Painting the Northumberland Coast Path

07/08/15

It’s a long, lovely beach, Wendy Forrest-Charde writes of Cheswick Beach.

“The geology of Northumbria is not normally focussed on by the average walker but the whole path has an extraordinary structure. Black rocks lie beneath the sand with layers of shale and outcrops of Basalt further on. Red and yellow sandstone are evident in various places.”

Painting by Wendy Forrest-Charde

Wendy has an artist’s eye for the underlying details. It’s no surprise: she’s an artist, carrying a sketchbook with her as she walks the trails.

We enjoyed her paintings of the Coast to Coast Walk last year. This year, her brush has captured snippets of the Northumberland Coast Path. She includes a little information about each.

A walk in watercolour


Painting by Wendy Forrest-Charde: before and after image

One of those well-crafted features that carry forward the history of the area, Denton Fountain in Alnmouth has been repurposed as a flowerbed. Clearly it caught Wendy’s eye, as here it is, painted and photographed.

She mentions the lady in the area’s car park booth knows the most about the fountain’s history, but they never had a chance to chat. Perhaps another of our walkers might know more?

Painting by Wendy Forrest-Charde

Sheep graze the grassy hills of most walking trails, but not every sheep is alike. There are several different breeds about to spot.

“One always learns a thing or two when painting this delicate lady,” writes Wendy. “According to the National Sheep Association, she is a type of Mule and a crossbred female bred for two lambs a year.”

Contours Walking Holidays booked Jubilee House for Wendy’s night in Embleton.

Painting by Wendy Forrest-Charde: Jubliee House

“The conversion of this place to a bed and breakfast is extraordinary and the owners have books regarding the Whinstone Quarry from which stone the house is made. Charming place to sit outside tending to one’s boots and blisters.”

An artist’s equipment


On the subject of blisters, when discussing her paintings with us last year, Wendy mentioned that the quality of the paper in her sketchbook really let her down. We asked if this had been solved on her second walk with us.

“As you remember correctly – there was an issue with the paper – I resolved this by buying a separate set of small sheets – postcard size of heavy watercolour paper and inserting them with blister plaster pieces around the edge at the appropriate page and then continuing with the lined sheets for the text. It worked but of course I lost the use of the blister plasters!”

Painting on thet rails

We’re sure any long-distance walker will agree: giving up any form of blister treatment shows true dedication to her craft!

Spreading the sketchbooks


All the proceeds from this article will help to fund Wendy’s elderly group. She states that, while the mix of the group has changed over the intervening months, sketching their local Romsey remains a favoured pastime – one we’re proud to support.





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