I know I started last week’s post by professing my love of camping but I had no idea how sorely or how soon this was going to be put to the test! We were hit by the tail end of Storm Ellen and had to endure some torrential rain and some extraordinarily high winds. It got so bad at one point that, as we hunkered down in the tent, I even took to making some recordings of the noise! Here’s a quick sample – just so you can be pleased and relieved that you – hopefully – have a proper roof over your head!
In between the gale force winds and torrential rain, we did also have some delightfully bright and blustery days. Here are a couple of quick sketches of Kimmeridge. We were recommended a visit to this part of the coast in our search for fossils. When the tide goes out it reveals a large expanse of flat layers of rock. The cliffs are constantly crumbling and we narrowly missed a few rock falls.
I still feel that I’m getting used to the new sketchbook, even though it’s made of the same Saunders Waterford 300gsm rough paper that I most commonly paint with. The pages are nicely stitched and are able to lie flat when opened out – which is perfect for these long landscape formats.
And here’s my pick of the bunch of the many fossils that we found whilst at Kimmeridge, a sizeable slab laden with ammonites:
It was quite a relief to pack up our camping kit with only a few tears on the tent that will need repairing before our next outing! My holiday has since continued as a more traditional ‘staycation’. This basically means staying at home and doing lots of chores and DIY, hence not having much time to spend painting!
One of our outings since our return was a little trip along the coast to Worthing, where we had yet another bright and blustery walk along the seafront. Here’s another quick sketch looking West along the seafront with Worthing pier in the distance.
I think that my sketchbook is going go become increasingly important to me over the weeks ahead as I’m feeling quite lacking in inspiration to tackle anything more substantial at the moment.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – I really ought to spend more time with my sketchbooks for all manner of reasons. I do, however, feel quite distracted at the moment by lots of domestic matters: my partner’s return to work teaching; my daughter’s imminent return to school and my own return to ‘home working’ – which I’ll most likely be doing until the new year.
With all this going on, it feels like my painting has been forced to take a back seat for a while. Hopefully my sketchbook will provide me with a means of keeping my brushes wet!