Saturday, 26 September 2015

Candlestick Tree, Niton Undercliff

This is an 8" by 10" oil, just a sketch of the huge candlestick tree - I think it's a Sycamore - it could hardly be anything else - that has grown into three great boughs of roughly equal girth until they branch out about half way up.

I've had four paintings so far from this one walk down the road, 3 oils and 1 acrylic.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Inside Elephant Hole Cave

Acrylic, 8" by 10"

A quick study from memory, because drawing inside the cave was impossible (not least because I forgot to take a pencil with me....) and so was taking a photograph.  Having got in, the worry was whether I was going to be able to get out again.  The point from which I would have been standing in this one is where a tunnel leads through the cliff to another opening which is almost impossible to see from the outside.  I got through that, but the path was so treacherous that unfortunately I had to turn back the way I came.

Well, I can say I've done it now, anyway: I'm in no hurry to do it again.  I just hope that road works which are likely to be undertaken in the area don't destroy this part of the cliff and its environs forever.

Cripple Path II, and Elephant Hole Cave

A couple of recent oils - the top one is another version of the Cripple Path, from the cliffs down to Undercliff Drive near Ventnor - and I think it's a bit cold: I may add a warm glaze (of transparent oil colour) in places.

The second is of the quite remote Elephant Hole Cave, also off Undercliff Drive.  This, in the appropriate season, is the home for rare bats - there is some concern locally that the road will be diverted all too near to this site, disturbing the bats and destroying a unique bit of landscape which, once gone, can never be replaced.

Sometimes any painter must feel like the Yorkshire artist John McCombs - getting to these places just before the bulldozer.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Cripple Path pastel sketch

I don't do pastel, other than in sketches for paintings, and I don't do it for public consumption because I'm not very good at it.

I had rather resigned myself to this, and to using pastel merely to take colour notes and to help me "read" a scene before painting it.

However, here is one - not a great work, but presentable; it sort of works.... whether I shall experiment further with pastel I don't know, but it does appear that - at last - I might even be getting the hang of it.

This is a path from the top of the cliff down to Undercliff Drive in Niton Undercliff - the broken road between here and Ventnor.  The term Cripple Path is said (by some at least) to derive from water courses rather than disability, but as yet I've been unable to determine the truth of otherwise of that: what I do know is that I could only get half-way up the path before having to turn back - it's just too steep, and too slippery.  This view is of the last part of the path before it meets the road.

I've just painted it in oil, from a somewhat different perspective - it's a work in progress at the moment, though - not sure about it as yet .....