Boot's Folly


I found the unkempt grave of master-builder Charles Boot in Bradfield. He shares the grave with his wife who died before him. It looks across Strines reservoir to their former home Sugworth Hall. After his wife died it's thought Charles had a folly built on a hill so he could look across to St Nicholas's where his beloved was buried. I thought I'd try to capture its sun-kissed allure on canvas (sorry about the result.) Here it is.


One Saturday evening I walked to the folly through grass and falling evening sunlight. There's no door on so you can get inside but it's just a posh sheep shelter. It would have been good to get to the top and walk around the ramparts. There was a staircase inside Charles which would allegedly ascend to the top and look across to this wife's resting place. A cow got stuck so it was removed.


I thought it would a painting subject. The evening sun was turning the grass honey-coloured and making trees cast long shadows. I took a few photos and I've used one to form this painting. As usual I blasted the canvas with acrylics and got started. Using oil paints I did everything but the folly itself and enjoyed dabbing in those trees with the sun touching them. I got a bit carried away and now when I look at the photo I used I'd added a few extra trees and bushes. I wish I used a bigger canvas as doing those windows with a small brush was hard work. For some reason I didn't enjoy doing the tower itself. I played a Huey Lewis & The News concert and just got on with it. I smeared the paint on with a knife and mashed it up with a brush. I think that must be a lightning rod protruding out of the top. I painted that four times before I got it reasonable straight. When painting the sun-kissed grass in the forefront I just thought of Corn Flakes for some reason and can't remember how I did it. There was a dead hare nearby but I didn't paint that.


This painting could be yours for just 16,040. Normally it would be 40 but I've had some 16k of plastic surgery having had my face ripped off by my neighbour. He was going out and gave me a new set of house keys to give to his wife when she returned. I gave her the keys and texted my neighbour "I've given your wife her keys" but predictive text changed this to "I've given your wife herpes" and he ripped my face off with blunt pliers.





Getting started using acrylic paint...