I’m taking part in Paint Out Norfolk again. We arrived on site today at Whitlingham Country Park for a 9.00am socially distancing meeting in the open air. Old acquaintances were warmly met and new participants greeted. New Covid 19 dictated rules and niceties needed to be established in order to make this a comfortable and successful event. And then we set off in the loose direction of villages along the river system to the south east of Norwich. As the first day, this was intended to have a gentle breaking in feel to it. There was, after all, some socially distanced socialising to catch up on as well as reminding oneself of the pitfalls and practicalities of a ‘wild paint’.
Of the destinations proffered, I opted for Surlingham as I knew it to have some interesting historic buildings with vernacular flint facing. I was pleased to find the graveyard of the church of St Mary’s both sheltered and deserted and set up my pitch. I wanted a full view of the distinctive Norman round tower, with its slightly ‘make do and mend’ appearance – brick patched openings and buttresses. I also wanted to include a rather fine Victorian tomb in the foreground – the dark weighty squareness and twisted iron railings seemed at odds with simple informality of the tower. It was an overcast day but there was a brightness in the sky that I also hoped to convey. This light remained pretty constant for the duration of the painting.
After 3 or so hours I felt I had said what I wanted in the painting and packed my bags to return it to the venue at Whitlingham and log it in with the organisers to become part of the event exhibition.