Not Entirely Plain Sailing

Yesterday we had an expedition to explore Suffolk, our neighbouring county and ‘Constable country’ as it’s known. We began at Dedham where we hired a little boat to row up to Flatford Mill (made famous in Constable’s painting The Haywain). The river was idyllic, the rowing less so. However, we made it there and back in the alloted time, amidst the bucolic scenery.

Dedham is also home of the Sir Alfred Munnings Art Museum, so we popped in for a visit; not too expensive and worth a look if you’re in the area.

Felixstowe beach watercolourLater we drove on up to Felixstowe, best known for being a busy container shipping port, and we did sit and watch the fascinating comings and goings on the docks for a while. However, it also turns out that Felixstowe is a really pleasant seaside town, with a quickly shelving beach suitable for swimming (if you’re that way inclined). The chaps donned their shorts and plunged in, leaving me time for a very quick sketch.

This was my first time painting surf and proper waves, as the beaches we normally frequent are very shallow and the water doesn’t get too excited. The surf’s edge, where the wet sand meets water and the waves bubble over definitely presented challenges, although it was enjoyable to attempt. The sea was a very Northern blue/green/grey, rather tricky to pin down, despite yesterday’s beautiful blue skies. I tried to put in the small yacht I spied on the horizon – I think next time I won’t bother as this little, rather unsuccessful detail caused no end of fuss. Perhaps if I’d taken some masking fluid with me it might have helped here.

All in all, I enjoyed making this picture – I got completely lost in the moment, so much so that I had a very dead leg when the boys came out of the water and I finally stood up!

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