Moments before a storm rolls in. The River Stour Valley reflects mottled skies and burnished woods, ochre bushes and red berries. The cool wind blows in from the North. Leaves – already turned to the golden browns of autumn – fall from the trees. I pull up my collars and turn into the breeze, which chills my cheeks and nose.
I love the River Stour Valley in all seasons. However, autumn has always been my favourite time if the year. The juxtaposition of cool days and warm autumn colours has always caught my imagination. I like nothing more than picking up my sketch book and walking along the bank of the River Stour, near my home in Dorset, making simple marks in pencil or pastel before my fingers get too chilly. This technique forces me to work swiftly. Then, when I’m back in my artist studio, my imagination is able to go wild and add the detail. This brings out the magical quality in this piece.
The majority of this piece is acrylic. I wanted to capture the glaze and reflection of the water, so thinned the paint a little. I used brushes to apply the paint. In addition, the deep yellow ochre and burnt umber are in oil, which I felt brought out their richness in the piece.
‘Autumn at the River Stour Valley’ has a particularly special place in my heart. It evokes memories of walks with my son, of sipping tea from a flask on bright and chilly days, and of the people I met along it’s banks, some of whom have became great friends. It hangs proudly in my own home until it finds a new home. And then, I imagine I’ll have to paint another!
This can optionally be hung with a box canvas frame. Frame not included.