Island Days

I walked and painted from dawn this morning until the moon rose tonight- it is so good to have a few days alone to indulge myself away from the usual domestic/gallery routine.

There are no boats this week so the island is quiet and I can find plenty of places to sit and take in the atmosphere of the place. I am thinking a lot about the human shaping of this landscape, it has been farmed for thousands of years and the remains of iron age field boundaries and dams are clearly visible through the bracken.

This is something that I find increasingly interesting and is an aspect of landscape which I am hoping to explore in my work – watch this space!

There is a man staying on the island this week who came here in 1947 to ring birds when Ronald Lockley was on Skomer. He is 89 now and has always wanted to come back, you meet some interesting characters here.

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A great day sketching on Skomer!

My Skomer Bluebells painting course is under way and today we spent the day on the island sketching and making notes to bring back to the studio tomorrow.

I have been coming to Skomer for 18 years, I even lived there for a while when Den was Assistant Warden, but it was the first time I had been to the island this year and Skomer was resplendent in its cloak of bluebells and campion. The island has been so influential on my work and holds a special place in my heart. The colours, atmosphere and wildlife of the place are amazing. I am staying on the island next week to paint and am really excited about it.. Next year I really want to run a residential course on the island – anyone interested?

The season is two weeks ahead of normal schedule due to the warm weather in April and there was a lot of Puffin activity all around the island.

Congratulations to Kenny Gainforth, the boatman,who has just won the individual European Federation of Sea Anglers Trophy in competition in Ireland. Although somehow he didn`t have any mackerel to spare today! Well done Kenny!

Easter painting days in my studio.

“I haven`t had so much fun with paint since I was four years old!”, said Gill, one of the students on my painting course today.

My next course runs 10-13th May and includes a day sketching among the bluebells on Skomer Island.

Skomer blues…

Yesterday I had another gorgeous day over on Skomer Island painting and researching for some big paintings that are in the pipeline. The bluebells and campion are at their very best now and it was a perfect day – overwhelmingly beautiful, almost too intense to work with!

Back in the studio now I am trying to get over the stunning blues and pinks and work on some of the ideas and inspirations with the benefit of a bit of distance.

Some of you know that Skomer holds a special place in my heart and I have been visiting, staying and painting on the island for 17 years now. I am thinking of running a painting course on the island in September. If you might be interested send me an email!