Landscapes by Suffolk Artist Delia Tournay-Godfrey
The landscapes of my native Suffolk coast are a constant source of inspiration. I have a few favourite places where I paint with an endless supply of figures wandering around; Aldeburgh in Suffolk with its lovely long shingle beach, characterful town and variety of colours that change in all weathers. Slaughden further along the Suffolk coast has an atmosphere that I connect with which continually informs my landscapes; there is a spit of land with the river on one side and the sea on the other and a magnificent cathedral-like sky that never looks or feels the same for two days running; it is a magical place to paint in. Landguard in Felixstowe is a great location with distant trees and people walking their dogs, and Brackenbury Cliffs high above the sea has a wide empty green, a lovely copse of trees with a backdrop of beach huts, and a pale light reflected from the sea below.
I paint landscapes and work directly from the subject with oil paint. It’s a tricky business battling the elements with the constant changes of light and weather conditions; the amount of equipment needed, and also being interrupted by well-meaning people because painting always stirs an interest! Using my car as a travelling studio works well for me. I love painting figures, either walking, sitting, standing; in conversation or quiet reflection within the landscape. The most exciting paintings are when I see a setting; a crashing sea, a dark and threatening sky, the edge of a building in a certain light, and a figure appears and enlivens the whole composition. It’s then an absorbing process of observation and rapid paint application alongside critical selection; what to leave in, what to leave out. Many of the smaller landscapes illustrated here were painted in a few hours, the figures worked in before disappearing, followed by an intense period of painting activity to resolve the rest of the panel. I always like the mood the paintings develop and this element becomes very important to me. Larger work is painted from these smaller works and sketchbook studies in my studio at home in Ipswich.