This small, sleepy backwater in the shelter of the Isle of Wight is one of my favourite places to paint -
especially at low tide, when light colours the mud and boats float amidst bright slack-water ribbons.
Hurst Spit, a natural breakwater with a castle and lighthouse at its tip, protects the harbour. In the summer it is busy with visitors and the water full of boats. Winter brings the migrating birds, feeding at low tide. Their cries, mixed with the jangling noise of boat rigging, give it a special atmosphere. As the winter sun sets it colours the breakwater red and highlights the Needles of the IOW.
After painting in the cold, the local pub, The Gun, makes a welcome retreat. The boatyard, couple of cottages and two sailing clubs complete the scene.