the wind in the reeds…

January 12th, a cold but very bright day. I escaped from my rather cramped studio, which was being bombarded by noisy builders two doors down, up to the wide open spaces of the Norfolk coast in my mud splattered little Clio…

Saltmarsh (mixed media on board) © Mari French 2012

Saltmarsh (mixed media on board) © Mari French 2012

…welcome to my current favourite spot for sketching – the wide saltmarshes and creeks lying between Thornham and Holme-next-the-sea.

Reedbeds, Thornham Marsh (digital photo) © Mari French 2012

Reedbeds, Thornham Marsh (digital photo) © Mari French 2012

Thornham Marsh (digital photo) © Mari French 2012

Thornham Marsh (digital photo) © Mari French 2012

The easterly wind is bitter and watercolour takes forever drying, so I walk along the raised bank of the sea defences, passing the odd dog walker and bird watcher, flapping my open sketchbook in the sunshine.

Saltmarsh creek © Mari French 2012

Saltmarsh creek © Mari French 2012

Next to the romantically named Hun Outfall Sluice (it’s a manmade kind of small canal, draining the surrounding farmland and marsh), with fish leaping for flies in the sun spangled water, I found a hidden spot down near the reedbeds, out of the bitter east wind and off the main path.

Reedbed sketch © Mari French 2012

Reedbed sketch © Mari French 2012

…here the sun is bright and low (and warm for January) creating interesting light effects through the reeds and a great spot for sketching.

I will be returning soon. Meanwhile, the mixed-media paintings at the start and end of this post show how the day inspired me back in the studio.

remains of staithe (digital photo) © Mari French 2012

remains of staithe (digital photo) © Mari French 2012

Reedbed (digital photo) © Mari French 2012

Reedbed (digital photo) © Mari French 2012

water depth scale (digital photo) © Mari French 2012

water depth scale (digital photo) © Mari French 2012

Saltmarsh 2 (mixed media on board) © Mari French 2012

Saltmarsh 2 (mixed media on board) © Mari French 2012

2 thoughts on “the wind in the reeds…

    • Thanks so much Elaine, the skies here, particularly at the coast above the saltmarshes, are incredible – so wide and bright – and often filled with skeins of wild geese. I’m so privileged to be able to escape there for sketching and inspiration. : )

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