Westward Ho!

Spent a rather enjoyable walk along the beach at Westward Ho in North Devon and met up with some old friends and caught up on old times. Similar to many years ago when I painted the watercolour below of the same friends when we had our children with us!

The beginnings of new work.

The start of a couple of paintings although am at the moment beginning to lose my mojo. The first is another Bideford Black of the Crow Point Boardwalk. The second a derelict boat at Ashford Strand on the River Taw near Barnstaple, this will be a coloured acrylic painting on gesso board. We’ll see how these evolve. Al

Fisherman’s Huts at Crow.

I was taken by an image, on Facebook, of a couple of old fisherman’s huts at Crow Point in North Devon and decided to sketch them in leu of a painting. I made my way to the White House at Crow and walked left along the thorn ridden breakwater; this is now the only way to get to these huts as part of the inner wall has collapsed. I arrived and marvelled at their rustic charm, rusty orange corrugated iron, weather bleached wooden doors and crude cobbles which remained from years ago.
Quickly I took a series of photographs and made a few reference sketches eventually the dark clouds forebode and soon it began to rain. Luckily one of the huts wasn’t locked and I weathered out the storm in it’s solitude loving that sound of rain on iron.
The smells of the estuary mud and seawater filled the air as I made my way back slipping on the mud and pebbles. Perhaps a painting to come? Al


This is picture of Broadsands on Northam Burrows looking towards Appledore and Instow in North Devon. Experimenting with drybrush technique acrylic on panel 460 x 610mm. Original photograph by James Gooding on facebook. I quite liked the pastel colours and have used Turner’s Yellow for the first time. Al


An acrylic painting 600 x 760mm on panel of Greencliff near Abbottsham on the North Devon coast. The view is looking downwards to the sea and in the distance Harland Point is seen. It is here where I go to collect the pigment I use to produce Bideford Black. I’ve experimented with layers of acrylic wash for this painting. When viewed in full sunlight adjustments had to be made to create that darker warm evening light. Al

Above are pictures of progress so far, I’ve also started another smaller painting of a sunset at Broadsands on Northam Burrows in North Devon.

Roborough Hill.

Another picture inspired from Roborough near Pilton, Barnstaple. I’m using some broken sticks from the hill to create some surface texture. This is painted using Bideford Black hand prepared paint on thick cartridge paper. The view is of looking toward the top of road leading down to Raleigh and Barnstaple. In the distance there is a slight glimpse of the River Taw leading to Fremington Quay, Instow and Crow Point. Al

Roborough Hill.

A couple of pictures from my latest foray up the very steep Roborough Hill near Pilton in North Devon. I’ve slightly tinted the black and white images to give them that look of an old school 1930s travel book. I remember, as a boy, looking through those old musty picture books of the world and it was from these very books that fuelled my inspiration to travel. These pictures will eventually become large Bidiford Black paintings.

Roborough Hill

The main reason why I was there today was to pick a place to photograph the Spitfire flying over the country’s hospitals with ‘THANK U NHS’ under it’s wings. I decided to return down the hill and finally took the picture below.

Spitfire over North Devon District Hospital

A few framed pictures!

It’s always nice to see how other people choose frames for my paintings! I worked in a picture framers for a few years called Doidge Fine Art in the 70s and 80s and like to think I’ve an idea how things should be done. But I’m always surprised by how others tastes complement my paintings, very rarely am I disappointed! Al