I've always been a solitary painter, you could even say anti-social. If people are going to be around when I'm working I've always I tried to tuck myself out of the way, so that I don't attract attention.
Frankly if I'm working, I want to work.
There are however other people who share the seashore or the riverbank with me, who are equally focussed on what they themselves are doing, and we do tend to respectfully 'give each other the time of day.'
At Ringstead this group includes kite surfers and fossil hunters. They too have things they want to get on with, but we do all chat and share experiences.
Kevan, pictured above with his dogs, lives near the beach at Osmington. He recovered the Weymouth Bay Pliosaur – 'The World's Biggest Bite' (otherwise known as Kevanosaurus) – and we've been having the odd chat for years while I'm out painting. He calls me 'Osmington Girl.'
It's only relatively recently in my painting career that I've wanted to incorporate incidental figures into my compositions. They help to describe the landscape as they move across it, and give context. In addition to this I feel they capture the life of the place I'm depicting, as much as do the waves, sky and seagulls.
In the weeks after the recent storms it has been particularly busy with fossil hunters, and I saw Kevin and his friend in the bright blue jacket last time I was there. Kevin's friend gave me a handful of fossils to keep. I was grateful as I never manage to find any myself.
I've put some recent Ringstead work up on my website, all produced in February and March after the storms.