DEAR PAINTERS AND FRIENDS,
The last week of the painting course season finished on a high note after a glorious sunny day at Blackpool Sands, where we painted the dramatic cliffs from the beach. What a great opportunity to introduce figures into our paintings. It was also great fun to people-watch and do some leisurely studies of typical movements and poses, and use these observations for painting later on.
My luck with the weather lasted the whole week, and painting outside in the pleasant Devon summer sun was very much enjoyed by everybody. As in July we ventured back to the river location in the dreamy village of Tuckenhay, and were fortunate to find some attractive yachts and diverse boats moored nearby. They made splendid foreground motifs and conveniently were far enough away to not have to worry about too much technical 'boat detail'.
The timing of our trip to the small but 'perfectly formed' harbour in Dittisham was spot on, as the tide had just turned and freed up the shore line for us to sit on and paint the old cottage nestling amongst verdant trees by the beach, with the view across the estuary. The wooded headlands opposite were shimmering in all tones of green, a chance to practice painting trees and distant hills.
Our first and last days were spent at Coombe Farm. The romantic vegetable garden – yes, vegetables can be romantic – is a wonderful painting subject. It offered the painter's hungry eyes large yellow sunflowers and purple artichokes amongst quite colourful vegetables, most of which ended up in delicious home cooked dishes. There were also chicken in the meadow opposite, easily transposed to the foreground in the garden. They remained on their patch by the rather attractive grass-roofed chicken house, and luckily for them did not get anywhere near our dinner table!
Like all good things the week in Devon had to come to an end, but not without the special last night show. The paintings on display represented a fantastic record of our week's work, which was a rich reward for a your tutor.
With best wishes for a colourful September,