A vivid original painting of a seaside garden, inspired while on holiday in the UK.
In truth, it was a busman's holiday. I went with just one thing in mind, and that was painting every day.
The sketch for this painting is on the right/below (depending on the size of your screen). It was made while looking out of the window of the holiday cottage.
Pocket rockets, and a wag or two
Watching the many House Martins feeding on midges in the late afternoons was a delight. Zipping low over the lawn and soaring high into the blue-blue sky, their energy and skill is a thing to see.
They were building nests under the cottage eaves, and I made several studies of their efforts.
These lovely little winged rockets are a characteristic of many a seaside location, where insects seem to collect in abundance.
While the Martins flitted at lightning speed above, Wagtails patrolled the garden below, dipping their tails as is their want. They calmly paced the grass, bobbing up suddenly to catch their low flying or rising lunch.
All the feathered action, including the seagulls in the distance (mostly around the boat), bring this painting alive. It sums up the delight of gazing over a garden to the sea on a bright afternoon.
A relaxed garden by the sea
This garden is a simple one, intent on not distracting from the ocean view beyond the gate.
On a Summer's day on a seafront, you can be forgiven for under-estimating the ferocity of winters there. A fresh wind is blowing in this painting, as there often is at the bracing seaside.
Hardy shrubs against the fence have taken over the border, almost crowding out the other plants there. I believe they're Brachyglottis greyi, often called the Daisy Bush, and they're very hardy.
The yellow daisy flowers are just beginning to open, while the wind pushes the grey-green leaves over, giving a flash of their soft white fur covered underside.
- Image size: 35.5cm x 35.5cm (14" x 14")
- Medium: oil
- Ground: canvas board
It's a vivid painting with saturated colours. The day was like that, though the notes I made at the time didn't capture it. Sketches serve as a memory jogger, besides a record of shape, colour, tone and scenic details.
The week I spent in this garden by the sea was filled with intense weather of both the good and not‑so‑good kind. The light, as it often is where land meets sea, was sharp and bright for most of the time thankfully.
I've been working on my handling of colour, and I've lots of plans for colour scheming paintings I intend to do from now on. I'm always full of ideas for making my oil paintings rich and rewarding, of course.