A sunny wall at Hestercombe House Gardens

“Can you explain more about the steps you took in creating your watercolour painting ‘A Sunny Wall at Hestercombe”?

I belong to the Chandos Art Society in Somerset and,this year, instead of a plein air painting day at Hestercombe Gardens we were provided with a set of photographs. I liked the contrast in textures of the rustic stone wall and the delicate plant growing on it so this meant trying to create the small shadows and highlights  in the undulations of the stone and plant.

 However the painting then lacked a focal point and I’d like to say that I popped out to the garden and quickly painted the butterfly………………..but of course they don’t sit still for long enough.

You’d never believe how many times I painted the butterfly’s shadow   –  the whole thing was a challenge.

 Lizard Lighthouse

Can you tell us about your oil painting ‘Lizard Lighthouse’ and your personal connection to the place“?

I started holidaying on the Lizard peninsula in Cornwall with my parents when I was a child and have been returning ever since. The Lizard itself is the furthest point South in the UK and the coastal scenery is truly majestic with waves crashing on all the rocky islets around the area   – best viewed on a sunny day with a cream tea in the open air café high on the cliff.  There is a track leading down to the old lifeboat station and small beach which is sheltered and serene by contrast.

So there is an elemental feel to the area and the stretched out light house complex sits atop.

My painting is from a field on the inland side on a Summer’s day with blue skies   – but one is always aware of the grandeur and solidity of the rocks underneath one’s feet.

The curvature wasn’t really meant to be quite so pronounced but represents the curvature of the globe looking out at several thousand miles of sea.

It’s a painting in which I tried hard to give oil a lighter touch   – not painting the ground under my feet black for instance !  I think I saw the colours in an art magazine picture and thought they’d look ok here.

Coming back down to earth very poignantly , in 2008 we hired a Morgan sports car for a day and took in all of our favourite places on the Lizard. It turned out to be my driving swan song as shortly after I had to admit that my vision was below the Government standard and give up that passion – and a job !

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