Monday, 29 August 2011

Boats on the Avon, Summer evening

Last Sunday evening I went painting alongside the canal, just a short bicycle ride away from my flat. It was a lovely warm evening, the perfect time for a quiet painting session.

Boats on the Avon, Summer evening   12"x10"  oil on board

It took me a while to find a good spot because first I had to make sure the boat wasn't going anywhere ( I  found other attractive boats scenes before but the owners warned me they were about to go). 

Close-up of the water reflections

What caught my eye was indeed the beautiful reflections of light on the water and the contrast with the dark boat in the shade. I also love the patches of green that get brighter and brighter as they disappear in the distance.

As I was painting, I got several nice comments from people passing by, but one of them was a little bit weird. A lady came closer to have a look and said "Well... that's... interesting" (which we all know is a way to avoid saying that we don't like it!) and she continued "Do you find it relaxing? It's a nice hobby isn't it?" which sounded a bit like "It might not be great but at least you enjoy it - have you ever tried knitting?"
Or maybe I'm just being a bit too sensitive?;)

Not sure why I only used the right side of my palette??

The painting towards the end

Cycling back home with a wet painting was quite a challenge!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Cows at Lansdown, Bath, on a summer evening

I have been painting a lot lately, in spite of having a full time job. If painting was an illegal drug then I would be in rehab right now! But it's not, so I'm just embracing the feeling and look forward to painting more and more. The painting below is a scene of the cows in Lansdown in Bath.

Cows at Lansdown, Bath on a summer evening       14"x10"  oil on board

It was painted in plein air a couple weeks ago on a sunny Sunday evening. For once I had my partner's car for myself , and while most girls would treat themselves to an exciting shopping trip, I decided to go and paint some cows - whatever makes you happy right? I went to the top of Lansdown (where I'm certainly not fit enough to get to on my bike...) There is something I love about cows - and cows' paintings. They look like peaceful and simple animals.

Here is a close up of the view where I enjoyed using quick fully loaded brushstrokes

For colour harmony purpose, I decided to only paint the white and black cows. I hope the brown ones didn't take offence.

The cows got gradually more curious about what I was doing there and came close to keep me company. I tried to tell them that they were missing out on the chance to be integrated in the painting if they stayed behind me but I don't think they understood.

The painting towards the end of the session
as I was just adding some cows

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Canal Saint Martin, Paris

Here is an other one from my Paris trip in May. This is the bridge at Canal Saint Martin. It was a nice change for the bridges on the Seine I had been painting for days.

Canal Saint Martin, Paris     12"x10"    oil on board

This part of the Canal is not in the centre of Paris so this was much quieter than my other painting sessions and I hardly saw any tourists despite of the fact that this bridge is famous for being in the movie "Amélie". I just love this movie. I've stopped counting how many times I've watched it. The soundtrack by Yann Tiersen is also one of my favourite thing to play on the piano.

Amélie making ricochets on the Canal

It was a grey dull day but it was the perfect condition to see all the shades of greens in the trees and the water. I also loved the highlights of blues and turquoise on the metallic bridge.

As you can see below it was pretty quiet. Just a shame the ground was full of litter. Obviously not a prime tourist location.

I was so glad I took my warm coat as it was a bit nippy there

Below is the painting at the end of the session. I only worked 5 more minutes on it here back home; I'm aware it's more a study than a accurate finished painting but I wanted to keep the freshness of it.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Allotments at Sion Hill in August, Bath

Last week-end fellow painters David Pilgrim and Tim King were staying in Bath. On Saturday I joined them at the preview night of the Gallery LeFort's new show where David has some lovely work on display (and sold two in the first hour!) and got a chance to check out some great work from other artists like Peter Wileman and Peter Brown. We met the day after for a lovely painting session at the allotments on Sion Hill.

Allotments at Sion Hill in August, Bath   14"x10"  oil on board

I simply can't get enough of the "tree with a view" theme (David calls it with humour "a typical Pirlot subject") and Bath is certainly full of those sceneries.  When I arrived on the spot, they both had been painting for an hour already so I really had to go for it and not waste any time (no naps on the grass this time for me then).

My painting at the end of the session. There was no sunshine
but I HAD to wear my cap to feel in the painting mood

David produced a lovely painting of the scene
with a tall portrait format

Tim -that you can see at the back- produced a great painting
too which you can see on his blog

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Paris - Place des Vosges

I went to Paris for a few days to paint in May and produced around 10 paintings but they all need some small tweaking and I've just got round to finish 2 of them. The painting below was made at my favourite square in Paris which is "Place des Vosges" in the beautiful "quartier du Marais".

Fountain at Place des Vosges   10"x8"   oil on board

There was a great feeling about the place; children were playing football, students were sunbathing and families were having picnic on the grass.

What inspired me was the sparkling water in the fountain
and the frame made by the trees branches

I found a nice quiet shady spot to paint but I soon felt there were many people gathering and taking pictures behind me. I was about to get my best pen out to start signing autographs for my new fans when I realised they were taking pictures of the famous Louis XIII sculpture that was just behind me!

that's me in the action

Afterwards I did a second painting at the same place facing the beautiful arches of the building. I loved the way the light was showing through the arches.

Place des Vosges & Violette   6"x8"   oil on board

The little girl you can see on the painting is called Violette. She was playing on the square with her brother and had been quietly observing me doing both paintings and would every now and then come and say a few nice words to me. She was so cute I suggested to put her in the painting if she could stand in the distance for a few minutes. Her position looked a bit rigid as it was probably the first time she had to "pose" for someone but she couldn't help smiling the whole time.

People were starting to leave by the end of the day

The painting at the end of the session

I will try and post more Paris paintings soon. Thanks for all the nice comments I've received on my recent posts - nice to know I'm not the only person reading my blog;)