Sunday morning, after weeks of blinds down, fan on, cornflakes instead of food and lots of water, there is a breeze. With dog in boot, pad, pencil and oil pastels in bag with cushion, I drive to Westen Shore and park myself on a flat stone. The tide is just going out, the water, close to my feet. I look South, past Netley towards the Isle of Wight , put on my green cap and look . . .
Then West . . . towards the New Forest and Fawley. Two ferries, one heading South, one North.
The dog, a poodle, is supposed to be a ‘water dog’ but just about gets her feet wet above the ankle while labradors (most popular) and other canines cavort and splash about along the shore.
The two ferries’ wakes have reached Weston Shore and I could almost be beside the sea side. I look at the water as it breaks in front of my feet. A complication of surface wind, waves, undulations from the south, transparency of water and the gold of wet shingle with reflections of light. With a tight discipline of one blue, one yellow brown and green oil pastel I look down.
Once home, and after tea, scone and half an hour of Karin Slaughter (a first for me) I head upstairs to my studio with my pad and a need to paint.
I choose not to include the trees of Hythe on the horizon, they cause the Solent to lose its watery endlessness.
Time for lunch – appropriately, shrimps with Cornish sea salt.