Wednesday, 29 July 2009

'Barbeque' Summer

Summer At The Strood

The tartist and I have decided to hang a piece of seaweed up outside our back door in order to more accurately ascertain what the weather has in store for us over the next few weeks. We were going to buy a multi-million pound satellite and study the available weather data and statistics that span the centuries but decided to leave nothing to chance!

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

A Threat To Brush & Paint?

Is this the death of painting as we know it or just another medium to explore? Discuss.

Monday, 27 July 2009

A Week In North Cornwall

I should have posted this a week ago, sorry folks a very busy Artcafé intervened.

The tartist, theartistandtartist jnr. and myself (theartist) just got back yesterday from a long overdue week away in Cornwall, Trebarwith Strand, near Tintagel to be precise.

View across Trebarwith Strand

Now, to cut a long story short the tartist and I used to live in Trebarwith Strand, in fact it is where we first met, in the Trebarwith Strand Hotel, which the tartist owned and ran with her sister from 1978 to 1991 along with the (way ahead of it's time restaurant) 'The House On The Strand'. Now to be fair the weather was very, well, 'Cornish' and we'd both forgotten how the rain can sometimes fall horizontally for days on end up the valley. For a couple of nights the wind and rain rattled the windows, and we were reminded of the terrible flooding that Boscastle, just up the road from us, received in 2004.

Artist Jnr. on the beach

Our weather related fears didn't last though as we got a couple of days of wonderful sunshine where we enjoyed the spectacular beauty of Trebarwith beach without our raincoats and umbrellas. A feature of our visits to this part of Cornwall is a meal at Rick Stein's Seafood Restaurant in Padstow which the tartist and I along with four of our very good friends vowed to attend once a year come rain or shine several years ago. This year I'm pleased to say we kept the tradition alive, me with an exquisite piece of Turbot, baked and served with Hollandaise and the tartist with chargrilled Dover Sole with Sea Salt and Lime preceeded by a Selection of Oysters on Ice & Ragout of Turbot and Scallop with Vouvray & Basil.

The Tartist at The Seafood Restaurant

The following day saw us take a trip just up the coast to the small but dramatic beach of Crackinton Haven in many respects similar to Trebarwith with imposing cliffs on either side, good surfing and a great little café where we enjoyed real homemade soup and pretty decent coffee. Crackington also has the most fabulous rounded smooth stones on its foreshore which kept us amused for ages, sifting sorting and admiring the veins of pink and white quartz.

Crackington Haven

Although the rain was a bit unwelcome I managed to get in a bit of sketching with judiciously timed sorties to the beach and the aid of a golfing brolly, with which I caught a gust of wind and turned inside out!

Another feature of our visit (as is often the case) was a trek across the breathtaking cliffs to Tintagel to pick up pasties for lunch from Pengenna. I was accompanied on this occasion by artist junior and we stopped frequently on route to take in the spectacular views across the bay, returning with our lunch after ice creams and a stroll around the Norman church of St. Materiana perched high on Glebe Cliff overlooking the castle.

Artist Jnr. on the seat above Penhallic Point

The view out to Gull Rock

No post about a visit to Trebarwith could be complete without a mention of our good mates 'Grip' and Kirsty who run
The Strand Café who kept our chins up when the rain came with hot chocolates, cappuccinos and some of the best chocolate & walnut brownies I've ever tasted. Sadly this will be their last season in the valley so if you're down that way do stop by and say 'hi' from the artist and tartist, and sample some of their wares, you won't be dissapointed.

Grip & Kirsty

So here we are back on flat old Mersea Island and yes, it's still raining, but I've a feeling we'll return to North Cornwall soon, hopefully before the year is out.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Problem Solved

Snoozing ~ Watercolour
...correct colours this time!

Saturday, 4 July 2009

A Watercolour & Independence Day

Sunshine Over The Huts ~ Watercolour

I was trying to find something appropriately 'warm' for this current heatwave we've been having and was rummaging in my painting archives when I stumbled upon this, painted in July 2007, it has rather too much blue to feel really hot but it will have to do for now. Oh, I nearly forgot to give a little nod to our neighbors across the water (no, not Tollesbury, stupid).

Happy Independence Day.