Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Navigation skills

Travelling today from a barmy -7 degrees perfect snow conditions in Keswick to + 11 rain in the French Alps was quite an experience. The Sat Nav which is a woman for some reason decided to have an off day, why I ask myself did she decide to leave the easy motorway and head up a difficult Swiss mountain pass, with only a couple of hours left of driving after 15 hours on the road. SHE was not popular! Now this is the thing I can't get my head round. It is a piece of software, why trust this when you have a map in your lap! Why think that this is  a real woman. Who is now not trusted!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

A real Christmas bug


It's years since I've seen this much snow in Keswick, this was the walk to work yesterday, very festive. All this mention of the 'Christmas bug' and guess what I've started with cold, serves me right!!

Over the top
Watercolour
I could'nt resist getting the paints out and doing this little watercolour, I'd put them away for Christmas but seeing those big sunset skies thought I would have a go.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Raw Sienna Sheep


Winter wonderland, this is a pretty Church near Ripon in North Yorkshire, I had to depend just on the camera today in a moving car.Supposed to go to Yorkshire on Sunday but didn't risk it so, but with the sun shinning we quickly grabbed pressie's and went for it today. Driving over the A66 was fabulous a painting everywhere you looked, the roads were clear it was a joy to see all the crisp white fields with grazing Raw Sienna Sheep, Shetland Ponies and even the odd Ostrich!




As you can see I'm still suffering from the Christmas bug
More symptoms are
Having the ability to fuse at least one set of Christmas lights.
Waving at old men dressed in red.
Finding yourself in M&S food department with a  basket of goodies!!


'All alone' 2



The only painting done this week!

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Christmas shopping in Keswick


Keswick Christmas lights, with Moot Hall in the background with countdown to 2010 clock. Notice the dark Payne's grey sky, threatening snow clouds I think! Christmas shopping is fairly pain free up here in Keswick, notice the crowds pushing, shoving and grasping for that last size 9 pair of mens slippers, it's what would be happening all over the UK in M&S stores! Can you tell I hate crowds, I don't have the choice of the big city, but you get friendly advice from local shopkeepers, even asking if you would like it gift wrapped and there's plenty of choice in the outdoor department stores. Keswick also has lots of great Galleries with individual ideas for pressies, the best one in town is Viridian which stocks masterpieces for everyone's taste and purse size.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Christmas Bug


Seem to have the Christmas bug, symptoms are
: Eat chocolate and mince pies anytime of the day.
: Want to wear Red or something sparkly
: Happy to watch a soppy film or even James Bond.
: Need to clean the house doing stupid jobs I never think of for the rest of the year.
: Also watch out for sudden tears, be it listening to children singing carols, or even silly Christmas songs.
Running round like a headless Robin trying to finish lots of jobs, it's taken two weeks to paint 'Sharp Edge'  the watercolour above.
Oh and spending money like it's going out of fashion.

It only last's one day but symptoms seem to start at least 2 weeks before.
No known cure.



Thursday, 10 December 2009

Winter morning, Keswick

On days like today there is no better more inspiring place to be than wonderful Keswick. I couldn't resist a detour to the lake, with the sun shinning in my eyes and warm on my face it made me realise how little sunlight we have had lately. Walking along the edge of Crowe park, three people were watching a farmer and his sheepdogs bring in this years Herdwicks. Looking across to Newlands Valley with the mist rising,  sun lighting the cold water of the lake wow  ee; no wonder Artists having been coming here for centuries. Reaching the lake shore the engine's were running on the launch getting ready for the 'Santa cruise' this weekend.


I think this goose knows it's not for the Christmas table this year.


I'm not a big fan of seagulls, but thought this made a quirky shot.It was a joy to be on the foreshore knowing that two weeks ago it was totally underwater.

Walking back into town you pass under a subway, this is the graffiti we have!


Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Exercise and painting are good for you!


