November in Norfolk and the pink-foot geese are in full flight. They roost out on the mudflats and fly inland to feed so there is a constant procession of skeins of geese to be seen, coming in early in the morning and flying out as the sun is setting.
I’ve made quite a few atmospheric paintings of the geese flying over the fields or the marshes and here are two new ones that I’ve just completed. The sunset scene is entitled When the Geese Fly – at the End of a Winter’s Day and I hope I’ve captured the feeling of stillness on the beach at sunset, with just the great empty space and the haunting call of the geese as they fly back to their roost. The other painting, When the Geese Fly – Dawn on the Marsh uses a very cool palette of colours to give a more chilly early morning feel. Prussian Blue and Manganese Blue are the two main pigments used.
Both of these paintings will be on show over my Open Studio weekend from the 29th November until the 1st December 10am – 4pm each day. I hope you can make it along. See my Contact page for the location.
A couple of pen and wash paintings for you here. They are both very recognisable Norfolk scenes, or at least I hope they are – Cley Mill, and Wells Harbour. I painted these pictures in response to an enquiry from a new art gallery soon to open in Sheringham, up on the North Norfolk coast. I went to see the owners, Tony Randall and his wife Isabel, and they have agreed to show six pen and wash paintings of mine.
The gallery will display both original artworks and small antiques, so it should be an interesting browse if you are in the Sheringham area. It is due to open in a few days time and is located at 3 Sheringham High Street, right down the bottom near the sea, a blue shop-front on the right hand side. The gallery is over the top of a nice tea shop too!
I’ve been very busy in the studio lately, as I always am when ever an exhibition is on the horizon! From Friday 29th November through to Sunday 1st December five studios here in Dersingham will be open to the public as part of the Dersingham Christmas Art Trail. One of those studios will be mine, so I hope you can call in and say hello.
I’ll be posting some of those new paintings here in the next few days, but I thought I’d start by showing you this scene, which was featured on the cover of the Dersingham Data magazine. The Data is a little A5 handbook that contains lots of information about the village, including parish council members, groups that meet regularly, doctors surgery details, all that sort of handy information, published twice a year. It is edited by my good friend Tony Bubb, who asked me to provide something for the cover of the autumn edition.
The brief was “it must be Dersingham, but not the church or anything else that’s been done before!” One afternoon I went for a walk round the village, armed with my camera, and pausing at the Tithe Barn in Manor Rd. I had just decided that it was a rather uninteresting looking building when two cyclists came along. A composition immediately occurred to me, and I just managed to catch one cyclist with my camera as they zoomed past. A bit of artist’s license and you see the result here. Painted quite quickly to keep it feeling free, in my “traditional” watercolour palette of ultramarine blue, raw sienna, burnt sienna and light red.
The West Norfolk Artists Small Works exhibition has drawn to a close and what an impressive show it was. The format of placing each image on a square coloured background really unifies the display of artwork and add a dramatic edge to what would otherwise be just another display of small pictures. You can see a little of the exhibition in my photograph here.
Both my own two works were “rainbow” themed, using the techniques that I outlined in my previous post. I enjoyed using the Rowney FW inks and I will certainly be employing them again in future paintings. In addition to the inks I used a very limited palette of colours for this work, essentially it’s a monochrome in a bluey-grey made from Phthalo Blue GS, Burnt Sienna and Quinacridone Red. The inks provide the splash of colour which hopefully brings the painting to life. I was pleased to see that quite a few visitors to the show voted for this painting as their favourite, which was really encouraging.
However, that’s enough rainbows just for the moment and I’m back in the studio working in traditional watercolour. I’ll post some images of new works here soon!
Once you get a theme running through your paintings it can inspire you to keep producing more work. The painting you’re working on feels like the child of the one you’ve just done, and so on.
Here are some more trees that I’ve painted in the last week or so. Once again using Indian ink on 300lb weight paper, but this time with sunset colours of Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Sienna and Quinacridone Red.
Paintings of this style work quite well in a square format I find, this one being around 10 inches square. I float frame the work to leave the edge of the paper showing. This makes the whole thing more interesting and works particularly well with fairly small works.
I’ve been getting back to traditional drawing skills just lately, and doing some work in pencil and in ink. The West Norfolk Artists Association, of which I am a member, is organising an exhibition of drawings, so I have been working on a few possible subjects.
When I get stuck for inspiration there are two subjects that never fail to provide some suitable material – trees, and mooring posts! For this pencil sketch I dug out some photos that I took at Thornham Harbour, up on the North Norfolk coast. It would have been nice to go up there and sketch on site, but it’s just too, too cold! This sketch may form the basis of a painting in due course, or it may just remain as a simple statement in 4B pencil.
The West Norfolk Artists Association exhibition is called Drawn to Attention and runs from Saturday 27th April until Saturday 11th May at Greyfriars Art Space, St James St. King’s Lynn. You can find out more about the WNAA at westnorfolkartists.org