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