Is there anything in life more joyous than a border collie on a beach?
This beach (Murlough Beach, near Dundrum in Northern Ireland), where the mountains of Mourne (in the far right) sweep down to the sea, is my happy place. And seemingly also my dog Patches’ happy place.
Today we’ve walked the shore and the inner bay, we’ve scaled sand dunes and I’ve taken photographs while he’s terrorised sea birds.
This place is special any time of year, but there’s something magical about the almost deserted beaches of autumn and winter.
Today a vast grey sky streaked with slate clouds and an outward tide that gave us a perfect mirror to walk on (farewell, favourite boots, now wet and salty).
I’ve walked this beach hundreds of times, I have thousands of photographs and it’s a favourite subject to paint.
Here’s a painting from two winters ago of the winter sun slipping down behind Slieve Donard. I’ve got prints of this painting available from my shop page in a choice of sizes.
For today, I’ve stared at where the sky meets the sea, I’ve let an old dog let his inner puppy run free and I’ve restocked my supply of Murlough photos to inspire me to paint more wintry beaches. That’s got to be a good day.