Painting or snowboarding?

 As I said in my last post, we don’t get a lot of snow around Cambridge, so you have to make the most of it when it comes. So I was torn between doing a bit of free snowboarding on the local hills, or painting.  The answer is both. My son and I drove up to the Royston hills early Saturday morning:


It was a fantastic clear day and the views over the Cambridgeshire countryside clear and bright. After lunch I wanted to get straight out to paint, but as these things happen, the battery on my wife’s car gave out and I had to buy and fit an new one for her. How unfair that the mundane things of life impinge on the artist. Anyway, the outcome was that I didn’t get out until late afternoon. There is a spot on the river Cam near Grantchester (of war poet Rupert Brooke fame) that I am rather fond of  and it didn’t let me down. People were returning home from walks, the late afteroon sun was catching the tops of the trees and lighting up the bushes that gave an almost autumnal look. The post below shows more or less what I did on the spot:

However, I wasn’t too pleased with the value of the river, which merged into the surrounding river banks. A comparison with my reference photo showed where I had gone wrong and so I lightened it up a bit and also adjusted the grassy area bottom right to stop the composition running off the page to the right. I was really pleased with the contrast between warmth and coldness and also the patches of melting snow in the foreground.

Grantchester meadows as done on site.

Grantchester meadows as done on site.


By the time I had finished painting on site, as usual I was freezing cold. You tend to forget this sort of thing when you are totally absorbed. Of course I got the usual interruptions from passers-by. When you hear in the distance some man barking instructions to his dog with more than a note of desperation in his voice, you know you are about to be hit in the shins by his enthusiastic canine, or a least have snow scattered all over your gear on the floor – which is what happening on Saturday. Not that I noticed that much.






Trumpington meadows - adjusted in studio. 8"x5"


~ by noelgarner on February 9, 2009.

One Response to “Painting or snowboarding?”

  1. This is another beauty! I like the combination of snow with the yellow-orange shrub. It makes the overall effect of a snowy day into a warm one. You’ve got such a nice free touch in your brush strokes – nothing looks overworked. I’m impressed.

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