Ready for winter

08-15 Ready for winter

It is understandable that they moved these bales from the field pretty quickly rather than letting them become soaked by the rain. Disappointing from a painting point of view of course, not to be able to play with them for longer. At least there is the memory of them to sustain a few more small paintings like this.

6 x 8 ins watercolour on Bockingford paper

A glorious morning.

08-08 Straw bales at Little Rissington

This morning was one of those glorious golden summer days which we think of as only existing in our imagination – probably because they seem so few and far between… I have been hoping for some bales of straw but disappointed when visiting fields where I have found them before only to find them full of sheep!

Imagine my delight when walking home from a neighbouring village I cut down by the church and came out behind it into a field FULL of bales as far as the eye could see. What Bliss!

This is 6 x 8 inches and the bales were painted with yellow ochre,  new gamboge,  indian red, winsor violet and a little blue. Saunders Waterford 140lb CP/NOT paper

The hazards of sketching

08-06 Allotment sunflower

It has been a hazardous week for sketching outdoors, as what appeared to be settled sunny weather has been anything but with the sudden arrival of dark clouds and heavy showers.

‘Allotment Sunflower’ is a case in point as I had intended to add more watercolour, but the torrential downpour sent me scurrying for cover before I, and more importantly my sketchbook, became sodden. Later, I decided I quite liked leaving some of the page unpainted. If I change my mind I can always go back another day.


Derwent Graphik line maker, Winsor & Newton watercolour in softbound Stillman & Birn Alpha 5.5 x 8.5 in. sketchbook

A timely sketch

07-30 Garden Fuchsia

It’s been bucketing down all day with no sign of it about to stop. We have more water than we know what to do with and I am sure there will be flooding in a lot of places. So I am pleased that I took the opportunity to paint this Fuchsia in the garden yesterday.


8.5 x 5.5 sketchbook page.

Summer Lavender

07-22 Summer Lavender

We may have heatwaves in this country, but the thing is they tend not to last more than a few days at a time. This is usually followed by showers which can be quite heavy then suddenly we are back in heatwave mode again. It’s designed to keep us on our toes and give us something to talk about !

This is a 8 x 11 inch watercolour from  another sketch I did at the tail end of last week before the rain came and went and the sun came back again…

Lavender time

07-19 Lavender time

I went to the local lavender farm earlier this week when it was dry and sunny and very crowded. Everyone and their friends love lavender and want to take photos of themselves and each other standing in it – must have something to do with the heady aroma!

The Lavender is at it’s peak right now and I believe they are ready to harvest it any day now, so I hope today’s rain hasn’t harmed it.

Cotswold Poppies


While there are so many poppies around, it seems a shame not to use them, even if it means moving them from the next field over for the sake of the picture…

To see them in such abundance is still unusual enough in these parts to tempt motorists to interrupt their hurry to reach wherever they are going, to pull over and take some photos. Often some will stay awhile drinking in the colour, alone with their thoughts and memories.

Poppies evoke powerful emotions.

A Beautiful Sight

Poppies by the Burford Road

There is a road which runs between Burford and Stow on the Wold which I travel along every now and then and which always lifts my spirits. If I have been away it is this road more than any other which tells me I am back home. To my mind, there are beautiful views of the rolling Cotswold landscape on either side, a patchwork of many colours.

At this time of year, I look forward to the arrival of the first Poppies, glimpsed here and there as the world hurries along so one cannot be sure if they are really there or whether they are only a memory of years gone by.

Gradually larger patches will crawl along the edges of the fields snaking their way unmistakably until, in some years, whole fields become ablaze with a bright red which literally takes one’s breath away.

They are starting now and will, if the rain allows, flourish and gladden the hearts of many travellers. And on beautiful Summer days yet to come, what better place to sit and paint ?


05-31 Morning in Baunton

Originally, although I knew it was the light on the barn I wanted to paint, I also couldn’t resist adding much more of the edge of the garden on the right hand side. When I looked at it later I realized it was just too much, taking the eye away from where I wanted it to be and leading it everywhere and nowhere.

This is another version painted whilst repeating the mantra SIMPLIFY which is what I am always telling other people to do.

I think it is good advice.