White Cliffs of Dover Wildflowers

 

While hiking up the white cliffs at Kingsdown Leas I came across this beautiful white house and wonderful wildflowers.

There seemed to be something particularly awesome about the scene. I felt amazing as though the air had a magical spell over me and I could breath in this beauty. Naturally I wanted to paint the scene and the feeling.

 

After I started the painting I was explaining to friends that I had seen this incredible meadow of wildflowers that felt really different. A couple of days later my friends sent me an article in The Guardian about the regeneration project on the White Cliffs of Dover, which includes this meadow.

The Kingsdown Leas is a site of specific scientific interest and lies within the Kent Down area of outstanding beauty. Small tress and shrubs have been cleared to allow the rarer plants and wildlife species to flourish.

"A well known piece of the British landscape that had become depleted of flora and fauna because of years of intensive farming is alive with wildflowers, butterflies and birds this summer.

Since the National Trust acquired fields on top of the white cliffs of Dover two and half years ago after a £1m national appeal championed by Dame Vera Lynn, it has worked to restore the area to rich grassland.

The charity is excited at the results, reporting an increase in birds including skylarks, corn buntings, partridges and meadow pipits. Peregrine falcons are benefiting from an increase in wild pigeons, a main source of prey.

A “bumblebird” seed mix, which includes cereals, brassicas and wildflowers, was sown last autumn to provide birds with a supply of food through the winter, and a range of nectar-rich plants for pollinators in the summer. The wet winter that followed helped create an explosion of colour.

Virginia Portman, the general manager at the white cliffs for the trust, said: “After many decades of intensive farming, it’s fantastic to see this stretch of the cliffs buzzing with wildlife again. “The cliffs hold an incredibly special place in our country’s history, but they’re also important for nature as much of the habitat we have here, chalk grassland, is increasingly rare in the UK." The Guardian, 4 July 2020

White Cliffs of Dover Wildflowers 2020
170 x 210 cm
Oil on Canvas

See below for detailed sections of the painting and descriptions.


Additional Images

White Cliffs of Dover Wildflowers Painting by Stephanie Fuller

 

 

White Cliffs of Dover Wildflowers Painting by Stephanie Fuller

 

White Cliffs of Dover Wildflowers Painting by Stephanie Fuller

 

 

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Details of the painting



I loved this house when I first saw it, with it's white walls and bright green roof. It's easy to let you mind wander and imagine all the people in the different rooms of the house looking out over the cliffs to the view of France across the channel.
I wonder what the bay room at the front is used for or the modern extension with the large windows to the left. 





And what about that building on the right. Could that be an artist's studio!
To me this looks like the sort of house you would find in a novel.




The painting progresses over the summer as I continued to visit the cliffs and look in greater detail at the flowers. Over that time some of them went to seeded so I added all the different stages of the flower to my painting.




On the left is the flower heads and on the right the seed heads. The stems turned black and the seeds flew away, leaving a beautiful flat golden shell as the flowers died back.





Many of the wildflowers are considered weeds.


 

In these details you can see the abstract elements in the spaces between plants.  

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