My Big, Year of Culture, Art Project Update

I like a big project and next year I've got one - I've been asked to paint four landscapes for the Horsham District Year of Culture and exhibit them during a solo show in September. So far we've chosen the four views, I've met some lovely people, been scared by a lot of cows and finally produced some sketches. Read on for the full story.
I’ve been asked to do a thing, a big thing – I’ve been asked to produce four landscape paintings for the 2019 Horsham District Year of Culture (HDYoC). Sounds quite simple and not at all big when put like that but there’s more to it; it involves meeting people, workshops, visiting places, lots of talking, walking and exhibiting. You can read all about the project and what it involves here...

So far… I have received lots of nominations for places people would like me to paint. I’ve had a map made (it's got my photo on it) and I’ve covered it in sticky arrows and notes. I’ve visited lots of places, I’ve walked a lot, met a lot of lovely people who have helped me find lovely spots and with the help of the #HDYoC team four views have been chosen.

We’ve Chosen…

1. The View from Beeding Hill – Great spot for sunsets; you can see Bramber castle, the river Adur and Chanctonbury from here. I’ve walked up the hill a number of times now (easy to do as its near where I live) the view is breath taking, the hill is steep and sometimes there are cows at the top which mean rather than a circular walk round back to my house I have to turn round and walk back down again because cows are scary.

This is one of my working sketches of the view – in it I’m looking for dark and light areas.


2. Chesworth Farm – One of HDYoC hidden gems - read all about them here... I always meet friendly people with their friendly dogs when I visit, I’m hoping to create an Autumnal painting of the area. I visited the farm last week and was over the moon firstly that it wasn't raining and secondly that the trees had turned golden, bronze, amber and deep red. You can see the spire of St Marys church from the highest point of the farm and in the distance the downs look pale purple. Colour is my favourite thing to paint.

3. Knepp Castle – right on the A24 the road I like to think of as the backbone of the district. I’ve discovered Knepp estate whilst looking for places to paint, it’s brilliant, take your children there – tree houses, a lake, deer and the scariest cows I’ve ever encountered. I’m hoping to visit one cold, frosty morning when the light is pink and the ground is blue; I will need all the coffee and a driver (my hubby is brilliant)

4. Amberley – The river Arun, the bridge, the chalk pits and the little white house; all familiar to people as they drive into the district. I met the same man out walking on two separate visits to this spot, he gave me some great advice on views and I have promised to make sure I let him know when the exhibition is on.

Here’s my colour drawing of the Arun, the bridge, the chalk pits and the house – the fluffy clouds are for Nick and Lisa.


My intention is to paint or draw many of the other views suggested during the first stage of the project. I have found an excellent view near Rudgwick as well as an excellent Brewery called Firebird - find them here... where I held a drop in session for people to look at my arty map and sketches of the district. I’d also like to paint the Downs Link, the River Adur, Southwater Country Park, Thakeham, Pulborough Brooks, one of our many beautiful bluebell woods…. It’s a long list. Unfortunately, I am a slow worker prone to huge bouts of procrastination so I’m not sure how many of the paintings will be finished by September but I’ll do my very best. Hopefully when you visit the exhibition you’ll spot a colourful view that’s familiar to you.


Me at the Firebird Brewery.

Follow me on Facebook or sign up to my monthly newsletter to watch the paintings develop or find out when I’ll be holding more drop in sessions.

S x

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