Bosham Harbour in West Sussex


Bosham Harbour and Church

I was commissioned to paint this view of Bosham Harbour. This is a favourite spot for sailors and visitors generally, as well as being beloved by photographers and artists alike.I was given the Contented Donkey commission at the same time, so have been working on them both from time to time. Bosham has been finished first, so will write about that now.

Bosham harbour is used by people who sail now, but historically this was a port for cross-channel traffic. It was used by the Saxons. The church is Saxon, and has a connection with King Cnut. His daughter is buried in the church. If you have heard the apocryphal story of Cnut trying to hold back the waves, because his courtiers had told him that he was that powerful, that was supposed to have happened at Bosham.

Cnut was a Dane, a Viking who was King of England, Denmark and Norway from 1018 to 1035. An important man and a great king, who returned England to prosperity following the Viking raids, his reign is largely obscured by the events of 1066

The power struggle for the throne just before 1066, involved Bosham. Harold Godwinson (and I expect I have spelled that wrongly,) sailed from Bosham to discuss the succession with Duke William of Normandy, and as we know was shipwrecked on the French coast. He was delivered to William as a prisoner, albeit treated as a guest, and during his stay was tricked into swearing on holy relics, that he would support William’s claim to the throne of England.

This gave William’s claim legality. He invaded England and landed at Pevensey, and met Harold in battle on Senlac Hill. The rest as they say, is history

Why was it called the Battle of Hastings when it was nowhere near there?  I’ve never been given a satisfactory answer to that question

The donkey painting will be next on the easel


Snow Painting

Pyrford Parish Church

Using the charming little church of St.Nicholas at Pyrford, one of the Woking villages. To give an idea of the sort of effect I want to achieve, the following painting of Wanborough Barn near Farnham, was done from a photograph without snow, just adding snow from imagination. We don’t get enough snow, I am afraid, to get good snow scene shots to work from, so we will just have to adapt what we haveWanborough Barn near Farnham

Wanborough Barn near Farnham, with added snow

So that is the task to be tackled next. I need a snow scene for my next exhibition, as usually they sell quite well.

Just a word about St.Nicholas Church. It is an unspoiled but humble village church of the 12th century, retaining many of its original Norman features. Unexceptional apart from having a porch on both sides, which is unusual. It is built from local materials, naturally, using pudding stone and clunch, which is the hard form of the local chalk, used quite a lot for building materials in the area. In some parts of the church, not on the shot I have shown, the walls have been stuccoed over, which was done to give the appearance of stone

That should keep me busy for a little while. I will publish the working sketch just out of interest, just to see which way we go with this

Different people have asked to see photographs of my workspace. I have been taking some pictures and will run a post on that. Not very impressive as we live in a 19th century cottage, and space is at a premium, but it is always surprising how well you can operate from a little corner. Good lighting is essential, and the rather expensive lighting I use, I actually prefer to daylight

I will go into detail on that at a later date