over Christmas I discovered new walks, thanks to family staying, dyed my hair (slightly) blue/aqua, and saw three otters.

the otters were on the Glaven at Bayfield, where the permissive path is beside the river.

Bayfield is the new walk discovery. when I came back to Norfolk and these permissive paths were opened up they didn’t have the signage they have now and I couldn’t make a circular walk, so I was put off. I am very pleased to have found the “bird walk” and am going once a week. it’s nice to be completely off road, and the landscape is so varied it’s always offering new views. also it’s on my mapped line between Bale and Cley Eye for my Cley18 project, so painting this landscape is something on my mind now.

this is a 12 inch square canvas of one of the views from the permissive path. first attempt at landscape for a few months now.

 

the Glaven is one of our North Norfolk chalk streams; here at Bayfield dredging has stopped and the embankments removed so the river is held back by the absorbent reed beds and wet meadow when it floods, and hosts eels as well as otters and trout.

the other two thirds of the walk is through a landscape of glacial deposits – sand and gravels in uneven and surprising little hills and rolling ups and downs, often covered in bracken and woodland – some pine, some mostly oak. Often at this time of year one encounters the pheasant shoot; the estate derives important income from this. last week three roe deer broke cover as I approached the woodland, then around some corners and up the track I came across the beaters, sentinel still, waiting for the guns to start.

some of the oak trees are extraordinary and very old – one inspired this little painting

I wanted to have the paint very thick, which is not so easy with acrylic; its watery base can be too fluid – you have to wait a little for it to thicken up, but not to start solidifying. I intended to paint with brush, but ended up using my trusty palette knife, due to the paint’s consistency.

Cake’s lane is still an important walk for me

I don’t always want to be getting the car out and my old village routes need their bounds beating regularly

a very wet winter means we do get covered in mud sometimes. all the pools in the wood are full and the ditches running over in places.

the weather being so changeable gives opportunities for staring across this horizon a lot – the beginning of my mapped line.

although we have had frosts they have not been much more than a touch here near the coast. one morning after the night had been wet and then the temperature dropped, my car was covered in beautiful frost flower patterns.