Monday, 22 April 2013

Abstract Landscape Painter.  Rural Dweller.  Lover of Modernist Art and Design.


Since returning from holiday I've been working on a commission - a coastal painting with a rowing theme - which I finished on Friday morning.  It has been difficult to envisage sunshine again, but in the end I was pleased with the bright light effect that I managed to achieve.  I was even more pleased when the sun actually shone on Saturday.  It's been feeling a bit too much like Narnia under the white witch lately - "always Winter and never Spring". I'm hoping that it's going to continue for a while, as next week I have to start work on a series of paintings for an exhibition entitled "Summer Sunshine", which otherwise is going to require even more elements of memory and imagination that usual!

I spent most the of the time outdoors on Saturday, walking in the morning and gardening during the afternoon. One of the farms on our route had lambs in the yard and three very chatty piglets next door. A little way further on, at the top of the hill, we saw a newborn calf taking its first few hesitant steps. So as not to disturb the cattle, we quietly descended the steep path and sat by the lake for a while watching the birds and the light on the water.

After lunch we worked in the front garden for a couple of hours, tidying the areas that run alongside the lane.  So many flowers have died in bud this year, but now at last the colour is starting to appear as the daffodils in the verges are all opening.  When we had finished our labours we sat on the front step with a cool drink and enjoyed the warmth of the afternoon sun.  I leant against the stone of the doorway, which had absorbed the heat, and closed my eyes as I listened to the abundant birdsong.  While we sat there, one of neighbours came past on her way home from work and stopped to chat.  

An hour or so later, after washing and changing, we were making our way down the lane to her cottage, carrying a bag of clinking Adnams bottles, bought as a gift in Norfolk.  We had a very sociable evening, sitting outside chatting until about 8.30pm, watching the sun set over the rolling landscape and the antics of the waterfowl and garden geese.

You could say that it's a pretty old-fashioned lifestyle in many ways, but I don't care.  Slow and steady and the pleasure of community.  Suits me.

All text and images ©2013 Carol Saunderson

Friday, 12 April 2013

Abstract Landscape Painter.  Rural Dweller.  Lover of Modernist Art and Design.

On the Road

I've been on my travels for the last couple of weeks.  It's been refreshing to see different landscapes and different people for a while, and a break in routine after Rosie's death has been helpful.

On one of our journeys, we travelled up to the North Norfolk Coast, to places that I haven't been for many years.  I had forgotten how beautiful the gently rolling countryside is as you drive towards Holt on the Thornage road.  The colours, patterns and shapes made me think of paintings by Paul Nash and Dora Carrington.  It was a wonderfully crisp, blue day when we arrived we in Holt, which has changed enormously from the quiet little town that I remember from childhood.  Now "discovered" and full of quirky shops and cafe culture, it was a very lively, friendly and enjoyable place to spend some time.

Next we travelled on to Cley, where my aunt used to live and visited the Made in Cley Pottery, buying three beautiful bowls.  I felt a surprising sense of exhilaration at being there again. Happy family memories I suppose.

We continued on along the coast road, through Blakeney, Morston, Stiffkey and Wells, stopping finally in Holkham.  We parked on Lady Ann's Road and set off across the vast expanse of Holkham beach. I love the HUGE sky and the freedom of the emptiness that I experience there.  No buildings, hardly any people, just………………SPACE………………PEACE……………...the mind at ease.

The air felt so cold and purifying.  I felt as if I wanted to drink it down in great, refreshing gulps.  We paddled in the sea (in Wellingtons of course - we are British after all!) and then walked back through the dunes and across the marshy bay to the loud accompaniment of skylarks.  So much beautiful birdsong.

Then it was off to the tiny village of Burnham Overy Staithe, before heading back home for the day.  What a wonderful day out!

All text and images ©2013 Carol Saunderson