Back to normal


After all the excitement of Surrey Artists Open Studios and my talk at Patchings Festival last weekend, it’s been good to get back to the normal business of fulfilling print orders, organising workshops and, last but most definitely not least, a couple of much-needed coastal trips. The light wasn’t especially awesome this week, certainly nothing as dramatic as I had on my last trip before Open Studios (above) but, as I said at my talk on Sunday, even if you come home with nothing very special on your memory card, a day by the sea is never wasted. Psychological batteries recharged.

Below are a couple of pictures of our studio in action.

Birling Gap

birling gap pastels
I have spent the last two Tuesdays at Birling Gap in the South Downs National Park.
Gentle shore
Although I love discovering new locations, there is also a joy in revisiting known places.incoming tideThe light is always different, the seasons and weather change and, at the coast there is always the added variable of tides. chalk and pastels_The first Tuesday, a low tide revealed sand that reflected the cliffs and interesting sky:jen at birling gapOn my return this week, the tide was shallow, never uncovering the sand.  This created a very different mood:
Birling Gap 2I grew up in this part of the country so photography trips to the South Downs National Park always feel like a coming home.  seascape
The chalk-based landscape is really quite special and, at Birling Gap, I love the way grey rocks sit on the chalky base below the white cliffs…
chalky sea 2 …and the chalk makes the sea bright against a stormy sky.  chalky seaI am heading down to Sussex again tomorrow.  As always, I hope for interesting light.  But I know that I will enjoy this beautiful place no matter what the weather brings.

An Autumn garden

landscape garden
Sheffield Park is an eighteenth century landscape garden in East Sussex owned by the National Trust.
landscape garden
Sheffield (meaning sheep clearing) Park is mentioned in the Doomsday Book. The garden was landscaped first by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown and then Humphrey Repton.
landscape garden
In the nineteenth century planting for an arboretum was begun. Arthur Soames purchased the estate in 1910 and continued the massive planting programme, much of which still exists today, and is particularly regarded for its Autumn colour.
Sheffield Park landscape garden
We were a little early for the best leaves but there was still plenty of colour. If you live anywhere within striking distance of this beautiful garden, I recommend a visit. Just don’t forget your camera!

More Autumn colour tomorrow.

Beachy Head Lighthouse


This is Beachy Head Lighthouse, East Sussex. I took this shot on a blustery day in May 2010, as scudding clouds created shadow patterns over the shallow water at the base of the chalk cliffs the lighthouse guards. The lighthouse was built in 1902, warning ships of the cliffs with a light at night and its bright stripes by day. In September, Trinity House announced that it could no longer justify the cost of painting the lighthouse, modern navigational aids making this precaution redundant. Needless to say, many people are reluctant to see the lighthouse fade to grey and a campaign has been running ever since to raise the funds to keep this iconic lighthouse beautiful.

Little figure, big world

Camber Sands, East Sussex, England

A quick post today to thank two fellow bloggers for nominating me for awards. Thank you, Ann Jasmine at Not Yet Grounded and Rob at In My View for the nominations. I have decided not to participate in blog awards, being averse to anything resembling chain letters. It is reward enough for me that anyone reads my blog. I will, however, take the opportunity to mention some of the lovely blogs I have discovered during my first two months here on WordPress.

Visit The Goat that Wrote for amusing, well-written and well-illustrated tales with a globe trotting and hiking theme.

Tricia A. Mitchell has lived and/or travelled in some of the most fascinating places and she shares her experiences with an unflagging appreciation for all she encounters.

Modern Memory Keeping is a blog about photography packed full of inspiration, tips and beautiful images.

You can’t beat Helen’s Photomania Blog for sheer enthusiasm. I admire the way Helen explores her subjects from every angle, something I could do with learning from her.

Speaking of enthusiasm, Dust Tracks on the Web simply exudes the stuff. Janson generously shares his love of flora and fauna with super images and intelligent and informative text.