The finished watercolour of 'Freshwater Bay'
Painting at Freshwater Bay on the Isle of Wight on a warm sunny October afternoon.
About Melvyn Randall
Growing up in Somerset, I always enjoyed drawing and remember from a very early age being given a pencil, crayons and paper by my parents. On reflection, this was more to keep me quiet for an hour or so rather than their expectations of me becoming an artist.
As the school years went by I 'dabbled' with painting in various mediums including watercolour. I decided back then that watercolour was far too difficult to master as I always ended up with a total mess and could never make any progress!
Having said that, I had always enjoyed viewing watercolours of other artists as their paintings looked so fresh and had a sparkle to them that all other mediums didn't seem to have. I also found that this sparkle and freshness seemed to continue within the picture for many many years after it was painted.
I guess this love of watercolour as a way of painting was planted in me from a young age, but it wasn't until I retired in my late fifties that I decided to have another go with this medium and try not to make a total mess of things as I had done previously.
I found by carefully studying and observing the work of watercolour artists I admired (namely Edward Seago, Edward Wesson, John Yardley and James Fletcher-Watson and a close friend of mine Steve Hall) was of great help here.
All of these artists advocated painting on site, as indeed J M W Turner and many of the French Impressionists did. There is a lot to be gained from this way of painting as you feel closer with nature and in true contact with your subject.
The finished painting at Bosham, West Sussex
Painting as Bosham, West Sussex.
I do have a watchful eye on the incoming tide which comes in very quickly from the left at this location!
These days I live in Wiltshire with my wife Penny and have three grown up children along with grandchildren, all of whom are by far my biggest critics!