Recently I’ve managed to head out to a few local spots in and around my home town of Stony Stratford. At this time of year the days are short and the light moves fast so I don’t want to be spending time faffing around and travelling miles to find subjects. Besides, it’s quite interesting to challenge yourself to seek inspiration on your doorstep. It makes me look harder at the painterly potential of subjects and gets the art brain ticking a bit more :)

Here’s one of a couple of ramshackle allotment sheds in Stony Stratford, bathed in a lovely winter light. It was pretty nippy but when the light’s like it’s as though almost anything can become a potential subject. Nice warm/cool contrasts to work with.
‘Allotment sheds in winter sun’, 12x16in – oil on board
I went back to Mill Lane and was tempted by the afternoon light. I was fortunate enough to sell this one to the owner of one of the houses on the left of the painting who passed me as I was working. I do like the way the orangey stonework in Stony Stratford glows when the sun hits it.
‘Mill Lane with winter sun’, 8x16in, oil on board
This little scene below was captured next to the allotment subject above but looking in a different direction. I’d already clocked the allotment for another day and decided with the light fading fast I’d be better off tackling something smaller and a bit simpler.
‘Stroll in the sunshine, Wolverton Road, Stony Stratford’, 6×10 – oil on board
Below is an afternoon study, again in the winter light with a focus on the blue awning of the RSPCA charity shop and the vivid contrast with the orange brickwork of the sunlit buildings behind.
‘Blue awning, Stony Stratford’ – 10x13in, oil on board
The canal scene below isn’t quite as local as the others but Blisworth is still only about 8-10 miles or so up the road towards Northampton. I caught sight of this view at a place known as ‘Blisworth Arm’ and it’s essentially a canal junction with a large marina nearby. Straight stretches of canal can appear to have a forced perspective that doesn’t lend itself so well to an interesting composition but this arrangement seemed to work quite well, especially with the late autumn afternoon sun to help things along.
‘Autumn light, Blisworth Arm’ – 8x16in, oil on linen
Hoping to work with some more local subjects when I get the chance, as well as further afield too.