I’ve not been able to get out to paint much recently, one reason being the return of the ‘whirling pits’ (vertigo) which I won’t dwell on! Onto a couple of pieces I did in early March when the sun was shining. First up is ‘Little Weald’, less than a mile from where I live in Stony Stratford and I’ve always wondered about having a go at this view. The light needs to be in the right place to make it work and fortunately on this chilly morning it was ideal.

‘Saturday cyclist, Lower Weald’ -10x14in, oil on board


I took a few liberties by moving the buildings about a bit to try and get a composition that worked for the board I had. The building just creeping in on the left was further over but I wanted it in as a useful ‘stopper’. I liked the the damp patches in the shadows on the road but it was quite tricky judging the relative tones and temperatures as there was a surprising amount of quite subtle variations. I was conscious of not muddying the colours too much in the shadow areas. There were loads of serious cyclists riding through the village (they set out from Stony on Saturday mornings) so it seemed appropriate to sketch one in. I had my anti ‘chocolate box’ sensors set on maximum to try and avoid doing anything too twee!

Another one from an allotment site at New Bradwell. I arrived a bit late for this so had to work quickly before the light faded. Just enough time to try and make some sense of the jumble and get an indication of the colours down. It could perhaps benefit from a figure on the left but I didn’t want it too cluttered. Hopefully there’ll be some new growth in the allotments soon and some opportunities for further studies. I do enjoy painting allotments although I might need to bring my earplugs back to this one as there is a resident cockerel that drives me nuts!

‘Early Spring, New Bradwell allotments’ – 10x13in, oil on board