A summer of pictures

Welcome to my blog/newsletter.

It has been too long since my last posting.  Sometimes life can be overwhelming.  There can be so much one feels about everything in the world, and to open one’s mouth seems insubstantial or completely irrelevant.  My whole life has felt irrelevant much of the time.  I’ve been feeling I could do with a few years away from it.  I hope you’ve been faring as well as can be hoped.  Looking back over the summer I see that I have at least painted some pictures which I’m happy with, as well as those other ones.  I’ve had a nice time teaching my annual Big Sky Art course in Norfolk, have taken part in a great Arts Festival in my locality and I’ve met some nice people.  So I’m lucky.  Here are some images of it all which I hope may encourage you to paint something, and feel lucky.


Pittenweem West Shore. Plein air painting




On Lady’s Tower Beach. Plein air painting




St Monans windmill and salt pans. Plein air painting




Summer evening Ash Trees with hare. Plein air painting



Unnamed rock on the northeast Fife coast path. Plein air painting



Big Sky Art course 2022


First demo of my painting course in Norfolk. Plein air demo at Burnham Overy Staithe.



Plein air demo at Brancaster Staithe.



Plein air demo at Wells-Next-The-Sea



Students at Wells-Next-The-Sea


Students at Brancaster Staithe. Happy memories for me, with this game bunch.


More happy memories, at The White House, Big Sky Art courses, north Norfolk.


A souvenir I’ll treasure.


St Andrews Cathedral ruins, plein air demo painting for a one-to-one student, hottest day of the year.




The New Inn from the car park, Westwood. Painted in hot sun, out with my old westcountry plein air friends during a visit to England.



Newark Castle, nr St Monans. The second time I’ve attempted this scene plein air. I will need to try yet again!


A derelict cottage on a remote bit of coast. Another of several paintings this summer that just didn’t capture the essence at all successfully.


There are a lot of herons around here, which is nice to know.  This one didn’t seem bothered by people at all.



A day of marvellous clouds, but too windy to paint.


St Monans ‘old kirk’. I have been unable to paint this scene so far, owing to some kind of a whale carcass just a few feet from the spot. It’s been there and rotting for a long time, the tide hasn’t moved it and unfortunately the smell is unbearable.


Pittenweem Arts Festival. A shot at the harbourside around lunchtime. It was a pleasure to be involved in this, a giant of a festival completely filling the small picturesque fishing village of Pittenweem.



Thanks for your interest in my work.  Wishing you a fruitful and enjoyable Autumn.

Take care,




Comments On This Post

Victor Kelly 1 year ago. Reply

Great work Jem, I love the way you capture the landscape and seascape. unfortunately i live in Northern Ireland so the opportunity to avail of one of your workshops is virtually impossible without great expense, however i can enjoy you’re work online and also the video’s you post on youtube, i’ve watched your latest one several times already. Perhaps sometime in the future holidays take me your direction and hopefully meet up for a one to one lesson. Keep up the good work. Victor

    Jem Bowden 1 year ago. Reply

    Hi Victor
    Thanks very much for your comment. Yes, one day maybe we’ll get a chance to do something!
    I appreciate your interest in my work. Cheers, Jem

Anne Burgess 1 year ago. Reply

Hello again Jem,
Please don’t be overwhelmed by life! You are a very caring person and one CAN drown in the globular news with which we are constantly assaulted on top of our own problems.
I loved seeing the photos of the happy group at mine and Pat’s holiday at the White House in Norfolk. I hope you realise how much pleasure you provide for the people you are tutoring.
I admire your paintings and learn a lot from the way you edit the view. Best wishes from Anne and Pat

    Jem Bowden 1 year ago. Reply

    Hi Anne and Pat!
    Thank you for your kind comment. Very nice to hear from you!
    I do appreciate a lot what you’ve said. It’s difficult to be in the world at all, sometimes, when you see what is being done to it, deliberately, by those in power.
    Or so I find. And especially NOW. Anyway. Take care and all the best, Jem

yinghongroels@gmail.com 1 year ago. Reply

Hi Jem,
It is such a great pleasure to read you blog and see your paintings as always. Some of paintings bring me back to the workshop I attended in Big Sky Arts. You have inspired me a lot and most importantly you helped me gain courage to paint what I feel like to paint. I hope I can be in some more workshops with you.

    Jem Bowden 1 year ago. Reply

    Hi Yinghong, Thank you for very much for your kind comment. I hope that you’re enjoying your painting, then. It would be a pleasure to see you again if you wanted to come on another one of my workshops.

Julian 1 year ago. Reply

Hello Jim,
Seems you have had a very busy summer. I always enjoy seeing your latest batch of paintings, you have a great eye for composing the scene. Hope your frame of mind improves, we all go through our “blue” periods from time to time dealing with things. Keep painting, your art brings beauty into the world, and that’s important in my book. Cheers mate!

