Sunday 2 October 2011

Donnington Castle, 2002

This is an old painting - 30 July, 2002, to be precise. It's of Donnington Castle, a civil war ruin near Newbury. Not to be confused with Castle Donington, a village in Leicestershire with one less "n" and some sort of motor racing track (and a "Monsters of Rock" music festival). The castle site is a favourite picnic destination - and it's where I went with the children today (on another unseasonably hot day), hence the appearance of this post now. The painting - an early plein air knife painting - was the first that I was ever happy enough with to want to live with it. It still took me a while to get around to framing it, though... it was about 7 or 8 years, I think.

I painted this one evening after work. It was a Tuesday. My husband was busy doing something else, so I just took off (in the car) with my painting stuff and parked in Donnington Village because the castle car park supposedly closes at 6:30. I sat on one of the civil war earthworks and painted for a few hours. There were a few other people around, but it wasn't busy. I seem to recall that the ominous sky - which I'm very pleased with - presaged a thunderstorm that night.

The painting was intended to be a sketch - hence the choice of support (oil painting paper). When it came to framing the painting, the fact that it was on paper was a small problem. Oils are traditionally framed without glass or mounts, and that is what I wanted to do with this. I took it to a High Street framer, who recommended bonding the paper to a board. They duly did this as part of the framing process. It still hasn't been varnished, though - I feel a bit bad about that. It should be varnished. I feel like I'm letting the painting down, somehow...

Oil on paper, approx 15 x 19", framed.

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