Filey Brigg Sunset

The Story Behind the Painting

For those of you that don’t know me, Filey, North Yorkshire England is my home before I emigrated to Australia in 1987. This photo was from my 2018 trip after I sold my house and quit my job to travel the world and live the life of adventure that I’d only read about in books.

As you can see it’s a beautiful little seaside town located on the east coast of England, it’s high tide here but when the tide out, you can walk for miles on a nice flat sandy beach.

Iv’e always wanted to paint some scenery form my home town, but never seemed to get around too it. A week of Christmas themes and a gift all changed that.

Filey 2018

While shopping I spotted some mince pies and Christmas cake, and before I could blink they ended up in my shopping trolly, magic. People that know me, know I can put away a lot of food if it’s sweet or chocolate so this is why a good story starts with food.

Now I’m not really one for Christmas but I do love a good Christmas movies, so every night I’ve been watching two on Netflix. Yeah I’m the grouch, the unbeliever in the movie and still waiting to be converted and the very next day after receiving a gift I think this was my turning point.

Now a few weeks ago I decided to change from Gouache to watercolour, so I bought some professional Winsor & Newton water colour paints but have been looking for a tin to store them in. Ok now were getting to the gift.

Julie the owner at Possum Park, where I’m staying for a month in a wonderful converted train carriage, knowing my struggle kept bringing me tins and boxes. I kept rejecting them saying way too big, too small, you will know it when you see it.

Then she looked me in the eye and said I think I have found it and handed me the most amazing box, just the perfect size, from England and it had Christmas 1914 embossed on the lid.

I swear I heard the little Christmas chimes going off and sparkles like in the movies when something magical happens. I was gob smacked, and extremely grateful and wanted to find out more about this tin so I looked up wikipedia.

The Princess Mary Christmas gift box was a brass or silver tin containing a number of gifts intended to be distributed to all members of the armed forces of the British Empire on Christmas day 1914, during World War I. from Wikipedia.

So this gift of kindness got me thinking what could I paint next with my new paints, something to do with Christmas. I thought of my Christmas’s as a child in the UK as I was stuffing my face with basil nuts which always reminded me of Christmas at my dads with my Auntie Claire and family.

Then it hit me a gift for my favourite auntie, she was always after a painting of Filey Brigg and what better gift than my first ever watercolour of my home town. Ok so it wasn’t a Christmas theme but a Christmas gift, I’m not a good storyteller but I try.

My Painting Process

The Princess Mary Christmas Gift box fits my watercolour paints perfectly with room for two more colours. I am still amazed I was gifted this tin and I will always remember Julie and Possum Park.


My first watercolour sky and I was very impressed with how you could lift the paint and create white clouds, something that my gouache never seemed to do.

Also I treated myself to a few more brushes with pony hair which hold water really well and are going to make all the difference in my future paintings.


Next I worked on Filey bring and the sand, then put the first steps of the water in.


I struggle with the wishy washy look of watercolour so I guess most people would finish here.

I like to use bold colours and put as much detail as possible in but not to get too carried away I only created a small A6 postcard painting.


More work on the stones and I also darkened the sky as its supposed to be sun set.

A few things to look for are two seagulls as there always flying around or shight-hawks as my dad called them.

Two sandcastles one with a flag as I always loved playing in the sand and building things and I still do.

A person and his dog in the water, this reminds me of taking dogs to the beach and throwing sticks and stones for it many years ago.

Since I know who the paintings for, my Auntie initials, C S.


So I framed it up last night and photographed then I even surprised my Auntie with few texts to tell her of the Christmas present from her first nephew. She was over the moon.

Oh, I posted it off today and it should arrive, well they have no idea was the best answer I got, “it’s 2020 after all” lol.

Update, the artwork did eventually arrive on the 07/01/2021 but the frame and glass were broken but the artwork was un damaged. As a result of this I will no longer ship framed artworks overseas.


Watercolour Palette

I use Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolour on Arches France Watercolour Paper, 300g Cold Pressed.

My painting come from my own experiences that I have lived and photographed while traveling. By reading this blog, you as a viewer can now hear The Story Behind the Painting. Where, when, what was happening while I was photographing the wildlife.
If you want more details about my adventures checkout my travel blog website www.ChrisOsborneAdventures.wordpress.com 

Enjoy, Chris Osborne

2 Comments on “Filey Brigg Sunset

  1. Pingback: Painting at Possum Park Miles – Chris Osborne Adventures

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