King’s Lynn has a rich heritage, and part of this is that a touring fair, or Mart, starts its travels from here every year, and has done since 1537. Nowadays the Mart is mostly dodgem rides and hook-a-duck, but even so it still features a proper carousel in pride of place.
Frederick Savage of Lynn was at the forefront of fairground ride development in Victorian times. He developed many steam-powered horse (and chicken, and cat!) rides. Lynn Museum holds a few of the surviving models on display; this little watercolour sketch shows one of the original carousel horses, complete with peeling paint and woodworm, from a ‘dobby ride’. I painted it about a year ago, when I was in the early stages of discovering watercolours. This was the first picture where I didn’t feel the need to tinker by adding fineliner, which was something of a big result, as I’d finally managed to get some real lights and darks with the paint. I notice now that I did a lot of layering up of colours, rather than blending them using wet-in-wet. I clearly remember enjoying the tranquility of sitting sketching in the small, quiet museum.