sea of purple …

Sea lavender saltmarsh, sketchbook spread.

Sea lavender saltmarsh, sketchbook spread. © Mari French 2016

This week, I tried a new coastal sketching route (for me), along Green Lane at Thornham and out onto the Saltmarsh via a rough bridle way. I was stunned by the swathes of purple sea lavender stretching out to the dunes on the horizon. I’d seen this on Norfolk saltmarshes in other years, but never such an expanse.

These plants are completely covered by high tides, there was one the night before – evidence in the form of small dead crabs among the sea lavender – yet they thrive in this hostile environment.

Thornham marsh © Mari French 2016

Thornham marsh © Mari French 2016

I spent several hours over two days walking, sketching and taking photographs. Again, I was keen to interpret this in an abstract way with various media, concentrating on evoking the wind, bird calls, light aircraft overhead, the rustling of reeds etc.

Thornham marsh © Mari French 2016

Thornham marsh © Mari French 2016


Sea lavender, Thornham. Sketchbook © Mari French 2016

Sea lavender, Thornham. Sketchbook © Mari French 2016

 

Thornham Saltmarsh, sketchbook.

Thornham Saltmarsh, sketchbook. © Mari French 2016

 

Sea lavender, Thornham.

Sea lavender, Thornham. © Mari French 2016


Marsh pools, Thornham Saltmarsh.

Marsh pools, Thornham Saltmarsh. © Mari French 2016


Thornham Saltmarsh, sketchbook.

Thornham Saltmarsh, sketchbook. © Mari French 2016

 

frost and ice…

 

Frozen pool with rope. Mari French 2014

Frozen pool with rope. Mari French 2014

Photographs from my walk around Harpley today. Sub zero temperatures overnight had left some interesting results. I particularly like the way natural and man made objects have been trapped in the iced-over puddles.

Umbellifer. Mari French 2014

Umbellifer. Mari French 2014

  

Umbellifer 2. Mari French 2014

Umbellifer 2. Mari French 2014

 

Frozen pool. Mari French 2014

Frozen pool. Mari French 2014

 

Frozen pool 2. Mari French 2014

Frozen pool 2. Mari French 2014


Frozen pool. Mari French 2014

Frozen pool. Mari French 2014

 

Trapped leaves in ice. Mari French 2014

Trapped leaves in ice. Mari French 2014


Melted frost catching the sun. Mari French 2014

Melted frost catching the sun. Mari French 2014

 

sunflowers in winter…

detail from recent sketch of dead sunflowers, Harpley, Norfolk, Nov 2011© Mari French

detail from sketch of dead sunflowers © Mari French 2011

okay… I realise many images can be intriguing when cropped and magnified, but I love this detail from a late afternoon sketch I did in November, in a field of dead sunflowers (in Harpley, Norfolk). I like the dark beauty of the granulations of colour as they have bled and flowed together. This is why I enjoy playing with wet-in-wet watercolour often combined, as here, with watercolour pastels. (Just wish I could reproduce this effect on a large scale!)

Below is the original sketch, and a further detail. For me the dead plants are more satisfying to paint than the living summer ones, glorious though they are to look at.

Winter sunflowers (watercolour sketch) © Mari French Nov 2011

Winter sunflowers (watercolour sketch) © Mari French Nov 2011

dead sunflowers © Mari French 2011

dead sunflowers, detail from sketch © Mari French 2011