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Scenes around North Leigh




I have written before in this blog about the Wilcote family, whose activities formed such a large part of the social life of North Leigh in the late 19th-century. Any regular readers will know a little about the younger daughter, Blanche, but her sister, Amy, was a far more serious character.


Like any well-educated young lady of the period, Amy enjoyed practising her artistic accomplishments. Remarkably, some of her work has survived and come into my possession, so I am fortunate to be able to show some of her paintings of scenes around the village. She was no 'wishy-washy' water colourist but had clearly studied many of the new works being produced by the major artists of the period, and she attempted to copy their styles.


View from North Leigh Station to the Quarries Beyond


Does that sky indicate that she has, perhaps, seen works by the post-Impressionists? More conventional perhaps, is her study of one of the farms that lie below the steep slope leading up to the quarries:


North Leigh farmhouse


Her subject matter was not, however, confined to 'pretty' cottages and 'scenic' views but included the railway and the machinery associated with it. Indeed, she has been reported as expressing outlandish views, such as wishing to study engineering. History does not record how Sir John responded to such bizarre suggestions!


North Leigh Sawmill


Perhaps her most remarkable achievement is her painting of a local train, headed by one of the Dean 2-4-0s, arriving at the station. it is such a pity that there weren't more artists like her, capturing the colours and atmosphere of the late Victorian railways.


North Leigh Station


I wouldn't like anyone to imagine that I myself have any ability with an artist's paint brush. I was looking at some of the work in the Forum Thread on Railway Art and remembered that I have a computer program called 'Dynamic Auto Painter'. Somehow, the software seems to have encapsulated Amy's spirit and has transformed some of my layout photos into her style!



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  • RMweb Gold

Well the Wilcote family are clearly a resourceful bunch!


Lovely paintings, and thanks for the tip about the programme, it is downloading as I write this (if I get any virus I'll be claiming the full net worth of Amy's paintings as compensation!).

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Thanks for the comments wenlock, Mikkel, Job.  It's funny that I've had the program for some time but never thought of applying it to the railway.  It's rather nice to see what one's trying to achieve, without having to face all those modelling imperfections.   Even an Airfix cottage looks quite good under Amy's brush :)


I hope you'll enjoy the software, Mikkel, and also hope that Farthing can produce a few local artists.  For the record, I used the 'Benson' style, with the standard settings.  I'll have to see if I can find any of Blanche's daubs too - I'm sure they will be very different!


My real hope is that I will unearth something of No.184 in the not-too-distant future.



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Super work Mike, very convincing :) I hope Amy made it to Farthing on her travels, hopefully Mikkel might uncover a lost painting in the corner of a brick-a-brack shop somewhere.. ;)

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  • RMweb Gold

It's a fun programme, I've been testing the Monet style but I like the Benson style you've done Mike, must try that.


The trial version that I have implants a copyright across the lower part of the painting, but other than that it works a treat. I can see this catching on, maybe you should set up an art gallery on here Mike!

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......................I can see this catching on


A 'real' use could be for making back scenes!




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