Have just spent some time touching up the two oil sketches I did yesterday at the Cats pub, Woodham Walter. Arrived at this unusual little pub in Blue Mill Lane and in the garden we were met by a couple of enormous painted polystyrene cats. Sat under the trees looking out over a wonderful vista of a harvested field with big round straw bales strewn across it, and in the distance trees and cottages. Got myself together really quickly and knocked off a small oil sketch of the field, which I was pretty pleased with. This time I stuck to just water with the water mixable oils and seemed to get on better probably because it was not so hot so they didn't dry so quickly as on my last outing. Then was really pleased to see that someone had conveniently started a bonfire in the distance, so on my next sketch I put in lots of whirling smoke stretching off into a blue sky. Then I noticed the flag pole with the RAF flag on it, so that went in as well and I even got the pole straight. I did have a bit of trouble though with the amount of gnats/mosquitoes that seemed to be coming off water logged furrows on the field. By this time my eyes began to hurt and I decided that maybe prescription sunglasses are needed for painting in bright light, they give everything a mediterranean glow and really emphasize the shadows - so next time.... remember to bring them. Isn't it surprising how tiring a couple of hours painting can be - I suppose it must be all that brain work. Anyway next week am going to Paper Mill Lock and looking forward to the great coffee shop.