wellies and watercolours…

Thornham saltmarsh, from sketchbook © Mari French 2011

Thornham saltmarsh, from sketchbook © Mari French 2011

Thornham creek & marshes © Mari French 2010

Thornham creek & marshes © Mari French 2010

A selection of photos and sketches from a recent visit to Thornham marshes, on the north Norfolk coast, in glorious sunshine. At high tide the saltmarsh and creeks are inundated by seawater – it’s a place of dual characteristics which fascinates me.

I’m spending time studying this area with the intention of working up a body of paintings (another one!) for exhibition. The tide goes out fast here leaving shining mud banks reflecting the blue sky and is a feast for wading birds (the area is a mecca for bird-watchers).

Old silvered tree stumps and rows of dark posts in the mud – remains of staithes (jetties) – provide useful vertical contrast to the expanse of horizontal bands of colour and texture. The creek winds out to the pale strand and dunes in the distance, and indigo strip of sea.

Although it was sunny there was a very cold breeze, so as well as wrapping up well, I made use of the disposable hand warmers I got for christmas. These come in a multi-pack and as soon as you tear open the cello pack they start to warm up and provide very good heat for several hours (although they’re probably not very eco-friendly). They’re also small enough to fit in gloves (or even wellies for a quick warm up!) – highly recommended for outdoor sketching.

Thornham creek, from sketchbook © Mari French 2011

Thornham creek, from sketchbook © Mari French 2011

Thornham stumps, from sketchbook © Mari French 2011

Thornham stumps, from sketchbook © Mari French 2011

Thornham creek & marshes © Mari French 2011

Thornham creek & marshes © Mari French 2011

4 thoughts on “wellies and watercolours…

  1. Pingback: saltmarsh studies… | Mari French : contemporary artist

  2. Oooh these are lovely – I love stumps and clues as to what once was. Is the mud firm enough to hold birdy footprints? That’s another thing I like about beachcombing – footprints in wet sand – all those little journeys of birds feeding or excited dog tracks. Such a feeling of big skies in your sketches Mari – I’m a lover of finger-less gloves for the cold hands thing and a big flask of tea to warm your hands! I imagine this smelled good too … fantasticy!!

    • thanks elaine. yeah, lots of birdprints scurrying about everywhere, not so many doggie prints tho as the mud is deep dangerous estuary mud! I’d like to spend a whole day there watching the changes as the tide sweeps in. My fingerless gloves are a bit bulky so I’m using my soft m&s ones (and ruining them probably!). ; )

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