Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Plein air in the cold in Bath

I have just returned from a short week painting in the Algarve in Portugal - pure bliss. It will probably take me a couple of weeks to assess and photograph all my paintings so until then, I thought I'd post a few paintings I have done during this winter in Bath... 

Below, first time back outdoors in months - a painting done at my favourite spot - the local allotments 5 minutes walk from my house in Bath. It was really cold and windy and it took me longer to get prepared and dressed in 50 layers than to actual paint the picture. I looked like the Michelin man with all my jumpers and coats but I managed to stay warm and enjoyed every brushstroke!

Bath from the allotments, cold February morning  10"x8"  oil on board

After about 20 minutes

Half way through

Towards the end

Detail of the finished painting

Detailed of the finished painting

I managed to squeeze an other little 5"x7" oil sketch before I had to head home. What caught my eye was the beautiful sunlit view of the hills contrasting with the dark foreground.

The allotments, cold February morning  5"x7"  oil on board
Available here

The view on the day

Detail of the finished painting

A couple of weeks later I headed to Widcombe in Bath to paint the lovely view by the canal. This scene would normally be almost 'too pretty' for my taste so I made a point of painting it with fresh spontaneous brushstrokes to keep it interesting. It was once again very cold and windy so it probably helped me working quickly before I froze on the spot!

Widcombe on a cold winter morning  10"x12"  oil on board

Quick initial drawing

Blocking the shapes in

All shapes are in - time to add the details

Towards the end

Detail of the finished painting

Detail of the finished painting

A few weeks after, the snow finally came to Bath - first time in years. 

My street in the snow

I managed to escape the house for a couple of hours to paint the snow at my local allotments.
Again, temperatures were quite low so I had to capture things quickly. It started raining as I was painting this so I ended up with an umbrella in one hand and brushes in the other (oo nooo... no more hands free for snacking!). I wish I could have painted more in the snow but the next day it had all melted...

Bath in the snow from Oldfield Park  10"x8"  oil on board - SOLD

Detail of the finished painting

My set up

I will be busy in the next few days finishing a commission and photographing my Portugal paintings. Here is a little preview for you until I get around to post them all here... watch this space!

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Friday, 9 March 2018

Flowers in the studio

I have been painting flowers in the studio a lot recently, probably because it's the best thing after painting in plein air when the weather is a bit too cold or damp to venture outside. I tend to pick white flowers because they absorb and reflect so many colours, and I love trying to detect those subtle colour shifts.

I often only have a couple of hours at the time so it forces me to be quick, bold and spontaneous, which is actually what I always aim for. I think it's fair to say that since having children, specially after the second one, my style got more and more spontaneous and bolder, probably reflecting the limited time windows I get to paint. Any more children and surely my paintings would just be a single brushstroke! :-)

Here is below some white roses with the steps as many of you were kind enough to say you enjoyed looking at the progress pictures I've been sharing recently:

White roses  10"x10"  oil on board  SOLD



Steps of the progress of the painting:

Below is a painting of white asters I produced during a tutorial with two lovely ladies in my studio a few weeks ago.

White asters  10"x12"  oil on board
Available here

The set up in the studio (my painting on the right)



I've been painting ranunculus last week so I'll be posting those soon.
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I hope you all have a fantastic day!

Sunday, 25 February 2018

View from the plane in Aberdeen

When I have a couple of hours to paint but can't go outside (because it's raining, or it's the night for example), I like to paint in the studio, often flowers from life, but otherwise I'll browse my photographs gallery for something that inspires me. When painting from photographs, I always try to have fun, keep it spontaneous, and consider it as an exercise to learn something new or develop certain skills. In this case, I picked a picture I took from the plane when landing in Aberdeen a few months ago, and aimed to practice working with abstract shapes and simplifying complex elements.
Here is the result:

View from the plane - landing soon in Aberdeen    10"x8"  oil on board
Available here


For those of you who like to see the steps, here they are below. I first applied a warm ground colour to my panel. I find this helps giving warmth and harmony to the whole painting. I then build up the painting with big shapes going from larger/darker to smaller/lighter.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Below: my set up in the studio

Step 5

Step 6 - the finished painting

I'll finish this post with excitIng news for autumn this year. I'm very thrilled to be part of and co-organising the first major group exhibition of Britain's leading contemporary “Plein Air” artists. 

The show will be called "Capturing the moment"
SAVE THE DATE: 16-20 October 2018 // London - Menier Gallery 
Over 200 paintings for sale by 27 artists including:
Ken Howard RA, Fred Cuming RA, Peter Brown NEAC ROI PS, Trevor Chamberlain ROI RSMA WGA, David Curtis ROI RSMA, Richard Pikesley PNEAC RWS & TV’s Adebanji Alade ROI

Get more info on the website here:

I hope you can make it!

Sunday, 28 January 2018

A little taste of South Africa

On a wet rainy day like today, when I'm looking out for inspiration for something to paint in the studio, all I need to do is check out my sister's instagram account (@poesy_by_sophie) which is full of beautiful photographs taken during her trips and adventures in Africa. A few weeks ago I found a gorgeous picture taken at the Citrusdal farm in South Africa and couldn't resist trying to depict the patches of light with paint. Here is the result below:

A glass of wine in the shade - Waterfall Farm Citrusdal - South Africa  oil on board 10"x10"



I've included below a few steps for those who like to see my process:

The finished painting

I'm saving this painting for a group show that will happen later this year London and which might well be the most exciting event of the year! (well at least for me!). I'll do a post about it very soon but all I can say now is save the date 16-20 October 2018!

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I hope you have a wonderful week!