Watercolours of Chipping Ongar

Artist James Merriott takes us on a tour around this quaint market town, this time with a seasonal twist

Chipping Ongar has very many outstanding and picturesque places to attract the artist.

Painters, authors, historians and the like all find enough to satisfy their appetite to be inspired.

Top of their list will be the Ancient Church of St Andrew at Greensted Juxta Ongar.

Just a casual walk along The Essex Way from the town, the first sighting of it really does take your breath away. It’s simply completely and utterly beautiful and, because of it, I make no apology for featuring Ongar again in Essex Life.

This time I’m delighted to offer up some festive winter scenes, and what a wonderful painting St. Andrew’s makes.

I do love painting snow as it’s just a case of applying paint around the unpainted white paper. Start with light tones and finish with as much darker tones as you dare.

If you’re starting with watercolour, I can assure you it’s not as difficult as you think, but if you do make a start with Greensted church, getting your drawing right will be essential.

The very best of luck to you.

St. Andrew’s Church

Recorded as the oldest wooden church in the world. Constructed in the 9th century or possibly even before then.

The Cock Tavern

I believe it’s necessary to include a picturesque pub in a Christmas snow feature. This lovely building is located next to Ongar’s Library.

The Budworth Hall

This brings back wonderful memories of me exhibiting some of my first paintings here in 1985, when I was a member of the Ongar Art Society.

The Essex Way

From Bensons Way off the High Street, a walker perhaps on his way to Greensted Church.

Ongar Station

The historic station, perhaps complimented by the steam engine that was there when I took a photograph some years ago.

High Street Shops

Beautiful period shops with the all-important shoppers keeping businesses healthy.


For your chance to win James’ original painting, St. Andrew’s Church in Greensted, click here.

Competition closes 6pm on December 18th, 2023.

Newsquest terms and conditions apply please visit www.newsquest.co.uk/prize-competition-rules

For information regarding how we will process, handle and maintain your data please visit www.newsquest.co.uk/privacy-policy

You can contact James at Cottage Corner Art, 9 Byron Road, Hutton, Brentwood, CM13 2RU. Call 01277 210 728 or email jamesmerriott_art@btinternet.com to make an appointment.