The Martello Tower at Aldeburgh, seen across the water, was painted in a workshop with my friend, Stephen Higton.
Stephen has been my oil painting guide right from the start. I did my first ever oil painting in one of his workshops and knew then that I wanted to do more at some stage.
Unpacked – First oil painting
The image was quite simple (which was good thinking on Stephen’s part as it was easier to focus on technique and not have to worry too much about composition). I have a fondness for my ‘firsts’. The pastel from my first painting session hangs in our lounge and Unpacked has a home of a bedroom wall in our house.
As soon as I posted a photo of my first painting online I was asked to paint a commission of the Inaccessible Pinnacle. Conscious of my inexperience in this medium, I took a deep breath and had a go. Fortunately, the recipient was happy with the result and this painting now lives in Edinburgh.
Getting back to painting in oils after a long break was great. I always have the best intentions, but somehow my watercolours kept calling me back. The martello tower photograph Stephen gave us as a reference had more complexity in it than either of the previous two oils I’d done. I wanted to capture the early morning light on the water, the scattering of boats and the moody, dark shape of the martello tower on the horison.
I’ll have to find more time for oil painting.
A little more about the Martello Tower at Aldeburgh:
Built to defend the UK against Napoleon, the martello tower at Aldeburgh is the northern most in the chain. Now owned by the landmark trust, the tower can be rented for a holiday. Trivia: Almost a million bricks were used in it’s construction.
Note to art lovers: Stephen and Mita Higton are holding an open studio on June 29th, 2014. Worth a visit if you’re in Suffolk.