The short days of winter means opening the blinds just as dawn is breaking and walking home as the afternoon sky is gaining the intense luminosity that can twist the heart with nostalgia - or hope. Dawn over Freshwater Bay was breathtaking this morning. I continually promise myself that I will resist instant responses to spectacle, give the essence of the experience time to mature - but how often I fail as the impulse to engage with nature's effortless, ever changing drama is just too compelling.
Here are a couple of small oils completed the day after driving by a copse on the Ningwood Road in the west Wight when the sky was on fire behind the dark trees - the image became entangled in my memory with a different evening near Shalfleet Creek - these little paintings are part of the series that was the spontaneous outcome. More considered and larger scale winter sky studies can be seen in the exhibitions pages under the 'winter walks' heading.