Newhaven has its own distinctive atmosphere, the clean lines of sea and buildings set against an appealing decrepitude. Its geography is intimately bound up with its identity as a port – a port struggling against obsolescence, social change and decay. As you wait in line for the ferry you have time to absorb the atmosphere.
The birds here are waiting, too. For dusk? For what? Where will they go? I hadn’t crossed the channel from Newhaven to Dieppe for years but used this route a month or so ago.
So the paint was hardly dry on this piece when it was collected to be shown at the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea next week. It’s made with mixed media (acrylics, inks and pastels) on board. Another brand-new piece that has gone there is my Lady of the Downs. Recognise her?
The full painting is below. It started with the Long Man of Wilmington, an unmissable part of the Sussex landscape. which is set in a sort of natural bowl whose contours and striations contrast with the stark clean lines of the ‘drawing’. I’ve doodled and sketched this many times. Suddenly I realised that what I was drawing was an elegant feminine figure, with a pronounced waist and hips. It seems I’m not the first to have thought this. I like the thought of a benign feminine presence on the Downs and have set her in a landscape with soft colours and flowing lines. Again it uses mixed media (acrylics, inks and pastels) on board’
A third brand new painting has also gone to join other recent pieces in Battersea.