Monday, 21 November 2022

A piece of history

Think this is a very UK thing, and I haven't seen one for years.  We came across this on a recent trip away to Hereford.   I can see it indicates 50p on the left side, so certainly has been used in 'recent years', but sadly no longer in use.  

Then this very modern sculptured Deer.  Fortunately I had time for this snap as we were at traffic lights.

The area we were staying in had a lot of forest areas, and I'm guessing Deer were a major thing, hence the sculpture.

Saturday, 22 October 2022

It's no excuse!

 Yes it is. 

 Fortification was needed before trekking our way around Ikea.

It worked, we managed to find everything on our shopping list, and we were not tempted to buy unnecessary extras!

whoop whoop 

Note - I know this wasn't a "Healthy" breakfast, but once in a while you have to say

 'enough is enough, I'm going to enjoy this for once'

Thursday, 11 August 2022

Meanwhile back in Woolacombe

The weather this last week has been So good…..we really aren’t used to all this, where are the grey skies?

I sound cynical, yes, but we so often find that the weather leading up to the school summer holidays is lovely and sunny - the second the schools close, the weather promptly changes to Wet and Windy!  This season, I have been proved wrong, admittedly I will say there have been a few ‘gloomy’ days, but overall we have enjoyed sunshine.

With this glorious weather, come the Grockles (* Grockles = Devon nickname for the Tourists/Holiday makers)…….in their HOARDES!   A good thing for the businesses, they bring their purses/wallets down here, and certainly the businesses need it.  

Here’s a short video-clip Graham took from the other day, to show you just how packed the beach was….

….click the image….

One highly popular business is the Barricade Beach Cafe (for want of a better word, it's a Curry Hut on that arrives each Summer).  People have a choice of set menu curries, then go and sit on the beach to enjoy.  The queue the other day was quite long…. (yes, that's the curry hut queue)


Saturday, 6 August 2022

A much needed break

 With a last minute holiday booking, a deal we couldn’t say no to, we jetted off to Lanzarote. 

Okay, we happened to choose the very week the UK had a heatwave itself, but I have to say, blissfully the hotel we stayed at was excellent and better still had air conditioning…..ahhhh the relief.

Of course I took my sketchbook and gouache paints with me.  Over the week, I actually only sketched 3 scenes, but so nice to be painting something and somewhere different. 

View from the esplanade in Papagayo, this shows a small part of the hotel

View from our hotel room….we were so lucky, large balcony too.

We drove up the coast one day and stopped to look around shops, and Yes, the beach had to get a sketch.

I had intended to do more sketching, but it was a holiday for relaxing, so we enjoyed the swimming pools at the hotel.


Thursday, 21 July 2022

Woodbury Hill Fort

Woodbury Castle near Exmouth in Devon, is an Iron Age hill fort.   You would drive past it without even realising it's a castle - and why not, there is no 'actual' castle there.  However, back in the day....well, I've tried to take photos of the notice board there, so hopefully this will help explain a bit.


 ~ And HERE'S A LINK for those who would like to read about the restoration project ~

Monday, 27 June 2022

Venturing further afield

There's inspiration around us here in Devon, but it is nice to visit other places.  Seeing what goes on elsewhere and even a couple of counties away, there are new painting ideas and scenes to capture.

No doubt one or two of you may have seen via my Instagram and other social medias, we were in Hampshire and Dorset (the counties border one another and on any one outing, it is easy to slip into the next county when travelling about). 

This blogpost covers several outings on different days, but to start with, our accommodation was a wonderful caravan, all fully equipped and soooo very nice, balcony as well.  It worked perfectly for us, lucky to have booked's a little look at our 'home' for the week  (click the image)

_ note:  can I say at this point that, the LINKS from my youtube, Do seem to add RANDOM follow ups.....nothing to do with please keep this in mind -

Our base for the week was Poole in Dorset - and once settled in,  I got to do some early morning en plein air painting 

click the image below for a short Time-lapse ⤵︎

Staying at Rockley Park in Poole (we've been there before some years ago) and it didn't disappoint. 

The south coast (particularly the English channel) have a lot of boats of all shapes and sizes.  We don't tend to see so much shipping activity in North Devon.  However, saying that, with the obvious tide out (see below pic) there was little going on....until a jet ski came along.  Of course, I had to video it  : click the pic ⤵︎

Another trip out was to Hengistbury Head.  Down at the Head beach, are loads of little beach huts,  affording spectacular prices too - I can't quite comprehend the reasoning to spending vast amounts of money for a wooden shed on sand, that can be blown away in a storm or even end up with the sand getting washed away!,  but heyho everyone to their own.  

Makes for a good visit, we had my bike in the car so I rode down 

google map

My trusty sketchbook was employed, of course!

Another day - another walk....

 down from our accommodation to the waterside and the view overlooking  Poole Harbour -

The chance to get the above photos for future painting reference.  I had an assistant photographer to help out where I couldn't clamber down in my sandals....(you'll spot hubby getting some pics near the pond which was on our way down to the following views)

click the image ⤵︎

So pleased with photos hubby got ...

 ~ More than a few paintings within these photos I'm sure ~

 ~ When we reached the sea, there were even more photos and possible paintings ~


On our travels I like keeping my sketchbook with me.  Even when you come across a random shepherd's hut - makes for a few minutes quick sketching

Finally, a quiet saunter around Poole Park - proved to be surprisingly nice - 
 - even the wildlife were relaxed -
click the image below

PLUS, I was even able to walk on water!
Yes you heard correctly

 ~ proof of this, click the image below ⤵︎

Then it was holiday over and heading back to Devon.

Holidays are always nice to take, 
but there is nothing like getting home.


Saturday, 11 June 2022

Part 2 - Oil painting

Back at Arlington Court again this week, and I managed to, mostly, complete the painting.   

The space I get to use in the Visitor reception area is very good, I can set up my easel with room to add my folding table (for paints/brushes etc), plus the tripod for my iPhone to video.  

Light, natural light, is a major factor for me, and if I turned my easel to face the window, then visitors wouldn't see what I'm painting!   I compromised and semi-turned the easel.  Even so, this week there wasn't really enough light, but I kept going.  People did say how they liked the painting and had spotted it from across the room, so I guess everything worked out in the end.  The only thing I will say, is the video didn't pick up as well as the previous session (Part 1 video), so please allow for this when you watch this video....

As ever, click the image below, and I hope you enjoy what essentially had been around 4 hours painting, speeded up into about 13 minutes.

Tuesday, 7 June 2022

Part 1 - Oil painting


Part 1 of an interior scene from the House at Arlington Court - National Trust - from photo image (no paints in the House itself) - makes sense to use space in the newly rebuilt Visitor reception. Lovely to meet the visitors, some who took the time to stop by later to check on my progress.

Here's the reference image:

I just needed to outline the main features onto canvas. That done, together with a pink background (and why not) and I was ready to start painting.

~ click the image below ~

That's it for Part 1 - hopefully I will get to complete this painting on my next visit.

Sunday, 22 May 2022

Pink May

I'm often on the lookout for painting inspiration, sometimes it randomly appears, which is great.  Our walk in the park had loads of painting opportunities, but one thing that really took my eye was this lovely pink flowering plant, it was literally dancing in the breeze.  The month of May always seems to be the Pink Month.

Capturing a photo and video will now be filed into my "To do list" for painting.  I might even do a little tester piece 2"x3" to see how a larger version will work.

 ~  click the image below ↴  ~