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A year in the life of a field in the Cheshire countryside

PUBLISHED: 00:00 11 November 2016 | UPDATED: 09:58 11 November 2016

Ian MacGillivray painted a field near Little Budworth every week for a year

Ian MacGillivray painted a field near Little Budworth every week for a year

not Archant

Artist Ian MacGillivray set up his easel in the same spot near Little Budworth every week for a year.

Artists often return to favourite subjects, but not many of them go back as frequently as Ian MacGillivray. He took his easel the short walk from his studio to field near Little Budworth every week for a year to create this unique record of the changing seasons.

He painted the same view, looking north east across a maize field at noon, 52 times and the results will be on display at a gallery in London this month.

‘I do a lot of painting outdoors,’ Ian said. ‘It’s all about the different lights and changing atmosphere and bringing it all together. Painting from life is so intense you have to work really rapidly to reflect all the changes going on.

‘I knew this field would be planted with maize so I knew it would change dramatically through the seasons. For quite a substantial part of the summer I was sitting in front of the maize and couldn’t see beyond it. I did get some funny looks.’

The 52 paintings will be on show at London’s Rountree Tryon Gallery from November 15-25 and will then be available to view at his studio, by appointment.

And Ian is now planning another series of en plein air paintings – he just doesn’t know where to set up his easel yet. ‘I want to do more of these projects and there’s no shortage of potential locations around Cheshire, Cholmondeley Castle and Beeston Castle would be good for example, but there’s a lot of scope. I’ve not made a decision where I’ll paint yet.’

To see more of Ian’s work, log on to

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