Sea lavender & dark skies…

Sea lavender sketch, Thornham saltmarsh

Sea lavender sketch, Thornham saltmarsh. © Mari French 2018

Due to flagging and wilting in the extended heatwave of the past 7 weeks, I’m playing catch up with painting and social media etc. I’m really not good in the temperatures of 34C plus which we’ve had lately.

Anyway, enough grumbling! We had a fantastic lightning storm last night and torrential rain, so I’m feeling a bit more refreshed and don’t need to water the garden for a few days. This post is really to tell you about a sketching trip I had to Thornham salt marsh on the North Norfolk coast a week ago, when it was a bit overcast and threatening rain (though it didnt) and so much more comfortable for walking and sketching. (I did post some of these images on Facebook etc, so they may look a bit familiar to some of you).

Sea lavender and dark skies, Thornham, North Norfolk. © Mari French 2018

Sea lavender and dark skies, Thornham, North Norfolk. © Mari French 2018

I’d driven up to Thornham to catch the swathes of sea lavender that carpet much of the Norfolk marshes this time of year. But I was also astonished by the profusion of wildflowers (despite the drought, or maybe because of it) and butterflies along the paths on top of the sea defences – mallow, wild fennel, corn cockle, wild carrot and something with exquisite clover-like white and blue flowers which I haven’t yet identified (see lower left image). Feel free to enlighten me!

 

I started off with gouache, which I’m enjoying using more frequently recently, combined with other media like pencil and Posca paint pens. But I soon decided to switch to wet-in-wet watercolour as the gouache was drying too fast and causing the brush to drag. I thought wet-in-wet might allow me to evoke the looming skies and shadows on the marsh more effectively. I love the way the creeks reflect the light, especially as the skies darken.

 

Sea lavender, Ragged Marsh.

Sea lavender, Ragged Marsh. © Mari French 2018

I’ve since been getting back into the swing of painting in my studio (only in the mornings for now, too hot after lunch), and I’m having fun putting some of these influences to use on canvas, which I’ll show you in my next post.

 

4 thoughts on “Sea lavender & dark skies…

  1. Lovely blog Mari – so interesting to hear how you approach your sketches. Totally agree with you about the heat as couldn’t get into painting at all. Been drawing a little. Look forward to seeing your paintings!

    • Thanks so much Mary. Pleased you enjoy the blog! I’m still finding the studio pretty hot most afternoons. Never mind, Autumn is a favourite time of mine so I’m looking forward to see what painting emerges then!

  2. Handsome work! I just shared it with a few of my students/followers! … and will do so with a few more via a post later this week.

    PS Hoping that your sodden heatwave abates a bit! Having lived in the southeastern part of the US … that kind of weather is very familiar to me. It frequently drives mr back inside and slows down my sketching out of doors!

    • Thank you John! And also for sharing the post. It’s been a little cooler lately with some astonishing lightning storms and torrential rain. Spectacular and the trees certainly needed it! Am escaping to the high moorland of Yorkshire next week for a few days sketching, hope the heat stays away 🙂

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