Thursday, 26 April 2012

Dorset trip - Part 3

Here is my last post from the Dorset trip. Click here if you have missed the first and second post with my first 8 paintings of the trip.

Day 4 - Monday

After having been blessed with sunshine the day before, we had to face a proper wet, damp day. It was the plan to go to Lyme Regis so we went, regardless of the nasty wind and pouring rain! As we got out of the car after a rather long journey, we made a pact: nobody is allowed to complain about the rain! Just get over it! :-)

Here is the little painting I did of the harbour:

Lyme Regis harbour on a wet day   10"x8"   oil on board 

It was painted from the only covered area we could find! That's me and David Bachmann trying to avoid the rain dropping on our painting! We looked ridiculous and we knew it! Still, I was quite pleased I had my fashionable waterproof poncho with me that protected my legs from the rain...

Since I was "stuck" on my bench, I had to paint what was in front of me, and decided to do a close-up of the boats and the distant hills.

David Pilgrim (below), who first insisted that the rain had stopped - and really, no need to set up in the covered area - could be heard minutes later cursing about the water covering his entire canvas and the paint not sticking anymore... I had to stop him a couple of times from throwing his board in the water!

David is not amused

Below, Tim is earning the appellation "plein air painter" by braving the wind and showers. The rare passers-by looked at us with much amusement and really thought we lost our mind!

When there is a will, there is a way!

I was quite pleased with my set up and decided to paint on my laps to avoid the rain:

The painting towards the end


After this one we headed back to the accommodation; we decided to take it easy in the afternoon and recovered with a good cup of tea, a comforting fire and watched the latest Ken Howard painting DVD. (what a nice bunch of geeks we make right?)

Everyday we would leave our paintings to dry in the conservatory, and by that time we started to build an impressive collection!

On that evening, Tim (below) decided to "tweak" his Lyme Regis painting. I say "tweak" because he usually tends to change it completely!

Tim painting and David sketching

This scene of the "Artist at work" was a rather tempting subject so I decided to do a very quick oil sketch of him:

Tim painting in the conservatory   10"x8"  oil on board

This was done in approximately 30 minutes. I didn't have more time because the daylight was disappearing and also because Tim decided to put an end to his fight with the painting.

While Tim and I were painting, David P. did a little sketch of both of us which I absolutely love!

Sketches from David Pilgrim sketchbook (portrait of Valérie and Tim)

Day 5 - Tuesday
Last day of the trip. Before heading back home we decided to make a last stop at Old Harry and were greeted by a beautiful sunshine. This is the first painting I did:

Old Harry Rocks, Handfast Point, Dorset, morning    oil on board   12"x9"

The water is amazing to paint, you just can't get bored of it:

That's me, properly wrapped up to cope with the wind!

My painting towards the end


Tim, David B. and David P. produced fantastic work on that day - it seems everybody was inspired!

Tim King and David Bachmann

David Pilgrim

We all managed to squeeze a second quick painting before we had to leave. As usual, it happens to be my favourite painting of the trip, as if you finally start to warm up when you have to go, typical!

Old Harry Rocks, Handfast Point, Dorset, at noon   10"x8"  oil on board


That's me below enjoying the last few moments of bliss before going back home. It was very windy so I secured my tripod by hanging my bag on it:

Back home, I framed this last painting with a spare frame and I have it now above the fireplace as a reminder of this lovely trip.

I invite you to have a look at my fellow painter's blogs and websites to see the beautiful work they've produced during this trip:


  1. Val your Old Harry rocks ones are lovely! You were fortunate to get such a sunny day and beautiful light. I'm glad you've now got more time to do your paintings :)

    1. Thanks Claire! The old Harry rocks are my favourite too! Still in my full time job so holidays and week-ends is the only time I get to paint but I make the most of it. Hope you're well!

  2. I very much admire your persistence on such a rainy day! It loos like you all had an excellent trip and I've really enjoyed seeing everyone's work. Thanks very much for sharing this little series.

    1. Thanks Thomas! The rain was a bit of challenge indeed. Glad you enjoyed reading about it!

  3. Is that Mousetrap harbour, the same as Ken Howards painted on a DVD? You guy's (and girls) are soooo lucky with those tidal harbours!!

    Well done my lady!

  4. A great picture story post. And super set of paintings too.

  5. ..... he he! You look very comfortable on that bench ;-)

  6. Valerie,
    I am sad this painting adventure of yours has come to an end. I have really enjoyed both the writing and photos. I think your last painting is amazing, one of your best. Your treatment of sunlight on the cliffs and water is masterful. I follow DaviD P. and Tim's blogs already but will check out David B.'s blog too.

    1. Thanks Douglas! I'm glad you enjoyed this series of posts. My last painting is my favourite too! Good to hear you are checking the other blogs too. David B. hasn't got a blog but a website. Not sure where his Dorset paintings will be up but worth having a look anyway. Hope all is well for you.

  7. Hi Valerie.
    Absolutely brilliant post. You lot are certainly a brave and lucky group. My favourite is old Harry framed, it`s lovely. Thanks for all the photos and the three blog addresses.
    All the best to all of you Valerie.

    1. Thanks Vic! Your comments are always much appreciated!

  8. Valerie, I always enjoy your posts but this one really raises the bar. Great commentary, photos and superb paintings! I'm sure that Old Harry painting looks great over the fireplace...a real winner. You've managed to retain a freshness and looseness in all the paintings and yet still got to the very essence of the subjects. You look very comfortable and dry in that shelter...having claimed I'd found the better spot I felt obliged to stick with it (to my cost!) :)

    Until the next trip....

    1. Thanks David! Making those posts made me realise how much we painted and what a great time we had. I must admit I felt very inspired and rather pleased with my paintings during this trip. It felt easy and natural - which is certainly not always the case! You just have to enjoy those moments when they happen. You work was great, specially those of Old Harry rocks. Looking forward to Venice - seems too far away!

  9. Delighted that I found your site, fantastic info. I will bookmark and try to visit more frequently.

  10. Hey, Good post by you.thank's a lot of information for this site.thank's a lot of you.