James Mer­riott paints…

James Mer­riott makes a sea­sonal re­turn to Finch­ing­field to pain this stun­ning Es­sex trea­sure in the snow

Essex Life - - CONTENTS -

Wa­ter­colours of Finch­ing­field un­der snow

In 1951 I re­mem­ber well the cel­e­bra­tions of the Fes­ti­val of Bri­tain in Lon­don. At that time the fes­ti­val com­mit­tee se­lected four vil­lages in Bri­tain to present to tourists as ex­am­ples of our most pic­turesque vil­lages.

Finch­ing­field was one of the four cho­sen and be­came much vis­ited at the event, re­main­ing a pop­u­lar tourist at­trac­tion ever since. The fes­ti­val com­mit­tee cer­tainly made the right choice as fab­u­lous Finch­ing­field has every­thing that you can think of to con­trib­ute to the per­fect vil­lage.

You will find pic­turesque cot­tages and un­du­lat­ing greens, the duck pond and bridge, the his­toric wind­mill and cosy pubs, and not least a col­lec­tion of charm­ing teashops.

Paint­ing Finch­ing­field for the De­cem­ber is­sue gave me im­mense plea­sure and I have to ad­mit that paint­ing snow is not as dif­fi­cult as tra­di­tional land­scapes. It is how­ever a great les­son in what not to paint, leav­ing white pa­per de­pict­ing high­lights and the snow cov­er­ing land­scape.

What in­cred­i­bly pic­turesque wa­ter­colours they make, and whether paint­ing them as sum­mer scenes or snow scenes, I can only say that re­vis­it­ing this vil­lage for a Christ­mas fea­ture gave me im­mense en­joy­ment as well as a feel­ing of pro­duc­ing some­thing very spe­cial.

For me this vil­lage truly is fab­u­lous Finch­ing­field!

COT­TAGES ON THE BANKIt’s easy to call this par­tic­u­lar wa­ter­colour ‘cot­tages on and bank or hill­side’, but to me it re­veals much more and is ab­so­lutely won­der­ful

BRIDGE OVER THE DUCK PONDIt must be crossed in the car with much cau­tion, as it is not only nar­row, but ducks cross­ing the road need ‘right of way’

FINCH­ING­FIELD’S WIND­MILLThe Mill po­si­tioned 20ft above street level and look­ing down on its one-time Mill House adds great sta­tus

ST JOHN THE BAP­TIST CHURCH In keep­ing with the whole of the vil­lage, St John’s Church is out­stand­ingly beau­ti­ful

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