Tuesday, 7 February 2012

The Avon on a January afternoon

Here is a small study I did a couple of weeks ago alongside the canal in Bath, just 5 minutes walk from my flat. I was looking for inspiration when I saw a scene with an interesting composition - I like the way you can see patches of colours and light showing inbetween the trees and branches, almost like a mosaic.

The Avon on a January afternoon   10"x8"   oil on board

Just like for any painting I do, there is always a moment when I struggle and wonder if it's any good. Well this time, just when I was feeling like giving up, a girl doing some exercice ran pass me and shouted "Looks great!!". That certainly gave me a second wind and thanks to that I managed to get some kind of result. 

Here is my set-up on the day:

On an other note, I'd like to share what I think it's the best Art book of the year which I just got my hands on today. It's Peter Brown's latest painting catalogue which you can get here:

Looking at those amazingly beautiful paintings, I can't decide whether I'm terribly inspired by it, or if I just want to give up painting altogether as I can't imagine ever being as good as that. Only time will tell!


  1. Oh, so peaceful! The patches of color make the branches look wrapped in light. You sure captured the quality and temperature of the light so well!

  2. Nice one Valerie, you managed to inject some lovely colours which didn't seem to be there on the day. Good composition too. Re PB. On Messums site, if you click on the images you can blow each one up to more than full size and see every stroke. Really interesting to do... on a few maybe!!!!! Think he's In India at the moment, possibly painting, not sure... will be interested to see the results.

  3. I will have to check out the book, it sounds very interesting. This is a very nice painting. It has great colors, values and drawing. Any shows or events coming up?

  4. Thanks Scott! Glad you like it!

    Thanks Ian - indeed I had to really look to be able to catch all the subtle colours, otherwise it would have been quite a dull scene. I did see hints of all those colours I put but I certainly exaggerated them. However if you squint your eyes while looking at the painting, it will all look "normal" again and make sense - I think? Regarding PB- I have been checking those full size pics on the website too;) I really should go to London to see the real show...

    Thanks Douglas! Regarding the shows I will be part of my local Art Trail in May and I'm also thinking of doing a show with some fellow local painters but nothing set in stone yet... Will keep you updated.

  5. I like the subtleties in this painting. It gives it a wonderful light.

    Wonderful what a little encouragement can do. I must remember to offer some to others more often... It's such a simple thing to do.

  6. Hi Valerie.
    A study you call it? I call it a lovely painting.
    When I come away from seeing an exhibition of the Royal Society of Marine Artist`s, or The Wapping Group of Artist`s, I feel two things, one is that I am very inspired, and the other is that I feel like I want to give up, the same feeling that you get. But the feeling passes in no time at all. Keep producing your wonderful paintings Valerie. All the best.

  7. Thanks Susan for your comment. I agree with you about the power of encouragement - I'll try to remember that too.

    Thanks Vic. Glad I'm not the only one feeling a bit desperate sometimes;) Thanks for your kind words. I hope this all turns into new inspiration!

  8. Yup, Definitely got the feel of it there. Wish I could paint as positively as that. Tim

  9. Thanks Tim! Glad it's speaking to you. And you DO paint as positively as that!