Ebbing Tide, Bow Creek, Devon

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  • Title: Ebbing Tide, Bow Creek, Devon
  • Medium: Mixed media – Acrylic, crayon, pastel
  • Substrate: 10 oz cotton canvas
  • Size: 100cm x 100cm
  • Style: Contemporary
  • Frame: Yes
  • Print available: Yes

The original of this work is in David’s private collection.

This painting in acrylic on canvas was painted en plein air on a windy day in early Spring from a grassy hillside high above the river. The scene is close to where Bow Creek meets the river Dart on its journey to the sea at Dartmouth, the Dart being tidal as far upstream as Totnes. It was so windy remembers David that at one point the canvas was whipped out of his hands and bowled down the hill followed by David running like a Gloustershire Cheese Rolling contestant. The canvas was recovered and the painting finished later in the studio.

David says: I do enjoy the challenges painting outside throws up – the tempo of painting inevitably changes as you battle the elements – sometimes, on hot days, the paint dries too quickly, and on others it hardly wants to dry at all. There have been days when painting in watercolour that the paint has frozen in the pallete and on the page but whatever the difficulties, they should be embraced as they nearly always add to the immediacy of the work. Working outside on relatively large paintings such as this I tend to use acrylic paint rather than oil because of its quicker drying qualities and on this work I also used Caran d’ashe crayon for more linear marks and FW acrylic inks from Jackson’s for the same reason.

Bow Creek is a tidal reach between Totnes & Dartmouth, where the Harbourne river meets the river Dart. Along its banks is the village of Tuckenhay and the Malsters Inn, formerly Floyds Inn, then owned by flamboyant TV chef Kieth Floyd. Whilst the pub can be busy in the summer months, Bow Creek remains a tranquil and beautiful spot to visit. The river is a hugely productive environment and supports a variety of wildlife species. Herons, little egrets, cormorants and kingfishers can be seen, and seals regularly pop up to check out passing boats.

Stead has painted Bow Creek and the Dart many times, indeed he and wife Becky lived by its banks for several years and it remains a place where they visit frequently for work and pleasure.

Additional information

Dimensions N/A
Purchase Options

Original, Print