Travels With My Art

A compilation of Chris's humorous and entertaining travelogues, revealing some of the pitfalls and frustrations, as well as the joy of being a professional artist. Hoping that his efforts abroad will continue to bring in a daily crust to continue supporting his family at home!

13 Apr 2011

A Painting of St.Michaels, Duntisbourne Rouse

Last Friday was the most beautiful warm and sunny Spring day so I packed up my paints to seek pastures new, and do some painting ‘en plein air’. I had not been down the Duntisbourne valley before (just west of Cirencester) but with daffodils lining the lanes it was the place to be ‘far from the madding crowd’. 

With mixed results I sat and daubed, but in the afternoon came across this obscure spot, not even signposted from the road. It is a tiny Saxon church with a ‘saddle back’ roof on the tower – it is a bit crooked, it’s not just my painting! It was the most peaceful spot in which to sit and paint, in the shade of an old ivy-clad wall. The valley dropped away to a babbling brook far below, and when the shadows had lengthened too far for me to follow, I found myself reluctant to return once again to the world.

It is well-known that many churches built on sacred pagan sites were dedicated to St. Michael (who legend has it fought with the angels against the devil). I wonder if this were the case here?

St Michael's Church, Duntisbourne Rouse - An Original Watercolour Painting.

Malmesbury Abbey Painting

Why do I like Malmesbury so much? The Abbey surely has much to do with it. I sang there with my choir (Wessex Male Choir) last year, and the atmosphere and acoustics were lovely. But in Spring weather such as we have had recently I decided to ‘get around’ to painting it, as I have intended to ever since we sang there.

A victim of the dissolution of the monasteries, if only there were more of it left, with its soaring spire, but I suppose we should be grateful that what is still there is so beautiful. The empty arches have a poetry and poignancy about them and speak to me of the temporary nature of our lives.

It is a busy architectural subject, so I have tried to keep the colours and shadows soft, as of a bright but hazy Spring morning. Turner painted it beautifully once, from afar, but I’ve not let that put me off!

Malmesbury Abbey - An Original Watercolour Painting


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