Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Painting in Bath in July

A few weeks ago, painting pals Tim king and David Pilgrim came to Bath to drop some paintings for the pre-Bath Prize show, so we took the opportunity to meet up and paint together. The weather was rather wet and gloomy, so I must admit I would normally work in the studio instead on such a day, but it's good sometimes to work in conditions you are not used to. For the first painting, we did a small study at Laura Place, trying to get protection from the rain by staying under the trees:


Laura Place in wet July   10"x8"  oil on board

To spice it up a bit, I took the wrong tripod with me so I had to work with the pochade on my laps instead, but it worked quite well as I found a way to tie the box to a string that I wrapped around my waist. Very classy as always.


I liked the reflections on the wet pavement and the soft tones on the Bath stone:



David working hard on his little gem  

Tim painting with passion. Click here to see the finished painting on his blog.

I set up on the floor in the middle

As we were painting, an old man came to have a closer look and started talking to David, observing his work and showing great interest. After what felt like a good 15 minutes, he moved on to Tim and chatted and commented on his work for an equally long time. When he came next to me, I was all ready to give my best speech and be flooded with compliments but he just had a quick look at my work and said "ah", and then walked away. A good lesson of humility!

detail


After a welcome break, a light lunch and litres of hot tea, we returned to the rain for a second and last painting. We ended up at the Circus, one of the most famous landmark in Bath. The view towards Gay Street with the distant hills and the white door at number 1 caught my eyes:




As I was painting this, I wondered who actually lived there. Might be someone rich or famous. After all Nicolas Cage used to own the property just a couple of doors further to the right. He didn't keep the house for long though. The english weather must have put him off...

Number 1, The Circus, Bath   10"x8"  oil on board

Sometimes you get really absorbed in the painting but suddenly have that strange feeling you are being watched. Tim and I turned around and realised we were surrounded by a dozen of tourists that just got off the coach and that were observing every brushstroke we made. No pressure then!




Detail

I have been working on more Bath pieces to prepare for the Bath Prize so I will be posting more work soon. Watch this space...

13 comments:

  1. Love the Laura Place painting Valerie, especially the treatment of the railings. Spot on with just enough detail! Great stuff.

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  2. I love how the top painting looks so wet. You were painting in difficult situations but I think your painting is more interesting and stronger because of it. I must say though it looks like you are dressed for an arctic blast. We have had day after day here in the 100s and I hardly remember rain. I hope the move is going well. I look forward to seeing more of your Bath paintings. I hope for the sake of your paintings you have more rain.

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    1. Thanks Doug! Rain makes interesting scenes to paint indeed but I'm still hoping for sunshine though as we haven't had a proper summer here yet!

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  3. Impressive Valerie....you've nailed the lovely damp atmosphere and golden sandstone combo! I really like the detail shots too....they could almost stand alone as paintings in themselves as they still convey the essence of Bath with just a few well considered strokes. In fact, it's given me some food for thought about how those little details could well be worth pursuing as subjects around the city! :)

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  4. Thanks David! Those nice comments make me think maybe I should put them in the Bath Prize. Good point about those detail paintings. You could do a whole show based on that, full of 5"x7" and letting the viewer guess the location... Anyway I was hoping to see your work on your blog as I really liked what you did at Laura Place. Have you wiped it??

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  5. Valerie, Enjoy your painting so much, it's like a mini tour of England. In some future blog please post a good picture of your bicycle with the equipment you use to carry your stuff around. Thanks, olivette

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    1. Thanks Olivette! I will make sure I give more details and pictures of my bike and equipment for you next time...

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  6. It's certainly a good place to choose, such a beautiful area of the world. I really enjoyed looking at your creations!

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    1. Thank you very much! Yes, the most beautiful city in the world!

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