Decided to go on the bike today, After having a sleepless night, managed to drag myself with paints and paper to Tuesday Painting group. Not sure I've mentioned this group, but think I have it's a fairly professional group of artists that meet in winter, nice and friendly with lots of encouragement and fun chat. But today I sat with my coffee and decided it wasn't happening, but ploughed on till just after lunch. Made excuses and came home early. So what do I do next? felt like jumping back in bed but with only another 2 hours of daylight left did not want to waste it. So jumped on the bike instead and went for a ride down the disused railway line. It's amazing how exercise can clear the mind and re focus. So on returning gave the painting a sideways glance and decided it maybe looked quite good!!



Came across this photo when I was down loading the sheep! It's a birthday photo when I was in Italy


'Smile ladies' I did shout this!

Now this is a strange looking sheep

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Moot Hall Painting Exhibition


Autumn Morning, Derwentwater SOLD
Set Moot Hall Exhibition up today, takes a bit of organising, but it's great seeing all the paintings together. I tend to man (or woman) the exhibition myself and it's always interesting hearing people's comments about the paintings or what and where they are of, or just talking about  Good old 'Art'.  I had a  lady in today who loved my new Tarn Hows, she was going there tomorrow and had scattered her husbands ashes here a few years previous. It's times like that when you are really moved to see how someone reacts to a piece you have painted.Here's one of my favorite paintings of the exhibition, I wonder if it's my favourite because it was the last one painted! It's of Derwentwater and it's a full imperial piece, so very daunting to work on.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Alpine glow on Skiddaw

It's been a busy week getting ready for my exhibition starting Thursday and on until Saturday. I've been painting madly, the paint has been flying off the brushes. I also taught my Wednesday group this morning, it was an ealry rise, I'm not a morning person and the thought of teaching before 9.am did worry me and I did check the alarm quiet a few times. But I managed to throw myself and painting gear in by 8.50am!! The Wednesday group asked also for the painting tht I did as a demo to be put on the blog, so here it is!

I'm not often painting until 1 cup of tea and two cups of strong coffee which is around 10.30am
Also a fellow artist blogger asked where my 4th day on little Cumbria' here it is , but I think it's only available for one more day!
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p005679p/Ian_Timms_26_11_2009/


Here's also Alpine glow on skiddaw

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Winter at Tarn Hows



I think Autumn is over and Winter's begun, I'm going by my painting clock! I want to paint snowy tops, all those Autumn leaves have now blown away. I really enjoyed painting this picture of 'Tarn Hows' I kept a limited palette, no Ultramarine Blue for snow shadows, which is the colour I nearly always use. Prussian was the only Blue I used, it is a vicious colour but hopefully handled with care won't bite. 

Tarn hows is one of  the six  projects on my Watercolour Course,
For more details www.watercolourcourse.co.uk

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Day five 'Little Cumbria'

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p005739j/Ian_Timms_27_11_2009/

Day five of 'little Cumbria' I'm on at about 44 minutes into the programme.

Just a quick hello today woke to snow on the mountain tops and sunny skies, feels like Winter is here.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Every picture tells a story



Halfway through a watercolour of Tarn Hows and I'm feeling positive about it. I just happened to look down at my desk and thought blimey heck how can you work like this!But I heard yesterday that creative people do need a little disruption!
So here is the story of my table RUBBER HAMMER used for banging in rods on paper stretcher also travels on trips to Italy, cleaners in hotel rooms look on hammer with mystification! PHOTO'S OF FRIARS CRAG, used for demo at Penrith. HALF EMPTY CUP OF COFFEE and GLASS OF WATER water used for painting, coffee for drinking sometimes can be mixed up, brushes dipped in coffee and sips of diluted paint drunk! ACRYLICS used on Tuesday at Millbeck painting group Acrylic 1/2 finished painting, sat on floor wondering if it is wanted or if a trip to the bin could be eminent.COLOUR SHAPER found after been lost in pastel box for 3 months great for applying masking fluid. 3 SKETCH BOOKS, NO 4! One nearly full, One started on, and one brand new and one given as a present from students in Italy.

