four seasons in one day…

Thornham saltmarsh, Norfolk. © Mari French 2018

Thornham saltmarsh, Norfolk. © Mari French 2018

Rain, sun, stormy, bright… apart from snow, I experienced the full gamut of weather conditions yesterday at Thornham on the North Norfolk coast. It makes for interesting photography but renders sketching out in the open a bit tricky. Plus, it was really cold and windy.

Holme bird reserve, Norfolk. © Mari French 2018

Rain over Holme bird reserve, Norfolk. © Mari French 2018

As I arrived at Thornham bonfire smoke was drifting in over the marsh with the sun illuminating marsh pools and reedbeds. I started walking along the sea defences from Thornham towards the dunes at Holme, having been stuck at a desk with various urgent tasks all week I was desparate to get out.

At one point I was sat on a bench in beautiful warm sunshine with a great elevated view overlooking the bird reserve lake and reedbeds. Then the rainclouds came over and drops started falling on my sketchbook. It looked fantastically dramatic though!

Viewpoint with handy bench! Holme bird reserve, Norfolk. © Mari French 2018Viewpoint with handy bench! Holme bird reserve, Norfolk. © Mari French 2018

Viewpoint with handy bench! Holme bird reserve, Norfolk. © Mari French 2018

Holme bird reserve, Norfolk. © Mari French 2018

Holme bird reserve, Norfolk. © Mari French 2018

Skeins of geese were noisily flying over as the weather front was quickly blown eastwards and the sun came out again. I took the opportunity to walk over the dunes to the shore for a quick glimpse of the sea (always a tonic in the winter), then headed back the way I came, anticipating the next squadron of rainclouds that I could see on the horizon.

Holme dunes , Norfolk. © Mari French 2018

Holme dunes , Norfolk. © Mari French 2018

Thornham creek, North Norfolk. © Mari French 2018

Thornham creek, North Norfolk. © Mari French 2018

The old coal barn at Thornham was lit up in the sun against the brooding sky, with boats and wooden staithes poking up along the creek next to it. It’s a captivating subject although my sketch of it was pretty rushed and a bit blobby!

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Old coal barn, Thornham, North Norfolk. © Mari French 2018

Old coal barn, Thornham, North Norfolk. © Mari French 2018

Old coal barn, Thornham, North Norfolk. © Mari French 2018

breathing space …

 

Breathing space, Mixed-media on paper. © Mari French 2016

Breathing space, Mixed-media on paper. © Mari French 2016

 
This past few months I’ve been painting madly away in my studio in preparation for two solo shows coming up soon. 

The first, entitled ‘Breathing Space’, will be at Anteros Arts Foundation in Norwich, in the main gallery, from 3rd to 14th May, and is a varied show including some of my new works, a few of which are shown here, alongside several existing favourites.

My second show, entitled ‘Salt & Sand’, will be at The Grapevine Gallery in Burnham Market, north Norfolk, and will solely consist of work inspired by the creeks, reedbeds and marshes of the wild expanse of the Norfolk Saltmarsh coast, where, as you may know from many posts on this blog, I spend a lot of time walking and sketching.

I think it’s clear that I’ve been putting into practice some of the mark-making techniques I learnt at the Emily Ball workshop back in January!

 

Pools of light, mixed-media on paper, © Mari French 2016

Pools of light, mixed-media on paper. Mari French 2016