Winterton Dawn (5×12) oil on panelby Andy Parker
The second leg of my Following In The Footsteps of Turner painting tour took me East Anglia. Plagued by a horrible cold the whole time, it had already been a rough week, with a lot of commuting from where I stayed to the coast. Right at the end of the week, someone offered me the use of a chalet for a couple of days, just north of Caister. I arrived in the pouring rain, but the skies cleared and I rushed out to paint a picture of the nearest view I could find. So far, so good. I returned to the chalet, unpacked quickly, determined to do better the next day.
Setting out early next morning, I soon found a view of a distant church, lit by the light over my shoulder. I parked the bike in a farmer’s lane, unloaded the paints and …found that not only had I forgotten to clean the palette from the previous night, but the pochade box was still full of wet or drying paintings. No blanks! Luckily there were two slim 5×12 unused panels stuck in the back of the rucksack, so I rendered the picture, which was a bit less promising than when I’d thought it would be, intending to return home to restock. As I repacked the kit onto the bike, I looked up, back the way I had come and this view is what I saw: Winterton Church, backlit in the rising sun…
(This has happened to me more times than I can count: I’ve started a picture that held some promise, put in the work but didn’t really like it when it was finished and as I looked up, usually in the opposite direction, seen the most perfect view, that I then put down in practically half the time! The first one was just to get my eye in, it seems…)