Now must get back to painting of Tarn Hows and ignore sobs from Acrylic gone wrong!
Here is day three of 'little Cumbria'
I'm on at 43 minutes into the programme
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p0055syh/Ian_Timms_25_11_2009/

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Day two Radio Cumbria

With the wind howling and driving rain I set off to Penrith art club, it's about 17 miles along the A66 I wondered if anyone would be venturing out, but there were quite a few keen artists, we are obviously made of strong stuff. It's the 1st time I've demonstrated with a video, projector and even a sound system. I do a great impression of an Ostrich, I put my head in the sand and try not to think too much about it until, the hour finally dawns. Now that doesn't mean I don't put any thought into it or work, it's just I don't think about all those faces looking towards me, I'm quite a shy person, believe it or not. Anyway once fitted with the gear and standing up in front of everyone, fear only hit for a minute or two. The demo seemed to go well and Penrith art club were a real friendly and enthusiastic bunch.Fisher 400 paper is a joy to work with and it's great demonstrating something new to artists. I'll let you in to a little secret in my mind I did think about doing a little dance and song routine with the gear on, but catching a ladies eye, I could see she may be impressed with my art ability but definitly not with my singing skills.


Here's day two of 'Little Cumbria' I'm on at 49 minutes into the programme


http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p00559yx/Ian_Timms_24_11_2009/

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Jane on 'Little Cumbria' Day One

I mentioned last week about been asked to do 130 words about what I do in an average day, I then went into the studio and recorded it, that was the frightening bit, but it turned out to be great fun. So with the wonders of the internet, here is Day one of 'Little Cumbria'. If the wonders work you should be able to hear it!!

 www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p0054y6p/Ian_Timms_23_11_2009/


It works!! For those who know me I'm sure your having a bit of a giggle!

Monday, 23 November 2009

Battling against the weather



I had a walk down to the lake yesterday, in full mountain gear, luckily most Keswicans have full outdoor protective clothing, it was quite shocking seeing how far the lake came up. This is the ticket office on your right. The launch company moored  two of their boats on the side of Derwent Island, out of the full force of the wind to protect these lovely old Launches.


Underwater jetties



Walked to the end of Friars Crag battling against the weather, as you can see another storm was brewing down Borrowdale.Today I've been getting ready for Penrith art club evening demonstation. I'm quite looking forward to it, mind they are videoing it onto a big screen so everyone can see! I hope there won't be a time delay! It could be a bit off putting ,I've had a go at the painting I will demonstrate it's on 'Fisher 400' with pastels but I'm using it with water!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Start on the Ark, Noah.

The met office was right, the weather has been horrible today  the last bad flood was in 2005 but I think this is worse. I cancelled my Christmas card workshop two ladies were stranded at home and when I nipped to the shop to get the mince pies I realised that it was just stupid to try and get to the hall most of the roads in and out of Keswick are shut due to floods. My poor friend Jason Chambers the photographer as been flooded and had to leave his house, we are lucky where we live (I hope anyway) and live on higher ground. Will keep you posted on the conditions, feel sad for everyone who's been flooded.

Sky Tv reporting on the flood Penrith road.





In the park, the new ticket and plant office.






Where you get the tickets for the launch and the holiday cottage.




Looking down Penrith road.




High Hill, should be named low hill! the river is coming over the wall here

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Weather warning for Cumbria


Just about finished Ennerdale from Gable, I've painted it on Fisher 400 paper, it's been lovely to work with.


Finished Winter light Skiddaw in Watercolours, I was pleased with how this came on, it was one of those paintings that seemed to just work how I wanted it to.
So I just about finished the paintings I was talking about yesterday, without starting on another! I just moved the imperial piece of paper from one side of the studio to the other, giving it a little gentle stroke and wondering what it could be; or not be!
We've had a weather warning today, the met office very rarely goes to red, but today it was on Red.

Cumbria weather warning for Thursday and Friday Rain will become very heavy and persistent early on Thursday and continue until Friday morning. Rainfall accumulations of 50-100mm are expected quite widely, with up to 250mm possible locally over high ground. With this amount of rain falling onto saturated ground there is a high risk of localised flooding. The rain will be accompanied by severe gale force winds. From the met office.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Should an artist concentrate on one painting at a time?