    Jem Bowden 1 year ago. Reply

    Hi Julian. Thanks for your comment, which I appreciate, and I hope you’re well.

Ray Smith 1 year ago. Reply

Hi Jem,
Can’t seem to reply so I am sending new comment. Yes it is tough but still manageable at the moment. I am in awe of anyone who has the courage of their convictions, I am totally a vegetarian at heart but find it difficult to adhere to.

    Jem Bowden 1 year ago. Reply

    Hi Ray
    You’ve got a tough task I’m sure, which is a lot tougher than being vegetarian!! I agree with you about people who have the courage of their convictions, but it doesn’t apply to me because I don’t find the latter to be difficult so there’s no courage involved at all. Being vegan would be another matter; pretty complicated. You have my respect for dealing with one of life’s most difficult challenges and I wish you all the best.

Mike Porter 1 year ago. Reply

Fabulous post, Jem! We don’t mind at all your absence when we can view these pictures and paintings.

    Jem Bowden 1 year ago. Reply

    Thanks Mike, glad you enjoyed the post.

Brian H Le Masurier 1 year ago. Reply

Always good to see your work Jem I really like your technique; I wish I could just get close to it, soldier on. Perhaps I will get to one of your workshops one day.
You have been very busy and not wasted a single sheet by the look of it. Fabulous spot and wonderful paintings.

    Jem Bowden 1 year ago. Reply

    Thanks very much, Brian. I’ve been through quite a few sheets where the painting doesn’t work, on both sides, but I don’t view those as a waste. It’s not easy, after all. Soldier on!

Olga Hammock 1 year ago. Reply

Really great paintings. You are obviously making the most of a beautiful new -ish location. Makes me want to go back over that way!

Thanks for sharing,

    Jem Bowden 1 year ago. Reply

    Thanks very much, Olga. If ever you’re going to be in the area, give me a shout.

Marilyn Brown 1 year ago. Reply

I last emailed with you when you were moving to Scotland and joined your blog hoping to see your Scottish paintings. None here, but these are lovely and an unexpected leap from your work I’ve previously viewed. An entirely different feeling to these that is fresh and inspiring. Expansive in their interpretation.
Thanks for sharing your blog with me. I’m always comfortable in your mindset about art and life in general. Please send me info on how I can view your Scottish paintings and blogs about your new lifestyle there. I am so interested to see how it has translated into your work.
You are on the cusp of something new. Best of successes.

    Jem Bowden 1 year ago. Reply

    Hi Marilyn. Apart from the ones of my painting holiday in Norfolk these paintings ARE of Scotland. They are all from around the East Neuk of Fife, which is where I now live.
    Thanks for your comment though; glad you like the work.

John Haywood 1 year ago. Reply

Hi Jem, what a marvellous collection of paintings! Just to echo what others have said, it’s so good to see the view of your subjects alongside your paintings to understand how you’ve edited the view to simplify it or to improve the composition. Hope you’re looking forward to the changing of the seasons and all that comes with it (I personally feel ready for it aside from the loss of daylight!)

    Jem Bowden 1 year ago. Reply

    Hi John. The change of seasons are usually enjoyable, though I’m not looking forward to the cold, dark and being stuck indoors more.
    Still, must find the things that lift the spirits, so long walks are always in order when possible.

William Jones 1 year ago. Reply

Great to see some more of your superb paintings and like someone said it’s good to see a pic of the scene you have painted and how you interpret it, looking forward to the next batch, all the best William and keep up the excellent work.

    Jem Bowden 1 year ago. Reply

    Thanks very much, William.

Tony Faris 1 year ago. Reply

Hi Jem,
Good to see the familiar scenes of North Norfolk again. So well captured. We will be there again shortly, staying at Burnham Norton. We will be painting outside, weather permitting and if not indoors from photos. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Jem Bowden 1 year ago. Reply

    Thanks, Tony. I hope you have a good time.

Agnès 1 year ago. Reply

Hi Jem,
Thank you so much for all the photos you have posted. I really like the fact that, next to each painting there is a view of what you had in front of you. It is fascinating and very interesting to see how an artist interprets reality.
Your paintings are gorgeous!

    Jem Bowden 1 year ago. Reply

    Thanks, Agnes.

Ray Smith 1 year ago. Reply

Well done Jem, nice to see you haven’t been slacking. As usual a very high standard of lovely paintings.
I wish I could get on a workshop with you but at the moment it is out of the question. My wife bless her has dementia.
If you are feeling down, try Cullen Skink, BBC good food has a great recipe.
I made some and it is fabulous!!
All the very best mate.


    Jem Bowden 1 year ago. Reply

    Thanks, Ray. Sorry to hear of your wife’s condition, that must be very tough on you. I would try the recipe but I’m vegetarian!

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