I’m just this minute back from another little camping holiday with the family so don’t have any ‘significant’ paintings to share, but here are some recent pages from my A5 sketchbook:
I think this might be one of my first ever paintings that features one of Brighton’s most recognisable landmarks, the ever crumbling skeleton of the West Pier.
The reference photo for this was taken on one of my dawn walks with the dog. It’s a joy to start the day (at least when the weather’s good) with a walk along the seafront. While I love the view, I’m rarely drawn to paint it and the main aim of this sketch was to try to capture the sense of waves rolling and breaking on the shore.
This is another addition to a series of sketches and studies that I now have of trees in my local park. Again, it’s another common dog walking route and I love how the light can sometimes illuminate a single tree, and that this changes almost every time I visit.
This is sketch was done at Foxwood Campsite that we’ve just returned from. It was our first visit to this campsite and we were blessed with beautiful weather. The site is set within an area of managed forest. Each pitch had plenty of space of and, in our case, lots of shade too which was most welcome! It’s a really beautiful site and one that I know we’ll be returning to again (most likely before the year’s out!)
I was drawn to the sunlit vertical tree trunks being crossed by the silhouetted horizontal branches from the foreground tree. I think that I might try a larger version of this scene.
And finally, a view up the lane next to the entrance of the campsite. This one is particularly sketchy as my phone had run out of battery, so this was done from a very quick outline sketch from the screen of my camera. I painted this only a few hours after walking up this lane (yep, the dog again!) so the memory of it was strong in my mind.
While none of these are masterpieces, nor did any of them take long to paint, yet each of them conjures up for me very specific memories.
Every year I feel increasingly comfortable working in sketchbooks and I think the relaxed nature of sketching, working small, editing out the details and painting purely for pleasure can only contribute to my larger efforts.