Based in Romsey, the New Forest is but a cycle ride away. Over the years I've captured many quiet and not so quiet corners and turned them into popular paintings...
Ober Water is normally busy with visitors - families out for a walk, with kids in weliies splashing about as dogs chase after sticks, but pick your time well and you can have this beautiful place to yourself. I took the original photo in early May 2001 during the foot and mouth outbreak. The forest had been reopened to the public, but the carparks remained closed. I walked in from nearby Brockenhurst and had the place to myself - plus a few deer, ponies and a snake I disturbed on my walk.
Forest Autumn II
Around the last week of October or the first week of November the forest gives a superb display of Autumn colour. Most people flock to the ornamental drives, but quieter spots like this (just North of Ober Water) can give just as good a show.
A December day, but already the sun had burned off most of the frost. Heading North through the woods from Brockenhurst I came upon a sheltered glade where the sun had yet to make its mark. Using a tree to obscure it I caught this scene of frost and rays of sun filtering through the bare branches of the bushes. I found this a real challenge to paint - trying to figure out which to paint first - the rays of sun or the shrubbery.