The Farne Islands on the horizon, seen from Black Point, are often caught by dramatic lighting.
Sitting high on a bank overlooking Bamburgh beach, I settled down to paint a scene I know well: Black Point Rocks. The rocks fold and curve in a challenging way, possibly betraying ancient upheavel. The richness here is surprising. As an artist, the shapes and texture are enthralling. Then there's the wildlife, the light on the sea and in the distance the ver changing silhouettes of the islands.
Should I decide to make a studio painting inspired by this acrylic on paper, painted on location, I'll be sure to include the wildlife I know dwells in this special place. Eider duck in Summer, Cormorants, Oystercatchers and Rock Pippets (in the sky in the painting) as well as other passing visitors migrating up or down the coast.
- Image size: 29.7 x 42.0cm (11.69" x 16.53") - A3
- Kind: Study
- Medium: acrylic
- Ground: 300lb watercolour paper
Though I've not called it out in this painting, the light on the Farne Islands in the distance is beguiling at times. In a larger painting, I'll have the scope to bring some of the effects I observed out in their full glory. This painting is one of many I made while staying for a week during a so-so June. While there seemed to be a permanent cold wind that would force me to retreat after a while to warm up, the light was often bright. If I could find a sheltered spot and the sun was out, I'd rapidly find myself too hot! Ah, the English Summer in all its richness.
It was a complete contrast to the previous year when I wasn't able to come to Bamburgh. Each trip has been very different, both in terms of the weather and in terms of where I've been on my journey as an artist. My trip before this painting was three years before, when my outside painting confidence was not as developed as it is now. This trip because of the changeability in the weather meant I went for a strategy of quick set-up painting eschewing my pochade for a sketchbook on my knees instead.
The first year I made lots of compositional sketches. This time painted while thinking about how I'd approach a studio oil painting. In another three years, when I'd like to think I'll be there again, who knows where my painting skills will be. It'll be a fabulous artistic adventure as it always is no doubt.