As autumn drew to a close this year, I found it would dramatically throw its colours to the wind each evening with a series of quite remarkable skies. The river then acts with a nagging pull, its hidden promixity teasing you to throw the watercolours in the car and venture out.

Watercolour view from The Bund at Speke Hall

From the Bund at Speke (2015)

Nestled in a woodland adjacent to an airport and an industrial estate lies Speke Hall, a Tudor house cosseted from the modern world by a raised embankment. From The Bund, one can see for miles along the Mersey Estuary – or perhaps spend 40 minutes capturing an immense autumn sky collapsing into the West in a riot of mauves and oranges… The Welsh hills lie far in the distance, the forest at Stanlow pricks the sky.

As I painted this little watercolour, an ageing Dakota crept noisily towards The Bund and bore down purposefully towards the landing strip laid out below me. Its shadow landed beautifully on the furze and grazed the tarmac before, in a change of heart, the pilot nosed her up and lethargically pulled north again until it disappeared, a disappearance matched by the slow disintegration of the evening sun.

Watercolour on paper, 29x21cm