Well I finally got my van packed with painting panels, paints and easel, not forgetting some food as well and headed out for Dungeness late on Friday morning arriving to a warm breezy afternoon. The landscape is so spectacular and thought provoking, artists have spent years living there and need to go no further for inspiration. It is their muse, and one great name among them is the late Derek Jarman, who sadly died in 1994.
He left a huge legacy in his wake, amongst which is the garden at his home Prospect cottage at Dungeness. This stands as a testament to his life and art and remains for us to enjoy today.
I set up my first panel and painted the cottage which was bathed in warm afternoon light, gentle and serene set within such a hostile environment. Lydd church can be seen in the distance. This panel took nearly two hours to complete, it was all those darn windows!!
After a few photos to record the light and detail and to combine with this study in a later studio image, I set off again, this time out onto the beach. I found a wonderful old rusting shed, long retired from use and left to its fate among the stones, with a few metal engine relics for company. The elements have exacted a toll over time which creates great potential for artists and photographers alike. It was cold and one and a half hours later, wind buffeting my easel and making it hard to put the paint down where it was needed, I decided enough was enough. I headed back to my van and decided as the light was failing fast to go and park up at friends nearby for the night.
There is a tremendous community spirit among the residents on the peninsula. There are not many of them, but each is a character and ready to help others. So for me friends Chris and Helen, the first an accomplished photographer and Helen and established watercolourist, helped me out, making it possible to park up overnight.