Sunday, 21 October 2012

Sydney Gardens in October

Autumn colours have arrived! Here are a couple of paintings I did two weeks ago at my favourite painting spot in Bath - Sydney Gardens. It was a beautiful sunny Saturday and I was planning on painting the bridge and the water, but when I arrived what caught my eye was the sun hitting the Bath stone on the beautiful building in the park so I gave it a try:

Sydney Gardens House - October afternoon   10"x12"  oil on board


For some reason I seem to have deleted by mistake the pictures I took of the set up during that painting but I took a quick photograph a few days later just to show the building - although the light was not the quite same:

After finishing that painting, I realised I had to go soon as I had to meet people, but I was frustrated I didn't get a chance to paint the bridge as planned, so I decided to do a very quick study of the bridge before heading home. I did this in 20 minutes - which explains why it looks quite abstract:

Sydney Gardens' bridge - October late afternoon   10"x8"  oil on board

The painting after the 20 minutes session


I just couldn't resist the appeal of the sunny reflections on the water and light yellow/greens showing behind the bridge...

A blogger asked me last time to show how I travel on my bike with my painting kit, so here it is:

As you might notice this is an electric bike. I know people sometimes think these are for grandmas, but let me tell you this is simply my favourite thing in the world! Bath is very hilly, and I don't own a car, so basically this is my car and I can load my kit and go high on the hills and not worry about parking. I use it too to pick up frames from the shop and drop paintings at shows. You'd be surprised how much you can load on these! 

The front basket is the perfect size to carry my pochade box

The two back side baskets carry my panels, stool and easel

 If you have missed my previous posts painting in Sydney Gardens click here:

My paintings are available for sale directly from me or through a gallery and can be shipped worldwide. Prices depends on size and subject and generally range from £100 to £500. Please email me to check prices and availability at

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Looking up to Gay Street, Bath, October afternoon

Last Sunday I went painting in Bath centre with talented painter Paul Weaver who is also one of last year's Plein Air Prize winners at the Bath Prize. It was our first painting session together and it was nice to exchange tips on material and painting spots. I ended up wiping off my first painting as I really wasn't happy with myself (while Paul was effortlessly producing a little masterpiece which was rather inconsiderate!). But the afternoon session on Gay Street was more successful for me. Here is the little painting I did:

Looking up to Gay Street, Bath, October afternoon   8"x10" oil on board

What caught my eyes was the sun shining on the Bath stone and the masses of trees on the left.


Here is below a photograph of the scene I took as I was painting:

Here is below Paul painting with watercolours and myself. We set up at the corner of Queen Square trying not to be too much on the way. I know I look like the lazy one as I'm sitting down while Paul is standing up but for my defence, I broke a leg of my tripod in the morning so I could only use it at its lowest position...

As we were painting, a lady looked at our work and mentioned how she loved watercolour works, how great Paul's painting was and how watercolour is always more difficult than any other mediums. Then her husband asked me what I was painting with, and I replied "oils". He then strangely replied "Good for you!" and then walked away. Those words kept Paul and myself laughing for the rest of the afternoon as we were trying to figure out what he meant by that!

Paul adding some finishing touches to his lovely watercolour

My painting towards the end of the session

I have recently been painting again at Bath's Sydney's Garden so I will do an other post with more paintings in the next few days.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Day out painting in Bristol

Last Saturday I headed to Bristol for a day out painting with the Plein Air Society (a group of plein air painters meeting every month in a different city). We were so lucky with the weather as the sun was shining all day, which has become pretty rare here in rainy England! After meeting for a quick coffee we headed for the top of Clifton with views of the Clifton Suspension Bridge. Here is my first painting of the day (click on all pictures to enlarge):

Clifton Suspension Bridge in the morning   12"x10"  oil on board

Below you can see my set up. We were painting in "contre jour", facing the sun, which was quite blinding but it gave interesting contrasts in the painting:

That's me, towards the end of the painting session:

I loved the variety of greens getting cooler and more purple as they recede in the distance:


I must admit I added the bridge railing details back in the studio as my hand was too shaky and it was a bit too windy on the spot to be able to draw a straight line!

I loved the sun reflection shining on the water:


As you can see below, I was surrounded by two talented painters on that day - (click on the name for website): Wayne Attwood from Birmingham and Tom Hughes from Bristol. They both produced great work on the day and were rather well equipped. In fact, they were both showing off a bit with their sun umbrella but it was so windy that after only a few minutes Tom's got broken and Wayne's flew over the edge! Nature always has the last word!

Tom Hughes in action

Wayne Attwood working on his little gem

Andrew Taylor (below left) arrived a bit later but managed to do a quick painting of the view. Ian Mood (not pictured) was sketching a few meters away.

After a quick lunch break we decided to turn around and paint the beautiful view over the Avon Gorge which was bathed on that day by a lovely pink light:

Leigh Woods and The Avon Gorge, Bristol, September afternoon   16"x9"  oil on board

Here we are, all lined up (And someone is still not giving up on the umbrella):

My painting after around 30 minutes:

and towards the end...

I confirm there is an actual view of the gorge behind that bush,
I'm not just imagining this scene from the view of the bush... 


Andrew at work



After we finished that sitting, it was around 5.30 and we all felt like maybe we could squeeze a last quick painting before calling it a day. I decided to turn around again and paint the view towards the Suspension Bridge with the tree in the foreground:

I was well into it when I realised that I was the only one painting and the other painters were just relaxing on the bench and waiting to go to the pub. A bit of pressure for me to do this one very quickly then!

I was painting a lady on the bench but she moved away before I got a chance to paint her properly so I wiped her off and Andrew kindly sat for me. He kept moving so one could hear me shouting every 3 minutes "Stop moving Andrew!". I did this in about 30 minutes and spent an other 20 minutes at home adding a few details as I ran out of time since the pub was calling for us!

Andrew on a bench playing with his camera,
Clifton Suspension Bridge, September evening

10"x7"  oil on board



My paintings are available for sale directly from me or through a gallery and can be shipped worldwide. Prices depends on size and subject and generally range from £100 to £500. Please email me to check prices and availability at