It takes a long time to really get to know a place. Very gradually I've built-up my studies and a familiarity with the area. I've now become confident enough to start shaping a collection of studio based art.
Paintings of Bamburgh Castle
Updated: 21 November 2019
Pronounced ‘Bambra’, or if you prefer ‘Bamburra’ (Either is fine), Bamburgh Castle always takes my breath away as I arrive in the village below it. It's a perfect painting subject.
Bamburgh Castle on the wild and dramatic Northumbrian coast of the UK, is a fairytale place. It's been part of my journey as a landscape artist. I first spent a week there in 2016 trying to get to grips with painting seriously outside. I was not very experienced and lacked confidence, but felt that the castle would be a perfect thing to paint. It is so beautifully sited on it's prominent rock in the dunes that it arranges itself into a perfect composition from pretty much any view point you happen across.
The next visit was this year (2019). Again a week there expressly to paint. The weather was not as kind, but considering all the rain, it was very good during a year that hasn't been. I took my new found confidence and some of my new plein-air kit knowing it's actually a challenging subject to paint. It's challenging because it's so epic. The weather was so changable that I rapidly abandoned any notion of painting in oils and instead made many studies using acrylic paint on paper. Being able to rock up and complete a painting with minimum set-up time and scurry away when the rain rolled-in was a good strategy for completing many studies. I'd faired better than the first time I went to Bamburgh – there was no thick fog obscuring the castle!
I'm pleased to say that many of the studies I've completed are begging to be tackled in the studio and as I look at them, I can recall so much of the richness in the scene, which is always a good sign a painting will be a success. I hope to visit again some day, because wherever you stand or sit, the castle begs a painting.
It's an ever changing landscape, with tides, light, animated dune grass, flowers, birds and people all adding to the richness of this breath taking magical place. I cannot imagine ever tiring of it.
My growing plein air oil collection