Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Painting the river Avon

Here is a recent painting I did of the river Avon in Bath. I set up at the bridge of the busy roundabout by the bus and train station. This beautiful scene caught my eyes so I had to stop and paint it.

The Avon, Bath, near the train station  10"x12"  oil on board

I could feel in my back the look of bored drivers queuing in the traffic, pleased to have some free entertainment available! Next time I'll try to juggle balls of fire with one hand while painting with the other to give them a full show!

It was a sunny but cloudy day which is the hardest type of weather for painting in plein air, because the light constantly changes and you have to choose to paint either the sunny or cloudy scene and stick to it. See below the two photographs taken seconds apart which shows the dramatic difference of light and colours.

Unsurprisingly I picked the sunny scene. Here is below the result after the first blocking stage.

That's me in action. On the right you can see my devoted bike,
 kindly waiting for me to finish the painting

Detail of the finished painting

Below is a quick study I did one evening just around the corner where I live. The subject is a bit random, almost abstract. I remember my baby daughter had a grumpy day so I felt quite on the edge and left home to paint as soon as my partner arrived from work. There is such a nice feeling about getting out to paint. My material is in a small suitcase so it even feels like going on a mini holiday! I remember painting the first thing I saw. The subject didn't matter, I just needed to paint! I came back home a couple of hours later with my little painting and my newly found sanity!

Path in evening light  10"x8"  oil on board

half way through...


I just came back from a holiday in the south of France so I will be posting my paintings here soon.


  1. Nice painting Valerie. I paint plein air every Wednesday, and they don`t look as good as yours. All the best.

    1. Thank you Victor! I think you are too harsh with yourself - we all have our doubts and find other's people paintings better! Glad you like it. :-)

  2. Great paintings! Can't wait to see the paintings from France.