Peacock Butterfly.

A beautiful peacock butterfly warming on the buddleia bush at the bottom of my garden.  I remember as a child looking at hundreds of butterflies on the bush across the road where I was brought up; Red Admirals, Tortoiseshells, Cabbage Whites etc.  Where did they all go?  When ever I see them know it reminds me of long ago carefree days chasing them them with an old shrimping net.  With that said I haven’t seen any Painted Lady butterflies yet, but I’m sure they’re on their way.  Perhaps another painting on the way. Al

Ronnie.

IMG_3556I’ve taken a break from producing landscapes and revisiting portraiture.  This is of the iconic Ronnie Wood, ex Faces now a Rolling Stone.  I quite like the tabletop and his Converse shoes.  I remember being left hundreds of old Melody Maker & Disc magazines from the 60s & 70s.  Always thought Ronnie and Co were stylish dressers I remember one particular picture with Ronnie wearing black & white zebra striped flares, stack shoes and a sulphur yellow blazer playing with the Faces.   Painted in acrylic on canvas and dimensions are 900mm x 600mm.  Original image from Getty & Google Images.

Barn on the Braunton Marsh.

A rather large attempt and painting an acrylic on canvas (700mm x 500mm).   I’ve tried to paint the clear water and perhaps a few sticklebacks but not too certain whether I’ve actually captured the scene.  It’s not at all ‘arty’ but rather more illustrative.  The more I try to paint freely the more it becomes a rather heartless affair.  I  constantly struggle to achieve a freeness of stroke but usually fall back into my old ways.  Anyway here it is and I’ve now become fed up with it, I just had to see it through so to speak.  Perhaps a few minor tweaks but time to learn and move on….AL

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The linhay on the marsh.

Finished acrylic of Hut On The Burrows 405mm x 510mm).  Another painting of the hut on Braunton Burrows North Devon.  Just love this place and have spent recent hours watching the sticklebacks playing in the stream, which is called the boundary drain.  Still liking the cow parsley!  The last picture shows another picture of the same hut I painted during the winter wit early morning dew and ice on the water.

The linhays are another interesting feature of the Marshes. They were constructed as shelters for numerous cattle and almost all of them appear to have been built by the time of the 1842 tithe map. No two barns are the same, although most are of square or rectangular shape.  Some have become dilapidated but around 30 still stand today. The one which attracts the most attention is the round linhay, a grade II listed building on the edge of the inner marsh road, which has been thatched and provides endless photographic opportunities.  This excerpt is by Rowland Dibble on the Explore Braunton Website which is well worth a visit.

http://www.explorebraunton.org/linhays.aspx .

Al

Dunster & Castle.

A hot father’s day visiting Dunster in Somerset, England.  Dunster has a wonderfully intact yarn market building and cracking cream teas.  The temperature today levelled off at 33° and the heat began to melt the tar on some roads.  We visited the castle and grounds.  The walk beside the stream to the old mill proved very cool and under the shady trees gunneras with their prehistoric leaves created a welcoming shade.  In a distant field we could see and archery tournament underway which looked quite impressive against the backdrop of the castle.  Finally the day proved too uncomfortable for an ill prepared family and we returned to the village and ate a hearty cream tea with Earl Grey Tea.  Al

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Finished work ready to be lost behind my front room sofas. 

Spent the morning mounting and presenting a few of my more recent pictures. All covered in cellophane ready to be moved on hopefully. Once this process is complete they’re finished and it’s time to move onto more compositions.  They usually find their way behind the back of the sofas in my front room never to be seen again!  I’m not too good at selling and self promotion and often think that facebook likes & suchlike are merely polite clicks on a phone or laptop.  With that said I’m still going to enjoy painting and creating…. Al

Cow Parsley at Watermouth.

IMG_3315After a visit to Watermouth Cove in North Devon this painting became.  Mixed media of acrylic, watercolour pencil, pastel & pen.  Along one of the shady walkways I came across a clump of cowparsley and took a quick pic on my iPhone.  Love this plant it always reminds me of spring and the smell after the rain is just wonderful.

Silent Noon by Christina Rossetti
Your hands lie open in the long fresh grass, –
The finger-points look through like rosy blooms:
Your eyes smile peace. The pasture gleams and glooms
‘Neath billowing skies that scatter and amass.
All round our nest, far as the eye can pass,
Are golden kingcup-fields with silver edge
Where the cow-parsley skirts the hawthorn-hedge.
‘Tis visible silence, still as the hour-glass.Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragon-fly
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky: –
So this wing’d hour is dropt to us from above.
Oh! clasp we to our hearts, for deathless dower,
This close-companioned inarticulate hour
When twofold silence was the song of love.

Al.

Watersmeet & Valley of the Rocks.

A rescued Sunday from the weather forecaster’s promise.  It was supposed to be windy and raining but instead we were given sun with wind instead.  Cream Teas at the Watersmeet House where Chaffinches mugged us for our crumbs. and then onto the Valley of the Rocks where the formations dominate the landscape.  At the top of the valley has to be the most picturesque cricket pitches ever.  Time to paint some pictures I think … Al

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Midday At Bucks Mills.

18813637_1494718907245504_9195562976165650723_nBack to a little Pen & ink just to change the tempo for awhile.  Midday at Bucks Mills a picturesque village on the North Devon coast in England.  This leads down to a stoney beach where in bygone time there used to be a small harbour and limekilns.  With a little licence i’ve added a few cow parsley plants to liven things up.  The cabin in the middle of the picture is owned by the National Trust and used to be an artist’s retreat.  Still used today although not as a residence.

I dedicate this picture to the memory of an old art teacher of mine, ‘James Paterson A.R.C.A. 1916 – 1986.  Know to us as Jimmy’  who painted some wonderful watercolours of this village and the surrounding area

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