Tuesday, 29 April 2014

About unfinished paintings...

I don't know about you, but I don't like having unfinished paintings. If I see them lying around in the studio they are a reminder of my non accomplishment;  even if you hide them in a cupboard, you can still hear them whisper "Why didn't you finish me?", "Do you give up that easily?" 

So this post is about 3 paintings I managed to finish in the studio recently. As I usually paint in plein air, 99% of my work is all done on the spot. But those 3 paintings were executed while I was heavily pregnant, and I just didn't have the energy to finish them at the time. Two of them were actually done during a plein air tutorial, which makes it even harder to complete the job properly. I gave them a few finishing touches so they can now fulfil their little lives without shame!

Bath views from Oldfield Park - summer evening  10"x14"  oil on board


My set up on the day

The Royal Crescent, summer evening  10"x14" oil on board


View in Calne  12"x9" oil on board


Thursday, 24 April 2014

Studies of South Africa

My sister is currently living in South Africa with her family and she recently posted on Facebook some great pictures of the Welgevonden game Reserve in Waterbeg. Since I can't travel very far to paint for the moment and I'm a little bit home bound with the baby, it seems that little studio studies are perfect to keep me busy. Louisa is quite good when it comes to naps so I now try to paint every morning in my loft studio when she is napping. If given the choice, I always prefer painting in plein air in front of the subject, but I still do enjoy working from photographs every now and then. And there is the added bonus that I won't be eaten by lions in this case.

Here are the three little south african studies alongside the original photographs (rather loosely based on):

Réserve Welgevonden game - Waterberg, South Africa (1)  8"x8" oil on board 

The original photograph

Réserve Welgevonden game - Waterberg, South Africa (1)  8"x8" oil on board

The original photograph

Réserve Welgevonden game - Waterberg, South Africa (1)  8"x8" oil on board

The original photograph

Sometimes, Louisa wakes up when I'm in the middle of the painting, so I just bring her upstairs and keep her busy with toys while I keep painting! 

I now only use water-based oils and non toxic pigments so it is safe for her to be in the same room while I paint. 

I have been doing some large studio work too so I will be posting more pictures soon.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Painting in Bath

I have been out painting in Bath again which is great fun. With a little baby waiting at home, it now takes a bit more organisation before heading out, but it's doable!

The painting below was my first plein air session in Bath since the baby's arrival. I can't say it went smoothly but it certainly was an interesting experience! Let me explain: It was planned that I would have some time to paint on Sunday. Although I woke up to pouring rain, I didn't let it stop me as I wasn't sure when I would get a chance to go out again. As a first painting I could have picked a nice spot around the corner. Oh no, for some inexplicable reason, I decided to take my bike with all my gear, in the rain, and get to the other side of town, right across the annual Bath half marathon! When I was finally set up, I only managed to get 3/4 way through my painting before receiving an urgent call asking me to come back. "She's hungry", my partner said... So basically I had to give the final touches in the studio!

Sydney Gardens bridge in March  10"x14" oil on board

So close to be finished but yet so far...


Below is my second attempt of plein air in Bath this year. I discovered a beautiful spot with allotments and great views over Bath, just 5 minutes walk from my house. It was a sunny misty afternoon which gave a lovely purple fog in the distance. I liked painting the bonfire too which adds a nice feeling of movement to the composition I think.

Monksdale road allotments in the afternoon  16"x9"  oil on board


My set up between the lettuces and cabbages

I came back to the allotments one sunny afternoon to do an other little study. My partner came to say hello while pushing baby Louisa in the pram. When I asked what he thought about the painting he told me the two things a painter doesn't want to hear:
1. It's not finished, is it? (while it was 90% done)
2. Well, it's... 'different'... (is it?? why? how??) 
The positive thing, is that I will never get big headed with such a partner!
Anyway, I ended up being quite happy with the result, I hope you like it too!

Monksdale road allotments, spring evening  8"x10"  oil on board

My set up at the end of the session


All my paintings are available for sale 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 valpirlot1@hotmail.com