Monday, 21 August 2017

Painting in Belgium

I returned from a trip to my hometown in Belgium, Lasne (near Waterloo) a few weeks ago and managed to get my paints out while my devoted mum looked after the kids. It's an interesting thing painting a place I know so well, but never looked at it with my artist's eyes before because I only started painting plein air landscapes after moving to England. I spent a lot of time driving around looking for a good spot to paint as I was rediscovering it from a painter's point of view. Here are the six paintings I produced during my stay.

I painted this one below from Place d'Ohain. Lovely little square surrounded by a few shops, including the butcher which you can see far right of the painting. It started to rain as I started painting and I got my feet wet, but it did bring lovely reflections on the road so that was a bonus.

Ohain in the rain  10"x8" oil on board
Available here

Here are a few steps below

The finished painting


One of the place I really wanted to paint was the fields where the Battle of Waterloo happened, situated only minutes away from my parents' house. Such a beautiful place and a big part of my childhood memories. It was so quiet while I painted this, couldn't help thinking about what happened there just over 200 years ago. 

Les champs de Waterloo   oil on board  10"x8"
Available here

I had a great time painting the clouds with freedom. Bliss!


I did a second one on that day from the same spot but looking towards the old cobbled road. This is the road we use all the time to go to Waterloo. It's very old and bumpy but simply gorgeous. 

Waterloo - La route des champs  10"x7"  oil on board


Below is an other painting done at the square in Ohain, this time looking towards the bandstand, which is a bit of a local landmark there. I got married at the guildhall just opposite it. A bit of a contrast between my lovely wedding dress on the day, and my stained worn out artist's clothes while I painted this! 

Place d'Ohain  16"x9"  oil on board
Available here


Below is the road leading to Lasne centre. Very small but lovely high street, full of memories. The painting shows the local bank, the florist where I got my wedding bouquet, the restaurant La tartine, and the old video rental shop where we would rent VHS tapes at the week end (I feel old!) 

Lasne  10"x12"  oil on board
Available here


Finally, below is a painting of an other cobbled road in the area. I was craving for a big bath of greenery so this surely satisfied me! Lovely light filtering through the branches too. 

Route de la Marache, Lasne  10"x12"  oil on board
Available here


That's it for my Belgian paintings. They are all available on my website here:

Lastly, just a quick note about shows:

Two of my Belgium paintings will be on show at the exhibition "Lasne en peintures" which will be held at the Maison communale later this year. My work will also be on show at the bibliothèque de Lasne early next year.

For those in the UK: Andrew Taylor, Bob Child and myself are running our show in Bradford-on-Avon again this year (fourth year now) and it will be 6-8th October.

More info about all this very soon.

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Sunday, 23 July 2017

Pink peonies

I haven't painted flowers for many years but recently got the urge for it. I set up in my studio and painted the same peonies over three days to watch them get bigger and gradually more open. Or maybe I just like to get my money's worth! Either way, here is the result:

Day 1 - I set up the flowers in the day in the studio with a mix of natural and artificial light:

Pink peonies (1) - 10"x10" oil on board
Available for sale here

I set up a grey background as I thought it would go nicely with the pink of the flowers. This happened to be my husband's golf jumper which had the perfect grey I was looking for. He probably won't be super pleased to find out I used it in a studio full of paints... But maybe he won't read my blog? Let's see! 

In progress...

Towards the end

I think in this series of paintings, I enjoyed painting the vase as much as the flowers. The subtle reflections on the glass were so satisfactory to paint.

Detail of the finished painting

Day 2 - I painted in the studio with only natural light in a contre-jour effect:

I wanted to capture a bit of the garden in the background and light coming from behind the vase to make it lighter.

In progress...

In progress...

Detail of the finished painting

Day 3 - Set up in the studio in the evening with artificial light only, which explains the warmer feel about it:

Pink peonies (3) - 10"x10"  oil on board
Available for sale here

The set up. No golf jumper in sight this time. Didn't want to push my luck...


I really enjoyed painting these, and will do it again with an other bunch as soon as I get the chance. 

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Friday, 7 July 2017

Painting in Bath

I'm lucky to live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Bath never fails to inspire me. I recently went painting the Bath views from Alexandra Park, one of my favourite places in Bath. As usual, I tried to simplify the scenery and capture the essence of it. 

Bath views from Alexandra Park in the morning   12"x10"  oil on board
Available for sale here


The challenge was to cope with moving clouds constantly changing what is in the sunlight and what is in the shade. I had to make a decision and stick to it. 

I had a great time painting this and spoke to a few people passing by. There was a couple of lovely dutch ladies who were on holiday sightseeing, and said they wouldn't mind if they grabbed an english husband at the same time! I told them there is not better place to do it, I talk from experience! I fell in love with Bath 12 years ago when I came as a tourist, and conveniently met my husband at the same time which resulted in me staying in this beautiful city! Clever me!

in progress

Check out issue 12 of Paint & Draw magazine where I will be writing a full step by step feature about this painting. You can find the magazine in WH Smiths and some supermarkets in UK and you can subscribe here.

Issue 10 is out now and has a step by step of my painting 'The pond at Victoria Park'. 

For info an other painting I did of Alexandra Park is currently exhibited at the Victoria Art Gallery for the Bath Society of Artists show which is on until 15 July. Fantastic show, don't miss it if you're in Bath.

Finally, here is below a painting of the Royal Crescent I recently done. I sat under the big tree to shelter from the rain to come, and painted the Crescent through the foliage. It had been raining a lot the days before so the grass was of a flashy green colour.

The Royal Crescent through the foliage  10"x7"   oil on board
Available here


Here are a few steps of the progress:

This painting is currently exhibited at Number 1 Royal Crescent at the exhibition A View of the Crescent until November 19 (more info here) alongside my other painting of the Royal Crescent (which they have used for the poster, very happy about that!)

I have been out and about painting recently and I'll post them soon so watch this space. 
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