Monday, 11 December 2017

Painting trip in Scotland

Better late than never, here is the post about my painting trip to Scotland earlier this year. I went to the little village of Monymusk in Aberdeenshire to meet fellow painter Melanie Harrison who was such a wonderful host and showed me all the best spots to paint. For just 4 days, we were both baby-free so we made the most of that time and painted whatever the weather.

For the first painting of the trip, Melanie took me to the little harbour of Portsoy. Such a little gem! It took me some time to choose the perfect spot to paint but at the end I settled for this view that shows both the harbour and the lush green hills in the background.

Portsoy harbour, Scotland  12"x10"  oil on board
Available here


Here are some shots of the progress:

Melanie in action

In the afternoon, we went to the beautiful coastal village of Cullen. We only had an hour to spare so produced a quick study of the sea. I enjoyed looking for all the shades of blue, green and turquoise in the water and trying to keep up with the big waves.

Waves, Cullen, Scotland  10"x8"  oil on board
Available here


The next day, we stayed near Melanie's house and went painting in the Estate nearby (Monymusk house estate with the river Don flowing through). It was a glorious crisp sunny day and the autumn colours were in full swing, a real feast for the eyes.  

Bright Autumn day, River Don, Aberdeenshire  16"x9" oil on board
Available here



We painted in the shade to avoid sun reflections on the canvas but it meant it was pretty cold...

After that, Melanie popped back home for lunch and to feed her baby but I decided to stay and paint more. For those who know me well, you probably know that I've never skipped a meal in my life and that food always comes first. So it is a real testament to the beauty of the place, that I chose it over my lunch! And Melanie was kind enough to bring me sandwiches afterwards. A win-win situation! 

I really enjoyed painting this one, capturing the lovely colours of the distant hills.

River Don, Aberdeenshire  10"x8"  oil on board
Available here


Time for one more painting that day, and Melanie took us on a trek to the top of the hill to enjoy the beautiful views over the estate. A beautiful explosion of pink, orange and greens with the afternoon sunshine casting long shadows in the fields.

Monymusk house estate, Aberdeenshire  12"x10"  oil on board
Available here



The following day, the rain was back, but it didn't stop us of course. We drove around looking for inspiration and this foggy view with sheep really caught our eyes. There was no time for precision or meticulous work, but instead we just had to go for it! I ended up with something very lose but I think I like it that way...

Sheep in the rain, Aberdeenshire  10"x8"  oil on board
Available here

We had to paint with our umbrellas to stop the water mixing with the paints. We both looked as mad as each others but had such a great time! I found that the enjoyment you get from painting is often directly correlated to how ridiculous your outfit is! 

Here are a few details below:



You can see the traces left by the rain drops on this one below!


The next painting I did (still in the rain) was quite terrible so I decided to wipe it afterwards so I wouldn't have to stare at it ever again! :-) 

Finally, back home, we had a couple of hours to spare before my flight but no strength to get back out so we ended up painting the view of the garden from the cottage living room. We had been in the rain all morning, but as soon as we were all set up inside, the sun started shining! Anyway, I enjoyed this quick little sketch and flew back home with a head full of lovely memories.

The garden from the window, Monymusk, Aberdeenshire  8”x6,5”  oil on board
Available here


All my paintings from this trip can be seen and purchased on my website here.

And if you're not yet familiar with her work, I recommend you to have a look at Melanie's lovely paintings on her brand new website here:

To finish, just a quick note to say I have a few wall and desk calendars still available so if you would like one in time for Christmas, order it soon here:

All there is left to say now is to wish you all already a wonderful Christmas and fantastic new year. 

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Sydney Gardens in Bath

We might be already in November, but I thought I'd warm things up with a post about the paintings I painted on a bright sunny day in plein air in Sydney Gardens this summer (a nice way of just saying I'm late with my blog posts!). This is my favourite place to paint in Bath. Beautiful bridges, light and reflections, and lovely relaxed people walking by. What's not to like? 

First one below was done in the morning. I really wanted to keep it fresh and spontaneous so made sure I'd stop before adding too many details. 

Sydney Gardens, Bath, august in the morning 10"x8"  oil on board
Available for sale here 


Here are a few steps for you:

Quick initial drawing

Adding the dark greens

Mid tone greens

Working on the light areas

Close to finish

Before I was needed back at home on mummy duty, I had the time to squeeze in an other painting. I didn't have to go far, I simply walked 10 metres and turned around to paint the bridge that was behind me. I still aimed for a sense of freshness but this time wanted to really focus on the lovely light hitting the greens in such a magical way. 

Sydney Gardens, Bath, August in the afternoon  10"x8" oil on board SOLD


Here are a few steps:

Initial simple drawing

Initial stage - trying to capture the light

Towards the end

Also, Just a quick note to say thank you to all those who came to our show in Bradford-on-Avon last month. We had a fantastic amount of visitors and grateful for the all the sales of paintings, prints, calendars, etc... For those who couldn't make it, my remaining paintings are available for sale on my website

Also on my website are my 2018 calendars available on wall or desk format with a selection of my favourite paintings of this year. Simply go to my website here to order yours (worldwide shipping / free shipping in Europe)

Also, just wanted to let you know I'm very happy to be part of the exhibition "An Evening or Art" in Bath on 20th November. It is a one night only pop up exhibition to raise funds for the Bath Percent Club's Quartet Community Foundation Fund. Six of my paintings will be for sale alongside great work from the artists named below. If you would like to join us on that night please let me know and I'll add you to the guest list.

Finally, don't forget you can find me on Facebook here:
Or subscribe to my newsletter for all the recent news about my work. Just go here:

I'm in process of photographing the paintings I did in Scotland in September this year, so hopefully that'll be my next post, so watch this space...

Monday, 2 October 2017

Our show starts this Friday in Bradford on Avon!

Only 4 days until the opening of our 3 days - show in Bradford on Avon!! For the last few weeks I've been busy framing, labelling, wrapping and packing paintings and prints. I'm so glad I have a studio for that, as I can't imagine doing it in the front room with my two littles curious cheeky monkeys touching everything!

Getting the frames ready

The joint show (Bob Child, Andrew Taylor and myself) will run for 3 days 6-8 October at the West Barn in Bradford on Avon (10 am till 5.30pm) and the three of us will be there the whole time.

I also wanted to invite my blog followers and readers to the private view of the show which will be held Friday 6 October 6-9pm. The venue is West Barn, Barton Farm in Bradford-on-Avon, BA15 1LF, a short walk from the train station.

There will be original oil and watercolour paintings for sale, alongside greeting cards, calendars and a large selection of giclée prints. Many paintings have been produced during our recent travels to South Africa, Portugal, France, Belgium or Scotland.

It would be lovely to see you there, have a chat, and show you our recent work!

Here is a little preview of what you can expect to see at the show:

Oil paintings by Valérie Pirlot:

Watercolours by Bob Child:

Oil paintings by Andrew Taylor:

Bob, Andrew and I hope to see you there!

If you can't come to the show, feel free to browse and contact me if you wish to reserve any paintings for you.