As I paint the town I keep thinking about town life and what it must have been like to live in a small community with very little life existing beyond the edges of the town. Of course there were extreme pros and cons but nevertheless there existed a sense of community, a common sharing of highs and lows. And long ago there were more lows than highs such as a flood wiping out half the houses, a fire which destroyed several wooden cottages and two lives, an accident down the mine taking with it a young man with a family of seven children. Life was tough.

I like to reflect on the characters who lived in the towns. There was the little old lady who loved her garden and cats and baked the best sponges in town (no this is not me I couldn't bake a sponge to save myself and I'm a dog person), the posh people in the "big house" on the hill (the house wasn't that big it was just bigger than the tiny cottages around it), the young widow with the seven children whose husband died in the mine, and so on. To be poetic and to steal someone's words (can't remember whose), the fabric of their lives made up the tapestry of the town.

So when you take on painting a townscape, remember the lives of the people who built these towns. Remember their courage, their resilience, their determination to make a new life for their children. Things haven't changed much have they?

Day 8 Video showing how to paint a miner's cottage with a "Hip and Valley" roof is on Facebook Sorry about the incorrect link the other day. Got it right today- I hope.