We are back at Cliveden House for the story behind my painting of Spring Cottage. I walked down some steep wooden steps set off the side of the garden , which led me down to the gardens on the lower ground which was level with the Thames. I passed a cottage set back from the river which looked unoccupied i thought as i moved on, and asked the boat keeper where spring Cottage was situated. He pointed behind him and said “here, next door”. I boarded the boat with camera at the ready, to snap at the cottage as soon as we moved off from our starting point. I couldn’t see a thing on my screen because the sun reflected off of it ,so I just snapped away hoping to take at least a couple of decent pictures. After we finished our boat trip I made my way to the main house via the same route I had taken to get there, my legs were killing me when I reached the top. After a rest I replenished my fluids and ate in the cafe situated in the grounds at the front of the house, and day dreamed what it would feel like to be able to stay in one of Cliveden ‘s magnificent rooms for a few days and to swan around the swimming pool on a hot day, and to be waited on hand and foot.
I explored the gardens near the front entrance and took many more pictures just incase I wanted to use different scenes later on. A band played on the band stand and a tea party was in full swing. All in all it had been a satisfying and beautiful day, and i returned home exhausted and completely inspired about the new scene I had discovered. The whole reason I chose Spring Cottage is because a few years earlier I read about the profumo affair that took place there in 1960’s before I was born. I was fascinated by the turn of events that were played out in private at the cottage over a weekend and in front of the world at the same time because some how a journalist got hold of the story. After reading about the scandal I felt compelled to paint an iconic cottage, and I have to say I am pleased how the panting turned out. With every brush stroke I imagined how the lawn felt soft and luxurious under my feet, which I painted in pastel shades of yellow and white.
Once it was completed I moved onto painting in the river using pastel shades, of yellow ochre, greens, blues, browns and white, the swishing of the brush back and forth imitated the quiet rush of the water.
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