Artist Code: 1804. Roe Deer and Fawn at Fullers Mill. Completed 25th July 2018. Original water colour 16″ x 12″, Saunders Waterford Classic hot pressed 100% cotton rag 140lbs. Hand made light oak frame 22″ x 18″. Prints available. GIFTED December 2019.
What a beautiful place, tucked away in the middle of a forest in the wilds of Suffolk. I travelled to Fullers Mill on 16th May 2018 meeting up with the Iceni Botanical Artists Group, of which I am a member, and we had a great day of painting and drawing. Bernard Tickner, local hero for Lackford Lakes Nature Reserve, and one-time master brewer, owned and lived at Fullers Mill for many years and built up the garden in his own fashion, collecting plants from all over the world with his wife, Bess. Bernard outlived his wife to the age of 93, passing away in November 2017. The Iceni Botanical Artists (IBA) decided to honour Bernard’s life and contribution to the preservation of nature (Lackford Lakes Nature Reserve) with a series of paintings of the Fullers Mill Garden and its plants. These paintings were shown, with other floral artworks, at the IBA’s exhibition at the Apex, Bury St Edmunds from 14th August to 9th September 2018.
My day at Fullers Mill included partaking of the delicious cake and coffee available from the little cafe, as well as purchasing Bernard’s Book: “A Scratch in the Soil” relating his life and times at Fullers Mill and beyond. A fascinating read, and all proceeds from the sale of the book go towards the upkeep of the gardens for the nation. I walked around the gardens several times with camera in hand, but mostly just taking in the varied vistas, from the River Lark which runs right through, to the almost dried Mill Pond, the large lake at the back of the garden and all the different flowers and plants. It was an extremely cold day and most of the other artists went home before lunchtime. But I stuck it out till 5.00pm because I was playing in a tennis match at Newmarket on my way home, so no point leaving early. I did a few flower drawings using my Polychromos oil pencils, but mostly just enjoyed the atmosphere, the flowers and the wildlife. This was the first time I had spent time out en plein air, proper (see my blog regarding the Pasqueflower!), and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.