Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The New Forest..

I spent last week camping and painting in the New Forest. Having never been there before, I wasn't sure what to expect.  I chose wisely when I selected Hollands Wood  campsite... It had no less than THREE well appointed shower blocks...  I decided it  would be a good idea to camp at a not too considerable distance away from  one of them... just in case.....
I arrived Monday lunchtime half an hour later than the sat nav predicted.... but then  Tom sent me to the wrong site at first.... one that didn't have ANY shower blocks or loos. I set up camp. Erecting the smallest tent in the world, borrowed from my daughter Alice who had bought it last year for the Leeds festival which she didn't attend... (another story)
I spent Monday evening exploring Hollands Wood, deciding where I would paint when  got up at sunrise on Tuesday. (which happened to be  4.45am) I cant believe that I was actually painting by 5.15,after having  two VERY strong stand your spoon up in  mugs of coffee....
Hollands Wood looked wonderful with the light coming through the canopy and lighting up the wet ferns.I spent the rest of the morning  sketching, walking, painting and photographing Hollands Wood.
In the afternoon I decided to go find Bolderwood. Which I did after a Pub lunch of chargrilled chicken which I think upset my tummy for the next three days...  My close proximity to the shower blocks coming in use on more than one occasion during the night... :-) Bolderwood was very different having many huge conifers as opposed to the mainly deciduous  trees in Hollands Wood.
Wednesday was spent in Hollands Wood...  having decided that it might be a good idea to stay pretty local for reasons already mentioned... Anyway, Hollands Wood is well worth painting and I had now made friends with a wild Pony which I named Frank... (don't know why)
Weather played havoc with my painting on Wednesday.... Raining for a while, then the sun came out, then it rained again etc etc... you got the gist... However,  Wednesday night was very Sunny and warm so I painted until sunset... Painted was eaten alive by lots of wee beasties, midges and mosquito's which I am now paying for...( itch itch, dont scratch it aghhhhhhh you'll make it bleed) Next time I paint in the woods, Ill spray myself with anti we beasty stuff...
Thursday was my last day... it had rained and rained during  the night... and as I woke up Thursday morning which I knew wasn't going to be a painting day... By 11, the rain stopped, I  'de camped' and packed  the car.... intending to go home... BUT THEN THE SUN CAME OUT so i decided to drive 20 miles to treat myself to a paddle in the sea..... and doing a couple of quick sketches with sand filling my paint tray up to give added texture to my seascape.
Quick visit to a beach cafe for a slice of cake and cup of mint tea (to try and settle my still upset tummy) and then home to Derbyshire. :-)

Really enjoyed my short trip to the new Forest and intend to go back in the autumn when i am sure the colours will be spectacular... (Might be a bit cold to camp tho)


  1. Testing comments section. I'm in bed now and still itching from my bites.

  2. The paintings look great John. I must try to get out and do more life work myself. You've really captured the atmosphere and light.

  3. Beautiful pictures John xx