Sun & storm clouds (ii)…

Stormy sky towards Thornham

Stormy sky towards Thornham. © Mari French 2016

On my second recent sketching trip to Thornham Saltmarsh, I wanted to try out my new Posca paint pens with gouache and ink, as a change from the watercolours I normally use outdoors. 

I encountered Posca pens for the first time back in January on the Emily Ball workshop I attended in Cambridge, but this was the first time I’ve used them out sketching. They come in a range of colours and types of nib/width etc and at first look like felt markers. However, what I particularly like about them is their ability to be used over other colours without losing their clarity (see the fine blue lines and the white thicker ones in the sketch above). They seem to combine well with gouache, but I’ve seen them used effectively on acrylics, collage and so on.

Although the yellow rape had gone over, you could still detect its balmy, honeyed, slightly medicinal aroma along the raised paths around the marsh. Many other wildflowers were out – purple mallow, yellow rattle, white clover, ox-eye daisies, cow parsley and the stunning blue chicory,  with sea lavender blushing the marsh with mauve.

Butterflies flickered along the margins of the paths (one landed on my sketch), and many plants were studded with tiny button-like snails. The wind rustling through the reedbeds and the grasses emphasised the peace and quiet.

Ragged Marsh. © Mari French 2016

Ragged Marsh. © Mari French 2016

 

Hot day, windy with skylarks and jets. © Mari French 2016

Hot day, windy with skylarks and jets. © Mari French 2016

I didn’t walk as far as the beach this time, but spent an hour observing and sketching the weather over the marsh. From distant Thornham village, acrid woodsmoke drifted in, giving rise to the brownish smudge on the abstract sketch above. A jet zipped through the sky ripping it open, but the skylarks continued spiralling upwards casting their songs into the air.

Chicory, Holme dunes. © Mari French 2016

Chicory, Holme dunes. © Mari French 2016

 

Bench & signpost. © Mari French 2016

Bench & signpost. © Mari French 2016


Sketchbook © Mari French 2016

Sketchbook © Mari French 2016


Sketch in gouache and Posca pen © Mari French 2016

Sketch in gouache and Posca pen © Mari French 2016

 

Sketch in gouache, ink and Posca pen. © Mari French 2016

Sketch in gouache, ink and Posca pen. © Mari French 2016

 

 

Solstice… sun & storm clouds

Beach at Holme Dunes, Thornham. © Mari French 2016

Beach at Holme Dunes, Thornham. © Mari French 2016

I eventually managed a couple of days sketching recently at Thornham on the north Norfolk coast. The first day, summer solstice as it happens, a couple of weeks ago now, was deceptively hot with a pleasant breeze. I walked along the raised paths which were lined with a mass of billowing yellow rape, towards the boardwalks through Holme dunes to the wide glorious beach.

Accompanied by the calls of Lapwings and the song of skylarks, bright sun with dark clouds behind me. Bees buzzing, the mud flats greening up in places with vivid samphire. After a few rumbles of thunder, the looming clouds moved away leaving contrails and cirrus clouds sweeping the bright blue sky. 

Thornham salt marsh with yellow rape. © Mari French 2016

Thornham salt marsh with yellow rape. © Mari French 2016

 From my sketchbook notes…

Incredible play of light today from the sun/storm clouds over the marsh and grazings to brilliant sunshine over the dunes, beach and sea. Windy but warm. Indigo, turquoise and cerulean bands of colour on the sea. The sand ranges from palest ivory pink to deep Sienna where it is still wet near the sea. Winding shallow creeks meander across the huge expanse of beach.

 

Thunder in the distance. © Mari French 2016


Dunes, Holme Beach. © Mari French 2016


Samphire, Ragged Marsh. © Mari French 2016


Sun and sand, Solstice. © Mari French 2016

art on the heath…

After a very busy and successful Charity Private View on Wednesday, the Affordable Art Fair in Hampstead, London, is well underway. Held in a huge contemporary marquee on Hampstead Heath this fair is an exciting and popular event with activities for everyone as well as a wide variety of art to browse and buy.

I’m proud to be represented once again by Sheridan Russell Gallery, whose stand, as always, looks stunning. My work hangs alongside contemporary paintings by Jean Noble, Anne McCormack, and sculpture by Patricia Volk, Lucianne Lasalle and others.

The art fair continues until Sunday 19 June. Well worth a visit!

 

 

 

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The impressive Sheridan Russell Gallery stand at Affordable Art Fair Hampstead 2016.  ©Sheridan Russell Gallery.