In June this year, just as lockdown restrictions were  eased, I spent two happy weeks painting and studying the Cornish coast around Sennen Cove. It is one of my favourite places and each time I go, I see something new. This time I witnessed wild winds, wild flowers and more choughs than I’d ever seen before.

Where’s Wally? Painting at Lion’s Den

Vast stacks of rock rise from the sea at Lion’s Den, on the coastal path between Lands End and Nanjizal. Wild flowers tumbled down the slopes and choughs mobbed a buzzard overhead as I painted.

Lion’s Den

Spread from sketch book, with field notes

From Sennen Cove, you can see the beach at Gwynver. Walking towards Cape Cornwall, slopes covered in wildflowers rise to your right and to the left, Longships lighthouse and Lands End are visible. At Gwynver, bright magenta hottentot fig blur the edges of the beach, and a dense woodland clings to the cleave above the beach.

Sketch of dry stone wall and hottentot figs behind Gwynver beach

Rain approaching Gwynver

The crab boats were pulled up high in the harbour, above the tides.  The crab pots are emptied early morning.

Where’s Wally (again)? Painting by the Roundhouse at Sennen Cove

Boats in the harbour. Watercolour and charcoal on paper

The enormous rusty mooring chains have always fascinated me.

Mooring chain in the harbour

The weather was changeable, just the way I like it when I’m studying an area. I was able to spend time outside painting and drawing, and witnessed the area with calm blue skies and wild high winds that I could hardly stand in (lots of bulldog clips and sheltered spots required for painting!).

The winds lengthened waves and whipped the sea

Early morning. Soft light and high winds. Acrylic on paper

The flora on the cliff tops was incredible this year. Dense patches of bluebells and sea squill painted the cliffs blue and purple.

Bluebells on Mayon Cliff. Acrylic, charcoal and chalk on paper

Bluebell study in my sketch book


Cornish Sketch Book #3 is available to purchase from my online shop

Spread from ‘Cornish Sketch Book #3’ showing studies of rock formations