I'd thought of adding points of interest, or some sort of narrative element, to a few rather empty landscapes - but something other than a distant sail or seagull shapes. Gabriel had done some lovely pencil drawings of fish and birds of prey at home and made them into posters for fun, or for school projects. I got him to come to the studio and draw me some brents to cut out and stick on the painting of the beach at Walberswick in January, and some birds of his choice - bittern, kestrel and terns - for the one of the sea wall near Old Hall Farm. I painted them on in actual size in oils, the idea being that they still look like his pencil paper cut-out originals.
I spent an afternoon at the Essex Wildlife Trust reserve at Thurrock Thameside last November. A desolate yet inspiring location, great views up, down and across the river, and old and new industry that makes the landscape, rather than just being a blot on it..... yes I mean Bradwell ! As well as doing half a dozen pen and watercolour sketches of varying merit I also took a panoramic sequence of photographs from the top of the excellent visitors' centre, then did this painting based on some of those back at the studio. It's the view east taking in - receding from the foreground - Mucking Creek, the sea wall breached to allow mudflat regeneration, the under-construction Thames Gateway deep-water port, the old Coryton refinery, and behind all that the low hills of south Essex and the pier at Southend.
Julie's had four of her recent fashion designs printed as postcards. They are available from the studio and The Loft, either as single cards or as a gift pack. The originals are a combination of line drawing and cut paper, overlaid on scans of vintage material from Julie's collection.