A day in the life of ....... Richard Pikesley NEAC RWS
After too many days spent doing paperwork and delivering paintings I can now have a solid spell of painting. Of course, it’s raining. There seems to be an inevitability behind the way the best weather’s always on days when I can’t get out. Flexibility is the most precious thing and being able to work
Spent a few hours painting on a bend on the River Yarty. It’s a little river which winds and meanders down to flow into the River Axe just above its estuary. I’m making a series of paintings of these bends. I’m intrigued by the way this tiny river can fill my vision across a really wide angle of view and there’s just something about light on water. The way the ripples reflect sky but let you see through into the water, and the colour of the water over pebbles, like tea after rainy days make an intoxicating subject, but very difficult. After painting through the morning, my concentration’s shot so it’s back to the Land Rover and a short drive to the main river where a short spell with a fly rod trying to winkle out some of our little wild trout. An hour, and a couple of fish later, and there are cattle lining the banks and my viewpoint low down in the river. I can’t resist trying to paint what I’m seeing and I have my little watercolour kit with me, so perched on a tiny pebble island in mid stream I give it a go. Can’t get much down before they wander off but I’ve established the germ of an idea and it’s reminded me of similar previous encounters
My sheep are being shorn as soon as we get a couple of rainless days to dry out their fleeces. They look wonderful just now and I want to make some drawings of them tomorrow. This will involve following them around the field as they graze so if it’s not too damp I’ll try to make some watercolours. Everything I need is in a little canvas bag which I keep ready for use; a tiny box of half pans, three brushes and a little bottle of water. Paper cut to size in an old cigar box whose lid doubles up as a drawing board and a bulldog clip to stop it all blowing away. They’ve got huge fleeces so they’ll look very different next week when it all comes off.