Hi, I'm Mary Kemp, passionate painter of anything to do with the seaside.
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Thursday, 25 August 2016

Picnic Essentials for Artists and Other Picnickers

We're off for a picnic, a day out that involves lunch, and we're not going to a cafe or restaurant to eat, and of course we're going to the seaside. Did I mention that?
Mary Kemp
Picnic Among the Sand Dunes
Oil on canvas panel
30 x 30 cm


So here are a few essentials, in no particular order, but they do include things that an artist might take with her, over and above the wet wipes and the suntan lotion.




Mary Kemp
Two Girls and Boy by the Sea
Oil on canvas panel.
30 x 30 cm

  • Food, which really has to be the most important thing to pack. It doesn't have to be highly nutritious or good for you on this occasion. I like it to be of the high fat, high sugar variety, crisps, pork pies, not much salad because you can't eat it easily with out of a bowl. Sweet is just that, sweets, chocolate bars, yoghurt for wimps and, if you must have fruit, bananas because they go squashy very quickly.
  • Drink, sugary drinks for all. Alcohol for the hardened drinkers among us, if you can have a snooze later on. Stewed tea in a flask or watery coffee. All drunk out of plastic mugs if you can remember them.
  • Mary Kemp
    Day at the Seaside
    Oil on canvas panel.
    30 x 30 cm
  • Something to Sit On Children can have a blanket, that's big enough for all, except one, just to add to the chaos. This grown up wants a chair that someone else carries.
  • Something to Do. This is the most important. You need towels and cossies for the swimmers, towels for the paddlers. A change of clothes for any one under 20, a few buckets and spades, as bright as possible so you don't loose them, and a good book if you like reading.
  • The Artist's Essentials. This is my drawing kit at the moment. 
    Sketching Kit
    Summer 2016
    (No phone here because
    I used it to take the photo!)
  • Sun hat, 
  • Sun glasses, 
  • Phone for photos
  • Sketch book, square 8" x 8"
  • Pencil
  • Watercolour paints
  • Brush
  • J cloth
  • Water soluble pen
  • Water
  • Container.
And at the end of the day we all went to a cafe and had a cup of tea and a bun before travelling home, tired but happy!

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Sherringham Park

You can tell what sort of a person I am by the fact that I love the National Trust.
Mary Kemp.
Early Morning East Coast.
Watercolour

There's huge tracts of land and coastline in North Norfolk owned by the National Trust and I have stomped my way through quite a number of them, and sat and drawn and painted in most, but this year I discovered a new venue,

the rhododendron heaven of rhododendron heavens, Sherringham Park!
Photo: Alan Kemp
Sherringham Park.

What I love particularly about this is the pattern of the bare trunks where the foliage has been stripped away. There's a painting in there somewhere I'm sure.
In fact in my head are a whole series of paintings waiting to meet the canvas, inspired by the most fantastic and multicoloured rhododendrons of Sherringham as well as the rather grand works seen in the Royal Academy exhibition Painting the Modern Gardens. Because I love the sea so much they may well involve rhododendrons and the sea, as you can glimpse the coast from the park.
Mary Kemp
Misty Morning East Coast
Watercolour
So far my National Trust paintings have been executed on the coastline, looking out to sea, but I've a feeling that may change any time soon!
Watch this space.

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Discover the Wonderful North Norfolk Coast.

There's a part of the country that's out of the way. A part that lots of people never visit because it's not on the road to anywhere, no big towns, no ferries to far away places, not a place of magnificent cliffs and sweeping vistas, and it's somewhere you have to travel through vast tracts of flat terrain to reach, like some intrepid explorer.
But , oh, it is wonderful once you get there!
Photo: Mary Kemp
Hunstanton Cliffs at Sunset.
Being brought up in the Midlands I've been visiting North Norfolk all my life. We've had picnics on the sands at Hunstanton, eaten crab at Cromer and walked on the prom at Sherringham, not to mention seen the Queen going home from church as we navigated the windy roads near Sandringham.
Hunstanton or Brancaster in particular always seemed the default places to go for a day out, when you wanted familiarity, comfort and the feeling that childhood certainties still stand. Hunstanton with it's fish and chips, buckets and spade and gawdy funfair, and Brancaster for miles of open sands with the sea in strips, and when you walk out to the water's edge you feel as though the world is so huge and you are so small and so very, very free.
Mary Kemp
Running Forever
Oil on canvas panel
30 x 30 cm
But don't take this as a plea to visit Norfolk. I don't want you to go. I feel it's mine, I like the unfashionableness of the parts I visit and the lack of bustle on every day of the year except a hot summer holiday or the first warm day of spring.
So don't discover Norfolk, you'll love it too much than is good for you. Be warned.