Upper Arley is ideal for a wander, with its many public footpaths and picturesque village. The village of Upper Arley is just on the edge of the Worcestershire/Shropshire border and lies next to the River Severn. Luckily there is also a footbridge that allows access across the River Severn, where you’ll find more footpaths and Upper Arley Railway Station. Sometimes on a meander I am just walking and looking, other times I’m sketching or painting watercolour washes and for this blog I was clicking away with my camera.
Above is the entrance to Arley Arboretum, where you will find a lovely tearoom as well as a variety of trees and plants, but I’ll save Arley Arboretum for another day.
There are some great specimens of trees and plants in and around the village of Upper Arley, which I love to spend time sketching. I usually need a dry day for watercolour washes and I tend to work quick, as I don’t have the patience to sit with a lot of paraphernalia while I’m painting outdoors. I like to travel light and capture as much as I can. This philosophy applies to my photos as well.
As you can see from the lovely hydrangeas we had quite a bit of rain on our amble, but the abundance and vibrancy of the hydrangeas cheered us. I took lots of photos of them, because despite all the plants thriving in our garden, we don’t have any hydrangeas. I used to have one in a big pot, many years ago, but I think it got left behind in a house move. Hydrangeas will be going on my ‘list of things to paint’, it’s becoming a very long list! I’ve tried to be really good and only share a few, in other words I’m sharing only the best ones with you.
I’ve never seen the above plant before, but it had a profusion of tall spiky flowers. I love the close ups on these, but I know it would need a lot of patience to paint, especially my pure watercolour technique, i.e no white paint. I would have to plan out a painting of these, so I could capture as much detail as possible. Another one for my watercolour list?
Just around the corner I spotted this small plant, with delicate fuchsia pink flowers.
You can wander through a little gateway and into the grounds of St Peter’s Church, Upper Arley, which has some remnants from the 14th century, though it’s thought a building was in situ from the 12th century. I love to look at old buildings and their carvings. This church seems to have had quite a few repairs over the years, but it is in an exposed position and is mainly built of red and grey sandstone. Thought I’d share the leaning lamppost, it’s been like it for years.
Usually when I’m picking a specific subject to paint, such as a church I’ll view it at different times of the day, in different weathers and seasons and from various angles. I’ll then use my sketches and layout ideas to make the final watercolour painting. So it’s not just hours of painting, but hours of planning, travelling, sketching and of course deciding, before the final painting is even started!
I love to see creativity in action, it’s not shouting out at you, but it shows thought and a lightness of touch and you can never go wrong with a heart!
Creativity at work again! We get lots of these in our garden and I bet this one doesn’t nest in the trees at night and leave a mess in the morning.
Some lovely flowers to see on the lanes around Upper Arley and the post office also offers cream teas. Well I did say I was on a wander, not a walk.