Sunday, 17 June 2018

Portugal trip - Part 1

When you have two little children climbing on your leg every time you try to work on the computer, things tend to take a bit longer to get done! That's why I'm finally posting now my 1st blog from the Portugal trip in the Algarve which took place in April. I have 3 more posts to do about Portugal (at this rate it will be done by Christmas!) and I'm showing you each time some step by step and the locations of the paintings done during the trip.

I was in good company during that trip with 4 wonderful painters - David Bachmann, Tim King, Mo Teeuw and John Walsom.

The first painting done, straight after getting off the plane was this cliff near Portimao (sorry forgot the name!). What attracted me to the subject was the light reflected in the water with those gorgeous green and purple hues.

Water reflections - Near Portimao
Oil on board | Approx 10”x6.5”


See below the setting. I ended up at home chopping a bit of the left of the painting as I thought the composition worked better that way...

Action shot - it was rather windy

Mo Teeuw trying not to be blown away by the wind!

For the next painting we headed to Ferragudo. There was a lovely sparkling light on the water and I tried to capture that with spontaneous brushstrokes.

Boats at Ferragudo  - 10"x8" - oil on  board  SOLD


The next day David took us to a wonderful spot (Praia dos Tres Castelos) and we got there in time to capture the morning light.

Morning shimmering light - Praia dos Tres Castelos
Oil on board | 10”x8”
Available here


See the progress of my painting below:

Mo Teeuw

John Walsom and David Bachmann

We then went back to Ferragudo but weather wasn't great. While David and Mo were painting the distant views I decided to make them the subject of my painting.

Painters in Ferragudo
Oil on board | 12"x7.5"
Available here


I'll finish with the happy news that I've recently been elected as a member of the Bath Society of Artists! Super chuffed about it!

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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!