Heathery Lane ~ From Sketches to Finished Painting

Heathery Lane ~ From Sketches to Finished Painting

A year ago to the day, I set out on a fairly long walk. It had been a month since I'd moved out of the family home and temporarily into my brother's. I remember it was a hot sunny day and I ended up exploring the edge of a field just near the golf course in Gosforth.

I don't usually include mundane things like telegraph poles in my work, but I'd been watching an artist on YouTube who does lots of MapCrunch and Google images sketches and she always includes the road ephemera. (Katie Moody btw...go and check her out!) So when I spotted this pole with the lines leading pleasingly up to the house, I decided to sketch it.

Fast forward to April 2023, and even though I had walked up Heathery Lane a few times in between, I hadn't done any more sketches there. Still at my brother's almost a year on and my divorce had just gone through. This time is was a chilly day, with my fingers freezing but the sun was still out.

I used watercolour this time and browns dominated the sketch.


A month ago I decided to have a dedicated art morning. I packed three of my sketchbooks, a Bockingford CP watercolour block, my stool and paints and headed for the field. Snacks and water were also included so I knew I'd be there for a little while.

I wanted to trial a new sketchbook for a commission and art classes so I took that alongside my mixed media book and my favourite - a Royal Talens sketchbook.

When I got into the field I was confronted by the brightest profusion of yellow. The oil seed rape was in full flower and looked glorious. The three sketches I produced were all quite similar in style and colour but in the Royal Talens book I decided to just use pen on the main features of the house and the telegraph pole.

Heathery Lane sketches

When I felt nicely warmed up, I began on the larger piece on my watercolour block. i used more pen marks than in the Royal Talens sketchbook but didn't outline everything. Preferring to leave the background trees misty to push them back and only putting a few details on the flowers.

I really love the loose style which came out of this session, and the fact that the scene is so different from the April one. What a difference a month makes.

I'm still (!) at my brother's but my flat purchase should go through in a week or two. What a difference a year makes! I'm curious to see if there are any autumnal colours on Heathery Lane so I should make a vow to go back on a sunny autumn day and enjoy another few hours painting.

Gillian Cross Artist

"Heathery Lane, Gosforth" is available mounted or unmounted in the web shop and I'm sure I'll be making this artwork into a card in the near future.

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