Dodging the morning showers, I went to paint the medieval church of a village destroyed by fire in 1684.

The story goes that a local woman wanted to bake a loaf of bread but did not want, or could not afford, to pay the chimney tax imposed by the government of the day. She tried making a funnel from her hearth to her neighbour’s chimney, and succeeded in destroying twenty houses and ending the lives of four inhabitants.

The surviving villagers moved further up the hill and built a new village and church, this time of stone. The old building and graveyard fell into disrepair but were saved again in the 1800’s and are now a heritage site in Churchill, Oxfordshire.

This was painted on a small block of Saunders Waterford Hot Press paper which I quite like. It seems to have a different surface quality than the sheets of the same. It can be used on an easel without having to include a drawing board and is small enough and light enough to hold in the hand if not using an easel.

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