The summer weather couldn’t have come at a better time this year. Having spent some time out of necessity in the studio working on a commissioned painting and preparing for a workshop, I didn’t need much persuading when I heard reports of wall-to-wall sunshine..
I have been keeping my eye on the surrounding landscape over the last few weeks watching for signs of poppies and hay bales in the fields. It won’t be long before we have a riot of colour. The sun has been a long time coming and the farmers have been despairing over their crops ever ripening, but now it seems everything is surging ahead.
One of the most colourful places to visit is the Lavender farm at Snowshill. Field after field of the aromatic plant transporting you from the English Cotswolds to the French Mediterranean in an instant. If you haven’t seen it, it’s really worth a visit, especially now while the flowers are at their best.
And what a feast for the artist ! The day I visited, it was not too crowded. It is a magnet for photographers and those who just want to walk along the rows soaking up the atmosphere. There is plenty of space for everyone to do their own thing without being in anyone else’s way.
To sketch ‘en plein air’ out in the open, is one of the greatest joys as long as you don’t beat yourself up that what you produce may not be your best creation. For the serious painter it is a huge and important learning curve in studying the landscape and the effects of light. A never ending lesson. Whatever your level the experience and the emotions you have being there among the sights, sounds and smells lifts the spirits like nothing else.
So grab a sketchbook and have a go. Persuade a friend to accompany you if you like. They can always read a book if they are not inclined to play with paint.
And remember – Enjoy yourself !