This is the beginnings of a little gallery of purely Dorchester [and close environs] scenes.
Borough Gardens ['magic' markers]
North end of the Borough Gardens [copic felt-tips]
How fortunate we are to have the Borough Gardens and the Walks! This scene is at the top end just by the children's outdoor play area, and the new kiosk. It is one of the fabulous mature trees adorning the surroundings with its sheer majesty. I intend doing an oil painting of this sometime soon....
Kingston Lacy - a fantastic tree [gouache '09]
What a tree! - and what a lovely place this country house is. We love the place, and, as members of the National Trust, we often make our way here for a wander, and a cake or lunch. I always visit the little shop and always buy something! The countryside in the immediate vicinity is wonderful too: Badbury Rings, the beech avenue, White Mill.... how fortunate we are to live in this part of the world.
.... and again!
Trees lining the avenue near Badbury Rings
by Badbury Rings [oil pastel/ black felt tip]
Tree lined avenue near Badbury Rings - These trees are a wonderful sight, and extend for a long way lining the road. There is a younger line planted outside the existing trees, so that when these die there will be some sort of replacement. However the new lines are set much further away from the avenue and the effect will not be anything like as striking. I think it might have been better to plant younger trees between the existing trees and at a critical point of growth/decay the swap could be made between a dying old tree and an emerging replacement. But I do not know enough about trees to understand even if this would work.... for now we are just very fortunate to be able to admire the magnificence of the avenue.
Trees near Badbury Rings [monoprint]
The near-abstract compositions discovered in tree shapes I find quite absorbing, and this is just one example of many I have made. I use paper cut-outs glued on top of each other, like a reduction print. At school I learnt how to make reduction lino prints using a fabulous old press acquired from a printing business that was closing down - now such presses are impossible to find, and fetch a high price. I am attracted to the clean-edged nature of these prints, and my paintings are often disigned along print design lines - for example using masking tape in oil paintings. My main A-level work was such an oil painting, but sadly the submitted material was never returned. However my parents have a large print-like painting done in 1972 of the French maket town "Chateau Renault" which I hope to photograph soon and post on this site.
by Badbury Rings
by Badbury Rings [a heavily edited photograph]
Once again the quality of light on the fabulous tree shapes is compelling to my eye. This is a heavily edited photograph.
The Stour near White Mill - crayon
West Walks [papercut]
West Walks - papercut 'print' Jan 4 2011
Salisbury Fields - this tree has since fallen down [copic felt tips]
Salisbury Fields [a favourite place for Maverick] - Copic felt tips
Bridge at White Mill [coloured drawing]
Bridge at White Mill
Ducks (Wareham) - [drawing]
Ducks - Wareham - fine art drawing
Bridge by Hangman's Cottage [copic felt tips]
The river by Hangman's Cottage - Copic felt tips
Bridge at White Mill [monochrome 'magic markers']
Bridge at White Mill
Salisbury Fields [copic felt tips]
Salisbury Fields - Copic felt tips
A Wild place, bleak & windswept
Dorchester environs.... photo
Whilst many of my pictures involve water, some like this portray a bleak beauty, life amidst a harsh environment, gritting its teeth so to speak against the gale and the frost. This tree symbolizes just this fortitude....
We are blessed with a lovely and quickly accessible woodland - part of Puddletown Forest - called Thorncombe Woods where Hardy's cottage is situated. There is a pond, too, with palmate newts and grass snakes, adders, and an amazing assortment of minute pond-life. Here I have seen grass snakes over three foot long, swimming & hunting. I have also seen adders swimming - rather less adapted to the water than grass snakes. When we first moved to Dorset I was fascinated to explore the water life found in different freshwater locations - ponds, lakes, streams and rivers. I used nets and ice-cream containers, magnifying glass and various books to catch and identify dozens of life-forms. At the time I acquired a considerable knowledge of such creatures, and briefly learned of many extraordinary life-cycles, but such knowledge [like that discovered of a visit to a museum] is entirely transitory. Just the amazement remains, that so much tiny life exists in such incredible complexity and variety.
There are deer in these woods too. Once when walking the usual round walk a single deer careered at great speed across our path and leapt a huge height over the bush and off across the open field on the other side. Not even my border collie, Cerys, had time to react to the suddenness of it all.
River walk near Friary Cottage [edited photo]
River walk near Friary Cottage
Coloured drawing of West Walks
I love the Dorchester Walks, and especially West Walks down which I pass every day on several occasions - mostly walking Maverick [my dog] on our way to the expanse of Poundbury Castle, or down to the river and sometimes way out beyond up the track that leads towards Cerne Abbass. This picture is of the trees wintering, sans leaves, but come the spring and the wood bursts with green growth.
West Walks - when the railings were removed....
West Walks from Bowling Alley Walks
This view was of the familiar walk but without any railings separating the Borough Gardens - just prior to the new railings being erected. I felt a duty to make a sketch or two to record the brief period....
West Walks [oil pastel]
West Walks - gouache
West Walks - gouache
This is a little gouache painting I did as a gift for some musician friends of mine [who had helped make the 'durnoVibe' festival such a success. I hope they received the painting OK because I never heard back from them....] I was particularly taken by the triangular shape made by the shadow in the foreground.
West Walks - felt tips [Magic Marker pens]
West Walks [Magic Marker pens]
This is one of the stark studies of extreme contrast made by direct, bright sunshine through the trees. I loved using my Magic Markers and was so upset to be let down by the company who manufacture them. They are not re-fillable, despite the literature stating otherwise....
West Walks [magic marker pens]
The Walks which are situated just outside where the old Roman wall used to be are very pleasant. My children all cycled up and down here - indeed is is where Anna and Heather both tried out new bikes for the very fist time....
West Walks - oil pastels
West Walks - oil pastel
Yet another quick study of the Walks!....
part of the Beech Avenue near Badbury Rings [papercut]