I was returning home this morning and was struck by the profusion of rosebay willow herbs at the roadside. Great swathes of colour brightened my journey and reminded me that these tall graceful plants, also known as fireplants or fireweeds, form an essential frame for summer scenes. A few years ago I was commissioned to paint some of these elegant flowers near Sutton Bank in North Yorkshire. We made a day of it. I set up to paint and Merice accompanied the client Judy for a stroll along the impressive scar past the white horse and then down the quaintly named 'Thieves Highway' back to where I was. The highway is a lovely meandering track down the steep slope back to my location here. Here is the painting I did on the day:
You will note some obvious differences to the finished piece. To suit Judy's whimsical personality I stripped back the strong pines on the left to let in more light and allow me to create an ethereal and colourful background while retaining the spirit of the place and emphasising the flowers. To round off the day we were treated to lunch at the imposing Byland Abbey Arms where I enjoyed the most expensive steak and kidney pud I've ever had in my life. All in a day's work...well someone has to do it! Keep your eyes out for and enjoy these beautiful blooms yourselves this summer.
Professional artist now semi retired and enjoying being eccentric!