too hot, but painting anyway…

Sea lavender and marsh pools

Sea lavender and marsh pools © Mari French 2016

It didn’t take long for last week’s sketching inspiration at Thornham Saltmarsh (see my previous post Seeing purple) to find its way to my easel.

I really didn’t feel like going into the studio today, it was so hot (around 28 to 30c). I’m no good with heat (before those who live in really hot countries object!). The studio is in a hayloft, basically the roof space above an old stables, rustic, interesting, but baking today. Anyway, bearing in mind one famous artist’s wise advice (possibly Louise Bourgeois) to make yourself go into the studio even when you really don’t want to, in I went.

Glad I did now. Just painted for a couple of hours before lunch, but once I’d decided on this palette of sludgy purple and bronze, the rest followed. It may need a bit more work yet, but I’m feeling positive about it and enjoying this slightly different colour combination. The piece is painted in acrylics, with oil pastel and Inktense pencil scribbled into it.

 

Sea lavender and coal barn, Thornham Saltmarsh. © Mari French 2016

Sea lavender and coal barn, Thornham Saltmarsh. © Mari French 2016

 

 

 

sea of purple …

Sea lavender saltmarsh, sketchbook spread.

Sea lavender saltmarsh, sketchbook spread. © Mari French 2016

This week, I tried a new coastal sketching route (for me), along Green Lane at Thornham and out onto the Saltmarsh via a rough bridle way. I was stunned by the swathes of purple sea lavender stretching out to the dunes on the horizon. I’d seen this on Norfolk saltmarshes in other years, but never such an expanse.

These plants are completely covered by high tides, there was one the night before – evidence in the form of small dead crabs among the sea lavender – yet they thrive in this hostile environment.

Thornham marsh © Mari French 2016

Thornham marsh © Mari French 2016

I spent several hours over two days walking, sketching and taking photographs. Again, I was keen to interpret this in an abstract way with various media, concentrating on evoking the wind, bird calls, light aircraft overhead, the rustling of reeds etc.

Thornham marsh © Mari French 2016

Thornham marsh © Mari French 2016


Sea lavender, Thornham. Sketchbook © Mari French 2016

Sea lavender, Thornham. Sketchbook © Mari French 2016

 

Thornham Saltmarsh, sketchbook.

Thornham Saltmarsh, sketchbook. © Mari French 2016

 

Sea lavender, Thornham.

Sea lavender, Thornham. © Mari French 2016


Marsh pools, Thornham Saltmarsh.

Marsh pools, Thornham Saltmarsh. © Mari French 2016


Thornham Saltmarsh, sketchbook.

Thornham Saltmarsh, sketchbook. © Mari French 2016

 

thunderheads and stubble …

Stormy skies & stubble field

Stormy skies & stubble field � Mari French 2016

A few sketchbook spreads from a recent day sat at the edge of a local harvested barley field. I’d passed it earlier in the day on my way back from shopping, so when I got home I threw my sketch bag in the car and shot straight back (about 3 miles from home).

Dark impressive storm clouds were towering on the horizon. It was very humid, with bees buzzing, crows calling in a nearby field, warm wind, skylarks. Thunderheads massing but then dispersing away over the fields. Bronze stubble. 

Decided I’d try to be a bit looser than my usual watercolour sketches, so I used ink, gouache, posca paint pens and tried to evoke the movement of the wind and the birds and insects over the field.

Stormy skies & stubble field � Mari French 2016

Stormy skies & stubble field � Mari French 2016


Thunderheads over stubble field � Mari French 2016

Thunderheads over stubble field � Mari French 2016