WIN a watercolour of Dedham by Essex artist James Merriott

PUBLISHED: 08:00 11 August 2020 | UPDATED: 12:46 11 August 2020

HIGH STREET  Rich in architecture with St. Marys Church tower prominent. Seen from the beautiful surrounding countryside it features in many of Constable's masterpieces (original artwork by James Merriott)

HIGH STREET Rich in architecture with St. Marys Church tower prominent. Seen from the beautiful surrounding countryside it features in many of Constable's masterpieces (original artwork by James Merriott)

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James Merriott talks us through his watercolour tour of Essex with a visit to Dedham and the chance to follow in the footsteps of John Constable

BRANHAM COURT
Turning off the High Street opposite the Church entrance, brings an inquisitive artist to this stunning composition of cottages and gables of the rear of the shops. Removing some of the tree canopy revealed the captivating Church Tower.BRANHAM COURT Turning off the High Street opposite the Church entrance, brings an inquisitive artist to this stunning composition of cottages and gables of the rear of the shops. Removing some of the tree canopy revealed the captivating Church Tower.

There is more than one reason that I decided to showcase Dedham for this stage of my watercolour tour of Essex. Firstly, I hope to celebrate my 80th birthday in the village at the beginning of next year.

Plans are already in place for a delicious dinner with family and friends as I’m looking forward to a treat at the fabulous La Talbooth restaurant this coming February, followed by a night’s stay at the nearby Milsoms hotel.

LA TALBOOTH Some way from the village centre on the south bank of the Stour, La Talbooth deserves its reputation for quality and service (original artwork by James Merriott)LA TALBOOTH Some way from the village centre on the south bank of the Stour, La Talbooth deserves its reputation for quality and service (original artwork by James Merriott)

I have in fact adored Dedham all my life, with its historic architecture and the much-loved River Stour providing a focal point for the stunning countryside in this part of the world.

Affectionately known as Constable Country, The Dedham Vale has been recognised as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for more than 50 years.

SOUTHFIELDS A short walk through the churchyard to this magical building, once occupied by the master Weaver! (Original artwork by James Merriott)SOUTHFIELDS A short walk through the churchyard to this magical building, once occupied by the master Weaver! (Original artwork by James Merriott)

But long before that, the great John Constable (1776–1837) walked along the banks of the Stour to go to school at Dedham.

The scenery there inspired him to create some of the artist’s world famous landscapes. In particular he loved painting the old watermill on the river, painting it many times. Sadly, the mill is no longer there. Nevertheless, to follow in the footsteps of Constable and portray Dedham’s architecture is an immense privilege and brings me again to La Talbooth and the wonderful subjects I have included here.

THE ESSEX ROSE The beautifully name 'Essex Rose' Tea Rooms is regarded by tourists as a 'must visit' when in the village (original artwork by James Merriott)THE ESSEX ROSE The beautifully name 'Essex Rose' Tea Rooms is regarded by tourists as a 'must visit' when in the village (original artwork by James Merriott)

For your chance to win James’ original painting of Dedham High Street (pictured top), fill in the form below and answer the following question:

Fill out my online form.

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You can contact James at Cottage Corner Art, 9 Byron Road, Hutton, Brentwood CM13 2RU. Call 01277 210728 or email jamesmerriott_art@btinternet.com

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