Blog Image

Lou Partridge - Artful Thoughts

The Blog

Here I share my weekly thoughts and ideas and hopefully somebody will relate to my ramblings!

Parks

Thoughts? Posted on Mon, July 24, 2017 19:10:12

I’ve been in a several parks over the last few weeks. I
don’t usually go to parks because I live and work in the countryside, only
venturing into towns if I’m on a shopping mission, which is rare. I was in St
Anne’s Wells Gardens in Hove the other day eating a sandwich in the wildlife
area, and thinking how, during my childhood, parks were all mown grass and neat
flower beds and how different St Anne’s is to those childhood parks with its
overgrown areas and woodland section. It’s a little bit of the countryside
brought into the town. And I was in Kensington Gardens right in the centre of
London last week admiring the formal gardens with their spectacular fountains;
then a short walk away found myself in wild meadowland all overgrown. I can
imagine how during my childhood people would be complaining about the gardens
being left neglected if they weren’t mown and weed-killered to cultivated
perfection and it made me think how the world has changed in the last 20 years.
Wildlife is now encouraged more than ever before. From farmers leaving areas of
their land free from cultivation, roadside areas being left pesticide free and
uncut, and parks being both cultivated and wild, it’s nice to see nature being
encouraged and allowed to flourish in our day to day places.



West Country Visit..

Thoughts? Posted on Sun, June 18, 2017 10:31:31

I’ve just returned from a 4-day trip to the West Country
visiting lots of sights along the way. I’d seen Stonehenge from the road
many times but never actually visited this iconic site. The walk over the
fields from the visitor’s centre, past ancient barrows and earthworks was
lovely, and approaching on foot, just as our ancestors would have, helped me
imagine how Stonehenge would have been when it was new. On to Glastonbury
and a walk, or rather scrabble, up the Tor with its breath-taking views out
across the Levels, to the peace and tranquillity of the Chalice Well Garden
where the modern world seems a million miles away. Then an expedition to
see Gog and Magog the not so easy to find last two remaining oaks of an ancient
processional avenue apparently. The Tor and oaks I’ve popped into my
paintings a few times in the past! Onto Tintagel to see the legendary
castle and Merlin’s cave to imagine how life would have been through the ages,
then through the breath-taking Cheddar Gorge to Wookey Hole, a place that
captured my imagination as a child when friends told tales of holiday visits
and so much more exciting and spectacular than I expected. The final stop
was Old Sarum, somewhere I’d seen in the distance passing by but never
visited. This ancient hill fort then castle has the most impressive
earthworks I’ve ever seen. A very inspirational trip and a reminder
England’s interesting and magical heritage.



Shrouded in scary stories

Thoughts? Posted on Fri, April 21, 2017 18:27:56

With the dryer weather and light evenings, I’ve been doing a
lot of walking and cycling around our local area these last few weeks,
following twisty little known footpaths and ancient chalk trackways with amazing
views of the Downs, river valley and the sea and it’s been magical. I
especially like walking up on the highest hilltops – Chanctonbury Ring topped
with its sheep, little circle of woodland & shrouded in scary stories; and
Cissbury Ring, an ancient hill fort with wind bent trees now grazed by New
Forest ponies and looking down on the landscape and distant sea below. A
wind farm is appearing off our coastline and there are now eight windmills to
be seen amongst the uncountable stalks awaiting blades. I am still working on
the set of wintery magpie paintings but the countryside is so green and fresh
now it feels like time to move away from the palette of chilly blues and
purples and do some artwork to reflect the new season of greens.



Superblossom

Thoughts? Posted on Tue, April 04, 2017 23:09:51

Into April and there is blossom everywhere! I don’t remember there being
this much in past years, perhaps this is a superblossom year? Watching a
Japanese TV channel today (channel hopping by accident) the weather
lady not only had a weather map but a pink blossom map for the whole
country. One of the highlights of my weekend was a visit to
Herstmonceau Observatory where I looked through several very old (over
100 years) and very enormous telescopes and was lucky enough to see
Jupiter, complete with stripey surface, but sadly, not the famous spot.
It’s hard to imagine that slightly blurry object is a real thing so far
away. Meanwhile, back in the studio, I have started magpie painting
number 3. I had fun doing the background with layers of paint, paper
and glitter and it’s currently awaiting trees, plants and, of course,
the magpies.



1st Day of Summer

Thoughts? Posted on Mon, March 27, 2017 23:22:08

Hurrah
it’s the first proper day of summer as we leap forward into British
Summertime today. The sunshiny evening almost makes up for the feeling
of getting up an hour early for work this morning. Lots of long
evenings ahead to enjoy sunny after work walks in the fields around
here, perfect for painting inspiration. My favourite time of day to
capture on canvas is, you might have noticed, sunset and sunrise. I
hope to avoid the sunrises but am really looking forward to witnessing
many countryside and seaside sunsets, in the balmy warm evening air of
summer.

We
borrowed an electric car this weekend. It was fab, travelling along
quietly watching the battery go down on the uphill and recharge itself
on the downhill. The car was just as good if not better than any other
small car on the road, easily doing motorway driving and able to hold
its own against other traffic The only downside was the infrastructure.
Day 1 saw us visiting 4 charging points from the power point app only
to find each one owned by a different company, each with its own card or
key fob system, and only 1 working. Conclusion of the test – great if
you can charge up on 3 phase power at home (which the government will
apparently install for free and give you the power for free) but if not,
too scary to live by the third party charge point at this point in
time.

Lou Partridge



Crow Kingdoms

Thoughts? Posted on Sun, March 19, 2017 22:12:20

Travelling
around these last few weeks I’ve noticed the crows are repairing old nests and
building new ones. Because the trees are still leafless these crow villages are
really clear to see, some in peaceful scenic places, others right next to busy
motorway junctions. It’s a whole crow kingdom and I wonder why exactly
the crows choose the places they do, and whether they discuss it or get told by
the head crow ‘build the nests here’… smiley
Today I walked up to the folly
just outside Slindon, a small National Trust village full of very pretty flint
clad houses. The farmers had been ploughing their fields ready for new spring
crops and Muffin the dog and I sat down for a rest at the edge of one of the
ploughed fields on a couple of interesting and strangely appropriate
logs.

Pic. Lou
on pencil log with Muffin.



‘Two For Mirth’

Thoughts? Posted on Mon, March 13, 2017 23:24:09

It’s nice to have my first magpie painting
finished, having had the rough in my sketchbook for months if not years. I’ve named it after an older
version of the well known saying about magpies, and all that’s left to do now
is get it scanned and made into prints and cards.Picture – (painting in progress.)

It’s very exciting waiting for the first
batch to come back from the printers! This weekend I’ve begun Magpie Painting
Two. This one is much bigger and I used a big decorating brush to start
with. It’s good fun working out the
colours at this point, where the painting is at the undercoat stage. It started
with lots of turquoise and pink and has now settled into being pretty purple.
Next – stars and trees. The Stars will be based on real constellations from my
star chart and the rows of trees inspired by the beautiful rows of trees on the
hillsides here in the Adur Valley.



Crocuses and snowdrops

Thoughts? Posted on Sun, March 05, 2017 17:29:13

Welcome to my new blog. The crocuses and snowdrops are appearing in the garden and it feels like spring is in the air so what better time of year to start things new. I’m beginning the season with a new website, new set of paintings and lots of ideas for getting my artwork ‘out there’ this year and into the future. Magpies are my first theme, a popular bird in English folklore and I’ll be painting them in twos for good luck.