Early autumn sketching at Thornham reedbeds…

Another recent walking and sketching day at Thornham on the Norfolk coast. This time I concentrated on the entrancing light, colour and movement in the reedbeds as they subtly change with the approaching autumn.

Looking over the reedbeds towards Holme church from the raised banks around Ragged Marsh is one of my favourite views. The wind rustling through the silvered stems and purple-grey feathery heads is very calming. I used mainly watercolours with just one abstract using the brush pens that I mentioned in the last post.

I also did a watercolour sketch of the otherworldly ‘stumps’ looking out over the creek and marsh.

I remembered my camera this time and even caught a starling murmuration as well as the odd rusted artefact!

too hot, but painting anyway…

Sea lavender and marsh pools

Sea lavender and marsh pools © Mari French 2016

It didn’t take long for last week’s sketching inspiration at Thornham Saltmarsh (see my previous post Seeing purple) to find its way to my easel.

I really didn’t feel like going into the studio today, it was so hot (around 28 to 30c). I’m no good with heat (before those who live in really hot countries object!). The studio is in a hayloft, basically the roof space above an old stables, rustic, interesting, but baking today. Anyway, bearing in mind one famous artist’s wise advice (possibly Louise Bourgeois) to make yourself go into the studio even when you really don’t want to, in I went.

Glad I did now. Just painted for a couple of hours before lunch, but once I’d decided on this palette of sludgy purple and bronze, the rest followed. It may need a bit more work yet, but I’m feeling positive about it and enjoying this slightly different colour combination. The piece is painted in acrylics, with oil pastel and Inktense pencil scribbled into it.

 

Sea lavender and coal barn, Thornham Saltmarsh. © Mari French 2016

Sea lavender and coal barn, Thornham Saltmarsh. © Mari French 2016

 

 

 

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