I have often said that the great thing about all those rainy days in the UK is the over the top, gorgeous gardens. This one, in the courtyard of our country hotel in Beaulieu,  is no exception.

The Montagu Arms Country House is located in the New Forest area, one of the largest tracts of unenclosed pastureland, heathland and forest in southern England. It’s home to a national park, and several classic villages, including Beaulieu.

The area is not far from London, about a two hour drive. But it is a world apart in Hampshire. Ponies and donkeys roam the area freely, and we often saw a few horses walking down the center of the village from our hotel window. The deer and other wildlife were more shy during the day, but occasionally we caught a glimpse in the evenings if we were out for a drive.

There are grand country walks everywhere. And the village is also home to the National Motor Museum.  So something for everyone.

My little home studio is a haven to re-visit my favorite scenes. A painting often takes me a couple of months, even working most days. So this spring I got to relive those bucolic pastoral days spent in England.

The last week of a painting is spent considering if it is as successful as it can be and what I can do to bring that final spark to it.  And, at the same time, I’m thinking about  my next canvas. It’s a joy to have this to look forward to most days. There is a real sense of satisfaction at one completed, and anticipation as to what is next. There are always mixed feelings when I have finally finished a painting and move on.

Morning Tea” The Montagu Arms Country Hotel in New Forest, Beaulieu, England, 30″x24″, oil