we have been having glorious sunny weather here in Norfolk,

but we aren’t into full autumn leaf yet, it looks like it’s going to be quite gradual

though hips, haws and berries are abundant, even holly berries covering trees already.

I’ve been painting from memory and feeling again, parallel with the writing, and done a couple of truly abstract landscapes.

I started on this one with the idea of the sea asters I wrote about last, and the late swallows on the marsh grazing at salthouse. this was the start on canvas, with some paper collaged onto it, using diluted japanese black ink, and diluted acrylic paint.

I covered it up with later stages, and wished I had done something similar on paper. it always seems a scramble trying to paint without reference to any physical drawing, photo, or indeed, being actually in front of the subject. it seems that really one has to think about balance, tone and colour as much as anything. so I put these dark splodges in, standing for the ditches, dark earth in the grazing meadows, and the black anaerobic mud of the saltmarsh.

then big strokes with palette knife, dry reed and grass colours, some little blue things for the asters, wet into wet, and there it was. it’s 50 x 70 cm.

this week I was thinking about the reedbeds at Cley. started on paper this time, using a “folded” aluminium pen and the japanese ink. these folded pens are a calligraphy tool that gives you a very fine line that changes to very wide when you twist it round, so all these marks are made by the same pen.

then I added colour – watered down acrylic – and lost that pure graphic line.

but never mind, I ripped the drawing up to stick bits of it on the canvas

which already had plain torn paper stuck on it and a foundation of dribbles and thin paint.

experimenting with how this worked

two pieces stuck on and some paint added, and the canvas turned anti-clockwise 90 degrees.

more paint went on, and I scratched through it with the palette knife and added brush strokes with a round thick brush. after the scratched lines it seemed to be finished

but the paper buckled a lot, I got it too wet, I think; however after a few days to dry out, it’s hardly noticeable.\

details show what’s happening

brush strokes floating over the paper and canvas

here the paint over the paper drawing was scraped back to reveal more of it.

and drawing with the palette knife through the paint reveals more colour.

I think the knife marks bring more of the movement and graphic qualities of the reeds. this one is 50 x 50 cm.

today the hipstamatic app brought some of the misty dewy morning mystery and drama to my photos

the sun catching a field maple bush

and Bims

this week I had an amazing treat – a journey on a steam locomotive footplate, on our local steam train line, North Norfolk Steam trains, from Sheringham to Holt and back. very special