Sunday, 1 September 2013


We go to Westonbirt School every year for the Armed Forces Christian Union houseparty, taking my schizophrenic brother-in-law, Charlie, with us.  After a heart operation and a new hip Charlie was in better shape than he has been for many a year.  The school grounds are one half of the old Holford family estate - the other being the now-famous arboretum across the main road.  I love painting in the peaceful surroundings of Westonbirt School.  The Italian Garden is a particular favourite and this time almost all my paintings were made there.

On Monday 26th August I caught Pat Warwood against the dark background of the East Pavilion:

Pat In The Italianate Garden
11x7 inches

Much of the stonework in the garden needs extensive renovation.  The lily pond with its two 'fish fountains' will get some tlc soon but for the time being one fountain is dry and the other just dribbles:

Fish Fountain, Westonbirt

As always it seems, some of my best work is done on very small panels.  In this one I caught the evening sun on the East Pavilion:

East Pavilion, Late Afternoon
7x5 inches

My camera does not take greens well - the greens just aren't that violent in the actual painting.  This one suffers from the same problem:

 West Pavilion with Ghastly Green Lawn

This one of the school building in the early morning does not suffer in the same way:

Early Morning, Westonbirt

There is a large round pond with an old fountain in another part of the grounds.   Again the camera seems to have done something odd with the dark passages.
Old Pond, Westonbirt

I did a lot of sketching - mostly pen and brush-pen on primed card such as this one:

Rear Facade from the East
Pen and brush-pen

On the last day I did one more of the Italianate Garden - a general view  'just for the record':

The Italianate Garden, Afternoon

I gave Pat the one of her but will perhaps keep the image so that I can work up something more resolved in the studio.  

Mid-week we went to have lunch with Valérie Pirlot in Bath.  It was lovely to see her looking so well and once the baby (girl) is born I am sure she will be back at the easel with re-doubled enthusiasm! 

1 comment:

  1. Many lovely things here but I specially like the fountain detail. And the pen and ink drawing is great. You should do a series of these!