Sunday, 18 March 2012

On the way up Lansdown Lane, Bath, February afternoon

Last month, on a sunny afternoon I took my bike and cycled on the way up to Lansdown searching for an inspiring place to paint. I stopped before reaching the top as I saw a beautiful view accross the city (nothing to do with the fact that I was out of breath of course). So I set up on the side of the road and got started.

On the way up Lansdown Lane, February afternoon  14"x10"    oil on board


I took a few snapshots to show the progress of the painting. Below is the quick drawing I did with a small brush and paint diluted with turpentine so it would dry in 2 minutes. My board had already been given a first wash of colour at home (I usually give a background coat on my boards in the studio from left over paint on my palette.)

Below is the painting after 10 minutes. I always start blocking the colours on the canvas to define the main shapes of the painting: 

20 minutes later:

Towards the end:

Here is my set up below. I was quite close to the road and I found the cars a bit disturbing and noisy. Unfortunately I forgot my earplugs at home, so in a moment of despair I decided to create my very own earplugs with some tissue that I put in my ears. You can laugh but it worked! It was very cold and windy too so I wrapped my head and neck with a spare jumper I had and put a spare scarf on my lap. I really felt like the most stylish painter in town!

Just behind me was a beautiful house, and as I was painting, the owner came to have a look at my painting. I was already imagining her falling madly in love with the painting and begging me to give it away for thousands of pounds, but as she looked at it, all she said was a flat "ah". She then asked me if I was a student in Art or was just doing it as a hobby. Of course I could have been a bit offended she didn't even consider the fact I can actually earn money from it, but decided to be flattered she thought I looked young enough to be a student! (but it was probably due to my sense of fashion on the day). But then again, I had tissue in my ears so maybe I completely heard it wrong! :-)

As I was packing up, I saw behind me a beautiful sunset and couldn't resist making a 15 minutes small study of it before it disappeared. Here it is:

On the way up Lansdown Lane - Sunset, February evening   6"x9"  oil on board

I enjoyed using big brushstrokes and plenty of paint:



  1. Very nice. I know exactly what you meen about people's comments. When we go out painting there are always people who say, "Are you all a class?" When I sculpt so many people have asked, "Is this a hobby or do you do it for a living?" I always say, "It is too expensive to do as a hobby." People don't understand that you can do art professionally and have another job too.

  2. Lovely painting Valerie. I like looking at your photos also, well done. I hope to go out this Thursday, they say it`s going to be a decent day. All the best Valerie.

  3. Thanks Douglas. I like your typical answer and I will try to remember that next time someone asks me if this is a hobby!

    Thanks Vic for the comment. I hope you manage to get some painting done on Thursday. All the best.

  4. Valerie, I've thoroughly enjoyed your blog today....scrolling through weeks of're a wonderful artist and have a talent for writing, as well. Thanks for all the photos on location, and for making your posts so much fun to read!

  5. Thanks Julie for such a lovely comment! I really enjoy reading your blog too with all your painting advice so I'm glad you like mine. :-)