Bosham Harbour: Second Version, Preparatory Drawing


I painted Bosham Harbour in West Sussex as a commission a few weeks ago. I painted it in evening light which I hadn’t done before, and was very pleased with the way it turned out, and relieved too seeing as it was a commission. The colours worked exceptionally well, and I was left wishing that I had something like it, to include in next year’s crop of exhibitions.

Using a number of different photographs, some of my own and some from different sources, especially the boats, I compiled the composition which I have drawn above. The church and houses I have thrown back into the distance, and extended out at the left past the boat house. The boats themselves are entirely different to my previous painting, so everything will be new, which I prefer.

One day I will be stumped as to how to paint Bosham Harbour without referring to something I have painted previously. There are other views, but this is the one people always want, with the church in the background and boats in the foreground. Move along the coast, I suppose, but there is something about Bosham which is hard to find elsewhere. Perhaps it is the historical associations with Saxon kings like Cnut and Harold, with the symbolic Saxon church as a reminder, or maybe just the sheer charm of the place, that makes it difficult to replicate

Anyway, I am going to attempt this composition as a watercolour painting and see what happens. I shall use my previous painting as a colour guide but may still experiment along the way, but still the objective will be to create a painting in evening light

We shall see how we get on

Old Albury Church in Surrey

This is a post that I had wanted to do earlier, but never found time for, so I’m catching up before the year end

Not far from where we live, in Surrey, flows the Tillingbourne river which is idyllic now, but in the 18th century was an industrial river, punctuated with mills producing everything from flour to gunpowder

One of the many villages along its length is Albury, and we went one day in late summer, with a friend who was staying with us to look at Albury Old Church. This is one of those mentioned by Simon Jenkins in his wonderful reference book “England’s 1000 best churches”

It is one of those places that has an interesting story. The church stands next to the old manor house, and until 1782 acted as the parish church for the village. The new incumbent of Albury House, one Captain William Finch RN decided to enclose the village green, annexe a large section of the churchyard, and then set about harassing the villagers, until they moved about a mile to the west. Where they settled became the village of Albury today.

In 1839 the then owner of Albury House,  Henry Drummond, the banker, built a new parish church for the villagers and Albury Old Church was closed . Today it is maintained by the Churches Conservation Trust, and is a redundant church

Before I talk about the church, let us have a look at an image, which is my painting done shortly after our visit.

Old Albury Church

The nave is Saxon and the tower is Norman. The dome was a later addition from the c18

A lot of interesting things associated with this church! One rector of Albury, William Oughtred, was also a famous mathematician. He invented the slide rule in 1622 and is also credited with the introduction of the x symbol in multiplication. He was also the tutor to the young Christopher Wren, who was later a mathematician and astronomer before becoming known as an architect.

Henry Drummond engaged Augustus Pugin in the 1840’s to build his mortuary chapel within the 13 th century walls of the existing transept. This is regarded as a remarkable example of the work of Pugin, perhaps better known for his collaboration with Sir Charles Barry on the then new Houses of Parliament.

The entrance is on the north side which is unusual. On the south wall interior is an amazingly well-preserved Medieval wall painting showing St.Christopher. It was customary during the Middle Ages for people to look in the main door at the saint, who was believed to give them good luck on their journey.

I took a picture of the wall painting, which I will show.St Christopher Wall Painting at Albury

Most of these paintings were washed over in the Reformation, but this one survived somehow

As regards the little painting I showed earlier, there is not too much to say about it. I would just mention, as you can probably see, that I have used brown for the shadows. This is my “hot-weather shadow” reflecting the temperature of the day. I quite like doing a painting as a reminder of a day’s excursion as sometimes it captures the mood better than a photograph. That doesn’t stop me sending it to exhibition and selling it if someone wants it, though

To anyone reading this post, thank you, and have a very good Christmas and a lucky new year