Monday, 11 April 2011

Oxford with the Plein Air Society

A couple of weeks ago I went painting with the Plein Air Society for the third time. After Bristol and Cardiff, this time it was in Oxford. Quite a few people turned up including talented painters such as Andrew Taylor, David Pilgrim, Roy Connelly, Glynis Dray and Anthony Bridge.
Although the day started with a depressing grey sky, the sun didn't wait long to come out - that's the beauty of England; weather changing every hour!
After a quick cup of tea, some of us set up for a painting around the Radcliffe Camera. I loved the light on these golden stones...

Radcliffe Camera, March morning   oil on board  10"x14"

We found a good spot in a narrow pedestrian street. I chatted with a few passers by who were lovely.  

my painting after a couple of hours

David Pilgrim did a lovely painting of the same view which you can check out here. (tough competition going on here!)

David painting the Radcliffe Camera

 At lunchtime we found an other spot for our second painting in Turl Street. (note: I said "at luncthime" and not "after lunchtime" because there is not such thing as breaks in those crazy painting marathons! I actually ate my sandwich while I was painting this - let's hope I didn't leave any breadcrumbs on the canvas...)

View from Turl Street, Oxford   oil on board  7"x10"

I think I was a little bit blocking Roy Connelly's view although he kindly pretended I wasn't ;)

Roy's easel and mine
David, painting from the other side of the street
and making some very convincing painter-style gestures

Finally, in the afternoon some of us ended up painting the Magdalen bridge which was enhanced by beautiful afternoon sunshine.

Magdalen bridge, Oxford, March afternoon    oil on board  12"x10"

It was a lovely way to end the day. I got so carried away by the painting and the conversation with Roy that I almost missed my train back!

Roy painting and my easel set up before I started


  1. Dis donc, ça bosse il me semble! Tu n'arrêtes plus!!!!! C'est magnifique!

  2. hé hé, merci Sophie! Oui en effet ça bosse... J'ai décidé d'arrêter de dormir et de manger pour gagner du temps;)

  3. Great work Valerie! You seem to have a knack for nailing the glowing light on sandstone. It's evident in all three and really powers through in the one of the Radcliffe. Looks like you found an excellent spot by the bridge too. An unusual but very interesting composition that works well. I'll have to check that spot out sometime! I was back down there again on Sunday...battling with the crowds and ever shifting light...using my full repetoire of painterly gestures :o)

  4. Hey! Great paintings and a really nice post. Love the way you capture the light!!!

  5. Looks like you had a great day of painting and what great places you have to paint too. The photos really add to the interest of your blog. I really like seeing how you capture the lights and shadows in your paintings.Do you have your work in any galleries I could check out on online?

  6. Thanks David, Adedanji and Douglas. David, I'm sure the crowds enjoyed your full repertoire of painterly gestures. I hope you had your umbrella too as it definitely adds to the drama. It seems you're going to Oxford so often now you might as well rent a flat there;) Looking forward to see your latest paintings then! Adebanji, thanks for the comment; not quite Peter Brown yet but getting there!;) Had a good time at the show, looking forward to your next post!!

  7. Nice work Valérie. Beautiful painting, particularly your Radcliffe Camera. You’ve really got good contrasts of warm/cool colours and light/dark tones. I nearly tackled the 'Camera' too but felt three of us would be falling over each other in that passageway, quite a busy thoroughfare. As to my effort in the High St, not brave but foolhardy, and I should have tried simplifying it somewhat. I did some in Bath at the weekend, you really have wonderful subject matter on your doorstep.

  8. I'm stunned. Reminds me of Trevor Chamberlain. No small feat.

  9. Nice work, Valerie. You've captured the light well.