Win a watercolour painting of Wat Tyler Country Park by artist James Merriott

BARN ON THE GREEN

BARN ON THE GREEN: Beautifully positioned and in pleasant company with the three period cottages surrounding the Green - Credit: James Merriott

Essex Life's resident artist, James Merriott shares his watercolour scenes of Wat Tyler Country Park near Pitsea - and you could win one!

During lockdown, I think many of us discovered afresh, or maybe even for the first time, countryside highlights that were on our doorstep.

Only a dozen or so miles from where I have lived for more than 50 years, and yet never before had I visited, I discovered the fascinating Wat Tyler Country Park

Watercolour picture of old boat

UP THE CREEK: Up the creek in more ways than one, but to an artist, she never looked more beautiful - Credit: James Merriott

It had surely been my loss not to have been sooner, as I found here everything I treasure about my home county. 

Named after the leader of the Peasants Revolt of 1381, this is a natural landscape so typical of the amazing Essex coastline, where I am always at my happiest. 

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A Mill workers cottage

HOLLY COTTAGE: A Mill workers cottage, circa 1670 which once stood at 115 Hockley Road in Rayleigh. It was donated to the council by Mr F Todman after it had lost its thatched roof in a fire - Credit: James Merriott

I visited with my wife Joan, and even for a man whose best years of mobility are behind him, walking the superbly maintained paths and greens was a pleasure. 

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On a brilliantly sunny day in spring I spent my time divided by watching egret and oystercatchers along Vange Creek and being mesmerised by the cottages transported from original locations to stand together gracing the Green. 

Blunts Cottage

BLUNTS COTTAGE: Originally part of Coopers End at Takeley, the cottage was moved to this present position in the 1980s when Stansted Airport built another terminal - Credit: James Merriott

When it came to the challenge of painting such splendour, that inner urge to experiment tempted me to use a little designer's gouache white paint.

Not always accepted by the ‘purist’ watercolourists, but like my first visit to Wat Tyler Country Park, it’s use is something different that intrigues me. 

VIEW FROM PITSEA HALL LANE

VIEW FROM PITSEA HALL LANE: I particularly enjoyed this wonderful view between the shrubs through the part open five-bar gate - Credit: James Merriott

To enter the competition to win Barn on the Green, pictured top, please fill in the form below:

Fill out my online form.

You can contact the artist, James Merriott, at Cottage Corner Art, 9 Byron Road, Hutton, Brentwood CM13 2RU; 01277 210728

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