I’ve been meaning to paint the California Poppies in my garden for weeks. They are such cheerful things – opening up in the mornings to greet the sunshine and then closing up in the evening when it starts to get dark. It’s been so hot though that I didn’t think I could manage to sit out there and paint them so I decided to pick just one flower, pop it in a tiny vase and retreat to the relative shade and cool of my kitchen to paint it there!
Here’s the second of the small plein air pieces I painted at Burghley last week. There must be thousands of old trees in Burghley Park, many of them adorned with mistletoe, so it is easy for me to find subject matter everywhere! However last week I only had a short amount of time and a small board so I concentrated on trying to capture a small stand of trees which was being lit by the low sun. There were fantastic shapes – a couple of fallen trunks and some amazing twisted branches. I was also treated to deer grazing in the field! The best I could do that morning was to capture an impression of shape and colour. I may work this and the first painting up a little larger to explore the subject further.
Waking up to a frosty but bright Monday morning I took my paints and pochade box out to the parkland surrounding Burghley House. The light was lovely, the dog walkers were out and the parkland deer were quietly grazing. A pretty magical time. This is the first of two small oil sketches I was able to make before the cold got the better of me!
Here are three more pochade-sized pieces, this time with an Autumnal theme. It’s hard to believe that only just a few weeks ago the trees were in leaf. Some of the colours this year were spectacular!
The weather has not been conducive to much outdoor painting so I have decided to do a few smaill oil sketches at home but using the trusty ‘pochade box’ I often take with me out on location. This only takes small painting boards measuring 6″ x 8″ so the paintings are pretty compact. The pochade box only has a small paint mixing area too so a limited palette of 5 or 6 colours is all I had to work with. All good practice when it comes to colour mixing!
These three all have a Norfolk theme and are based on sketches and photos made/taken last month over a pretty cold and cloudy weekend.