13 Apr 2011
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.
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