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Celebrating the best of Kent

Celebrating the best of Kent

Every so often I see a place I absolutely adore regardless of the time of year, and West Malling is one of those places! Its a village in Kent, and one I first visited whilst on holiday a few years ago. My husband and I did consider it as one of the places we could happily live in when we wanted to move to Kent, but then we found that the properties there are very popular, and there was nothing on the market at the time that we were looking that was suitable. But, now we live in Kent, we can go and visit any time we want, which is almost as good as living there..

We visited there a couple of weeks ago, as we were in the area and I suggested we stop and have a walk around, and a bite to eat in one of the delightful eateries…

And the walk around also included seeing my favourite waterfall in the village….the cascade that has been there many years and fascinates me every time I see it… the the point that I wanted to paint it as my celebration of its magical effect on me!

I started looking at images, as I knew I had some already of it from previous visits, and found a nice one I took when I first laid eyes on it, and even though it had been a slightly overcast day so the stonework on it looked a bit dull, and I couldn’t see the old building behind it that I love too – I think its an old priory. So although it was fine as a photo, it wasn’t exactly right for the painting I wanted to do…so I looked a bit further and found a few other photos of it and eventually used three photos as my source photos, and took the best of each of them to create my painting. I wanted a blue sky, and sunshine, but also the cascade to be half flowing, not fully flowing as it is in this photo, as I like the way the pool has clearer water and you can see the bottom of the shallow pool then.

I also had a frame that was ideal for it, which set the size (18 x 14 inches) and meant the picture would be on board, not canvas. I also knew the picture would be hanging in my kitchen, as I wanted to look at it daily for inspiration, and a daily view of all the best I love in Kent. I drew out the image onto the board, and put a quick layer of colour for the sky, trees, stonework, water and grass. Since it was done in acrylics, I knew I would be building up the colours as the painting evolved.

I wanted the details in the stonework to show the slight angles of the side faces, and the shadows they created. I wanted the water to look deep and mysterious, I wanted the mossy rocks of the cascade to have depth, I wanted to celebrate all I love about this structure.

I think I’ve captured all of it in this painting, it took a few days of looking, and looking again to paint it. The joy of acrylics is that you can just keep painting until you’re happy with it. I love the way the tree on the right has the same pinky colour as the sloping roof on the old building in the background, to the left of the painting. The stonework has a warmth to it, and is interesting to look at. I love it!

Its called “West Malling cascade” as that is what it is, pure and simple…

I've been an artist all of my life, and my paintings now hang on walls in Europe, USA and Canada. I'm working on getting them on the other continents! My wide range of artwork has been exhibited nearer to home in the East Midlands, with the Guild of Erotic Artists at Beaumont Hall Studios in Hertfordshire, and at "Erotica", Olympia, London. I have also been featured alongside my work in the Guild of Erotic Artists book (volume 2). I love to create dramatic interest in my pictures, whether it’s to paint an unusual landscape, or just to utilise dramatic lighting in my figure drawings or strong colour in my animal portraits. Delighting in the spontaneous tendencies of watercolour adds an interesting and distinctive look to my paintings, some of which are purposefully ambiguous, enabling the viewer to use their own interpretation of my artwork. I also love to hide images, and humour within my paintings, whether it’s a secret message, or an erotic couple hidden within a landscape, or even an erotic landscape where the couple are camouflaged as the features of the land itself. I am equally happy painting in oils, acrylics or watercolours and love to draw with pencil or ink. I have also developed the very effective method of drawing using white pencil on black card which creates dramatic pictures by just picking out where the light catches the body and leaving the rest of the image to the imagination, in darkness. I can also utilise many different styles, whether it is realistic, abstract, surrealistic, erotic, fantasy or camouflage art where something is hidden within the painting. I'm just passionate about my art, whatever I paint! But, it doesn't matter how many landscapes or pet portraits I paint, its always the erotic stuff that people are interested in! I started blogging to share some of the strange conversations I have with the people I meet. But its evolved into far more than that now.

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