Saturday, 22 March 2014

In the Footsteps of Maurice Pavey RWA


This picture has been part of my life for all of my life.  It was a wedding present to my mother and father from my maternal grandmother's sister and brother-in-law, Phyllis and Maurice Pavey.  Indeed, it was painted by my Great-Uncle Maurice, who was a member of the Royal West of England Academy.  

I remember as a small child being told that it had been painted at Weston, but although I easily recognised the island of Steepholm, I could never reconcile the depiction of Brean Down with the headland sticking out into the sea as seen from the back of a donkey on Weston Beach.  Although I liked it, I wondered if it was a very good painting at all!

As an adult I realised that the perspective was from further down the beach, not far from the Axe estuary at Uphill, but it took me until today finally to get around to going there.  My mission?  To try to take a photo from more or less the same spot Uncle Maurice has chosen for his painting.  





First, though, we made our way from the small car park on Uphill Way down to the Axe. Then to the beach, otherwise known as Ted Heaven.




The best thing for me, though, were the constant shifts in weather that made for some beautiful and ever changing skies ... 
... and the chance to try out my second-hand-but-still-pretty-new-to-me Canon EOS 400D.  
The recent storms had left some props on the beach ... 
... but Ted showed once again that he has little sensibility when it comes to art. 
As the tide fell, we could see oyster catchers poking about and hear their lovely piping call.  The layers of sky, receding sea, sand and mud were glorious.


After a while the rain forecasters had threatened materialised but it wasn't really very wet or cold (despite veering towards hail once or twice.)  





And then there was the most amazing rainbow I'd ever seen. stretching right across the beach between us and the town.  




But wait ... before we make our way back along the River Axe for lunch in The Dolphin, let's take a closer look at photo of Brean Down and Steepholm in the rain. 
I don't think it's  that far off this ...  

And come to think of it, neither is this.  I think we might be pretty close to the spot.  
Let the tide go out a bit and ... yep, that's about it.  Result!  
Meanwhile, the rain has buggered off to Brent Knoll ... 
... Ted has assumed the position under the pub table ... 
... and the couple in the window have left the dregs of their radioactive coffees.  Just another day in Somerset.  









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