Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Lunch at the Pump Room, Bath

I haven't posted for a while but actually I have been busy painting painting painting! I have been working on a series of paintings of Bath seen from the hot air balloon, and also did some plein air painting in Bradford on Avon and in Bristol. I will post all this very soon!

Meanwhile, here is a painting of the Pump Room in Bath done for a commission. This is such a beautiful building and impressive room. You can see the fountain near the window where people can taste the hot spa water which has been used in Bath for curative purposes for two thousand years and was the reason behind the famous Roman Baths.

Lunch at the Pump Room, Bath  10"x8"  oil on board



Sunday, 5 October 2014

Painting the Broads in Norfolk

I just came back a few days ago from a fantastic painting trip in Norfolk. It was a 4 days plein air event/competition. Beautifully organised, lovely people, amazing landscapes and subject matters, and fantastic weather. And to make all this even better, I'm happy to announce I have won the first prize of the show alongside the first prize for the Norwich quick draw event. I couldn't be happier!

Here is below the painting that won the first prize. 

Boats at Hickling, late afternoon  16"x9" oil on board

I really enjoyed painting this. I set up on the path leading to the pub and had a nice chat with people walking pass. The pub owner even brought me a nice cup of tea which helped me finish the painting. The late afternoon sun made some lovely reflections on the water.

My set up

The finished painting

Detail of the finished painting

Below is a painting done close by in the morning. I had fun painting the sky and reflections on the water.

Morning light, Hickling  12"x10" oil on board


I discovered a lovely spot near Horsey one evening and started this little painting below. I could only paint 30 minutes until the end of the sunset so I came back the next day a bit earlier to finish it. The place was beautiful and tranquil, which I have tried to convey in the painting.

Evening reflections at Horsey  8"x10"  oil on board

The painting after the first session

The painting after the second session on the next day


On the Sunday, there was the Norwich Quick draw competition, where all artists were required to produce a painting of the city of Norwich in two hours maximum. We all had to gather when the time was up to make sure nobody was going over the allowed time. The warm stone building of the Academy of Arts against the lovely greens caught my eyes. I'm happy to say I won the prize with the painting below.

Norwich University of the Arts, St Georges Street  12"x9" oil on board

The finished painting

The view

All artists were wearing the special event cap to be easily spotted by the public. (Although having a brush in a hand and standing in front of an easel is quite a big clue already!)

Adding some highlights to the street

Detail of the finished painting

Below is a painting done in the countryside near Horsey. I was on my way there when I spotted this beautiful rural scene and felt the urge to paint it. I love painting greens so this subject is really my cup of tea! I painted the sheep as simply as possible so they would naturally merge into the background.

Sheep near Horsey 12"x10" oil on board

My set up


After the boats and the sheep, I decided to head to Winterton beach, a beautiful sandy beach where Seago has painted masterpieces. What a beautiful place. I painted three paintings there; one long view of the beach and sea, one study of the dunes, and a little study of a group of people wearing white tshirts building a sandcastle.

Winterton Beach  16"x9" oil on board


Dunes, Winterton Beach  10"x8" oil on board


Sandcastle and white tshirts, Winterton Beach  10"x7" oil on board

Detail (on the left: a little girl with her big balloon)

Finally, here are four of my paintings framed ready for the show on Monday night. 

I couldn't stay for the show as I was needed back home for baby duty, but I got the phone call on that evening to let me know I won the prize!

Posing in front of my paintings as I delivered them in the morning

I would recommend to any plein air painter to register to next year's event ('A brush with the Broads' www.abrushwiththebroads.co.uk). It is great fun and a wonderful place to paint. 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Painting in Provence - Part 2

I just came back from a painting trip in Norfolk, but before I post my work, here are the last six paintings from my recent trip in South of France (click here to see Part 1).
The painting below was done in a misty morning. The distant hills were covered by pink fog. It gave a beautiful subtle colour to the scene. It was my birthday on that day and painting this view was such a perfect way to enjoy it!

Hills in the morning fog - Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt   10"x7"  oil on board


Below is a painting of the little chapel in the courtyard just outside the house. I must admit there was no praying in there during the holiday. We used it to store my daughter's buggy instead...

The little chapel - Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt   10"x8"  oil on board

The picture shows very different colours but I confirm this is the same place...

To get the best view, I set up in the vignards opposite the house. As I was sneakily eating the grapes around me, I heard a distant voice saying: "He! Stop eating and start painting!" That was my mum at the window checking on me. You can never be at peace anywhere can you??


The painting below was done a couple minutes walk from the house. The misty distant hills against the curved tree caught my eyes. I did paint the top of tree at the time but decided the composition didn't work so I chopped it off at home and I think it looks much better now. 

Morning light - Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt  8"x10"  oil on board


Here is a painting of the back of the house. I like how the warm stone was shining through the foliage of the trees.

Basic drawing to start with. I never detail more than this.

The finished painting 


Below is a painting of the vignards done from the outdoor covered storage room/ leisure room. This is where I stored my painting kit. I was on my way to paint but I saw this view and decided to stay there and shelter from the sun. I just loved the variety of blues and greens.

The vignards (2) - Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt  10"x8"  oil on board


And finally, this is my last painting of the trip, but my favourite one. It might actually be my favourite one ever. This is the little gate leading to the swimming pool which I painted a few hours before taking my plane back. Somehow I felt everything worked and it was effortless. Nice feeling when it happens!

Gate to swimming pool - Saint-Saturnin-les-Apt   10"x8"  oil on board

Me looking very focused!