Who would expect Roses side-by-side with Sea Thrift, a castle and a beach all within the one painting?
Yet it's real. I was amazed to discover, as I walked along the edge of Bamburgh's Northumbrian beach next to the rising dunes: a flowering wild rose. But there it was, almost on the beach itself. After some moments wondering how close the sea came at it's highest to the flowering shrub, I decided I had to paint it. It felt like a precious discovery. The weather was changing rapidly with rain forecast so I didn't have time to set up my oils. Instead I created this painting on paper while the day was bright and relatively free of cloud.
- Image size: 29.7cm x 42.0cm (11.69" x 16.53")
- Medium: acrylic
- Ground: 300lb watercolour paper
I've since discovered that wild roses called various names such as Saltspray rose, seaside rose, beach rose and yes, dune rose, are common next to the sea! It appeared to be a precarious and miraculous position to me, but it seems that's just how the rose likes it. With white Sea Trift at it's feet and Bamburgh Castle's protective countenance nearby, it's perfectly at home.
Tiny, but resilient Sea Thrift is a common flower near the sea, though here they were white rather than the usual pink. It's always amazed me how much variety there actually is in the dunes at Bamburgh – it's not all dune grass. While I was there this summer (2019), I was especially taken by the wide variety of grasses on the banks and threaded through the dunes.
Bamburgh Castle, of course, sits in the distance with it's distinctive profile from this angle. It's instantly recognisable once you've been.
Staying for an intense week of painting at Bamburgh produced many paintings – a lot of them are displayed on this website. This painting begs to be made into a more finished work of art in oil in my studio. It's on my (long) list of paintings to do.