saltmarsh studies…

Thornham creek - looking out to sea © Mari French 2011

Thornham creek - looking out to sea © Mari French 2011

Several small new studies – some more abstract than others – inspired by my recent visit to Thornham saltmarshes (see my earlier post ‘wellies and watercolours’).

Thought I’d rattle off a few of these instead of ploughing straight into a finished piece on canvas. I think taking the pressure off myself by regarding

'Ragged Marsh', Thornham saltmarsh © Mari French 2011

'Ragged Marsh', Thornham saltmarsh © Mari French 2011

them as experimental rather than finished pieces helped me enjoy producing them more.

As you can see, they progressed from fairly representational to pretty abstract. Some of them have pasted down tissue paper as a base to add textural interest. They are all on Daler Sanders Watercolour board and are about 10×12 inches.

The only reference I used was a quick look through my sketchbook to remind myself of my day on the saltmarsh then I just let my imagination and the materials take over. I’ll live with these for a while first (and produce more) but I’m thinking I might get a few mounted and framed for inclusion in one of my exhibitions?

'Ragged Marsh' tide returning © Mari French 2011

'Ragged Marsh' tide returning © Mari French 2011

I love the actual name of part of the saltmarsh at Thornham -“Ragged Marsh”, in fact the whole list of words related to these marshes – staithes, stumps, sluice, saltmarsh – is very evocative of the wet landscape!

'Approaching Thornham marsh' © Mari French 2011

'Approaching Thornham marsh' © Mari French 2011

'Sluice at Thornham' © Mari French 2011

'Sluice at Thornham' © Mari French 2011

7 thoughts on “saltmarsh studies…

  1. Mari – I think some people think that bigger is better value 🙂 And some people perceive a nice big painting as impressive – I think smaller can be just as impressive – maybe its like wanting a great big car lol!

    I like smaller pieces – they lend themselves to creating a sense of intimacy and I like the effect of colour in a smaller piece. Also you can ‘thread’ several pieces together – I like diptych and triptych – the almost, story-boarding effect.

    p.s. thank you for the postcard – they are addictive!

  2. Hi, I am in a rut at the moment with my art or lack of art work and your works have inspired me to just START!
    Thanks, I love your free style and bold, textural approach. It has reminded me that the fun is in the making of the work and not the so called precious finished pieace.


    • hi Maxine, am so pleased to be of inspiration!
      It’s taken me a long time to learn to loosen up and I still have painting days when I wonder why I’m back in a rut trying to produce a saleable piece rather than just playing around and enjoying the medium, even though I know from experience that the latter almost always produces better results!
      Comments like yours are making keeping my blog going v rewarding. Many thanks

  3. I love the immediacy of these Mari – and the colours – the second and third ones particularly. They have that plein-airness about them. Lovely.

    • Thanks Elaine. I’m going to do more, the trick is going to be working up to larger ones – I’ve always seemed to be more comfortable with smaller works – more at home with their scale. Or perhaps this isn’t actually the problem I perceive it to be? I know gallery shows seem to be filled with mainly large impressive works on canvas.

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