and purples.


'Shadows and clouds, Halvergate'

The light was near perfect on Halvergate Marshes, as we set out towards an old marshman's cottage and drainage dyke.  The sky was beautifully broken and the clouds cast shadows on the fields, leaving distant groups of cattle illuminated as brilliant dots of light.  I worked quickly on this small panel (6" x 13") trying to keep the spontaneity of this ever changing scene.


'Afternoon shadows, late August'

The straw bales are never left out for long in the fields, so when I saw the afternoon sunshine playing on this small group against a row of Oaks near Itteringham, I knew I had to sit down and capture the scene on a small panel.  The lighting improved as the sun dropped a little lower and the shadows lengthened.

 JULY 2014
'Summer fields, North Norfolk'

I find that the placement of straw bales within a composition  is of the utmost importance.  This line of bales set against a distant copse with church tower illuminated beyond, made for me a most interesting composition.  The highest tonal value in the composition was not to be found in the sky, (as you might expect), but on the sunlit side of the bales that almost shone out with a glowing light.

JUNE 2014

Two of my en plein air cattle panels


'Cattle on the marshes, Cley'

With the spring pasture now knee high with buttercups, and the cattle out to graze on the marshes this is where I like to paint in sunny June. This is an oil sketch of Cley marshes with the reed-beds and shingle bank topped by a thin strip of distant sea. The colour of the cattle worked well with the pinks in the sky and the rich greens warmed by "dustings" of buttercups. 

'Cattle on Haddiscoe marshes' 

On Haddiscoe marshes for the day with the sound of curlews and oystercatchers floating on the early summer breeze. The broken skies with cloud shadows working their way across the cattle speckled meadows punctuated by drainage dykes was irresistible.  The wet sketch on my easel caught almost as many flies as the swallows swooping over the high grass and reed beds!

MAY 2014

'Roxby Beck towards Cowbar, Staithes' 

In May the East Anglian Group of Marine Artists headed to Staithes for a week of painting.  We were welcomed on our arrival by David Curtis ROI, RSMA, who kindly gave members the 'lie of the land' with his local knowledge of Staithes.  Alas the boats had left the beck after the winter storms, but there was still so much to paint.  For this little sketch of Cowbar Cliffs and Roxby beck I had to cross the water and wait for the nesting gulls, above my head, to settle down before putting up my easel.  When I finished work, the incoming tide had nearly covered the river bedrock path by which I had accessed this vantage-point!

More sketches produced on the trip can be viewed in my Staithes Gallery

APRIL 2014

'Early Spring, Beccles marshes'

With the willows just showing their first green shoots, I painted this view of cattle grazing on the marshes at Beccles.  There was a lovely broken sky with cloud shadows skulling across the distance, darkening the more wooded areas, which provided a contrasting backdrop to the view.      

MARCH 2014

'Winter evening above Morston'

Having worked my way inland from the coast, (on a very windy and cold unpromising winter's day!), I noticed a gleam of late sun on the tower of Morston church.  I bunkered down out of the wind behind a hedge and painted this oil sketch - the light on the water and dunes behind the village was a beautiful pinky blue/green.


'Flooded fields near Horsey (ll)'

This was a series of two paintings I produced just off the road near Horsey mere. Again the wet weather had left flooded ruts in the field, which reflected the evening light.  Its partner painting 'Flooded fields near Horsey (l)' can be viewed on  my East Anglian Landscapes gallery page.  It is these lovely warm greys that you get in the middle of winter that I enjoyed so much, even though your fingers are 'jumping' on the way home!


'Showery day, the boathouse, Slaughden'

When the cold January rain eventually gave way to more broken skies, I packed up my paints and found this view towards the boathouse at Slaughden, south of Aldeburgh. 
The winter rain had left huge puddles in the track and occasionally as the odd boatyard worker's pick up truck came by, my easel was in danger of getting engulfed with water from the large puddle in front of me. 
However I was out of the wind well enough to work, fingerless mittens on, and was rewarded when light broke through the grey evening sky onto the River Alde.

previous years' postings...






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