Now I can only say this was not the view of Derwentwater today, this was taken last week when a little bit of high pressure was over the Lake District. Torrential downpours, thunder and lightening have all dampened the appetite over the last view days.Not brilliant outdoor painting weather. Last week I wrote that I must concentrate an one thing at a time, so with a watercolour and a pastel to finish how come I stretched an imperial piece of watercolour paper! With rain forecast tomorrow, I'm hoping to report a finished piece or even two.


Another peaceful Autumn morning, lets see what tomorow brings.

P.S I'm also thinking of painting a small pastel and would love to get my oils out.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Winter in Keswick


Winter in Keswick
Watercolour
I've a watercolour workshop coming up this week, so I've spent the last few days figuring out what to paint.

I have a number of different Cards ready for Christmas
Priced at £1.95 each or 5 for £8.50
Here is a link below to see the images





For more information or to purchase cards

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Ennerdale from Gable pastel painting



I'm just trying someting different on the blog, I've been working on 'Ennerdale from Gable' today.I started with an Acrylic underbase and now building it up with pastels, still have a bit to go. As you can see I'm working back to front!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Radio ga ga

A different day to my normal, that's if my days are ever normal! Boots the Chemist was the 1st port of call, I'm sure stress and nerves bring on my allergies! Driving to Carlisle  to Radio Cumbria I was full of excitement and also that jitter feeling on a visit to the dentist! I was shown round the studio's which was quite a different view of the radio that I listen to. Then into the studio, starting to get a touch nervous now but Steven the radio wizz soon put me at ease, or nearly! 'Right Jane just read it out and lets see how we get on' ahhhhhhhhhh so with hands shaking and voice full of fear off I went. Guess what, it was great fun, and Steven Radio wizz seemed pleased and so the date for the 1st Jane Ward radio ga ga is Monday 23rd November 5.45 pm. Now doubt I'll keep you posted.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Refelections at Ullswater


Ullswater this morning, I love the leaves in the water.

Which way up?

This is the right way up, totally AMAZING reflections I could have stayed all day photographing around the lake, but the top of the hill on the left was to be climbed.

1st icy tarn this Autumn/Winter

Angle Tarn with Angle Tarn Pikes in the background.
 I couldn't wait to get out on the hills.Waking to a frosty morning and pure blue skies perfect walking conditions .Armed with my trusty buffalo jacket and Seal skin socks guaranteed to keep you warm and dry on a Winters day.Driving along the shores of Ullswater I was itching to find a place to park, to capture the perfect reflections on the calm glass like lake.With Sandwiches, flask of tea and camera in hand. Leaving a frosty Hartsop we set off up the steep accent towards Angle Tarn Pikes,heading up the fell and into the warm sunshine. I  feel inspired when out walking and love painting wild mountainous scenery so the two compliment each other. Today was so peaceful, the light fantastic and colourful Autumn hues.On the descent  we were lucky to see a small herd of deer and only just made it back to the car before sunset.
 
1st stage of Ennerdale painting Acrylic on Fisher 400 paper, pastel on top tomorrow

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Art on a bike.





Been self employed, you can pick your weekends when you want, even though today is a weekend I'd decided to do some work on my website. I've had a website for about 10 years which I manage myself with help from friends. But with the sun beckoning I decided to go round Derwentwater on my bike, I'm trying to get fitter and have set myself stupidly a goal of under 1 hour round the lake. Why: I ask myself when peddling with legs of jelly round the catbells bends, but then on the marvellous decent I catch a glimpse of sunshine warming the trees below Causey Pike and suddenly legs of jelly are forgotten. Speeding past tourists with sticks, walkers with muddy dogs and pheasants squawking, I make it back home with seconds to spare.
Tomorrow is promising a day of frost and sunshine, fingers crossed.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

1st snow reported in Keswick


I've spent most of the day getting ready to paint, with an exhibition in December the pressure is on. So finally sitting down with paper and pencil ready to go, I' didn't know what to paint. It's rained most of the day in fact all week!so I haven't been able to get out and feel inspired by all those wonderful Autumn hues. So at 3,30 finally gave in to a non painting day, and decided to make a 'Shepherds pie' and so with hat, gloves and waterproof jacket, off I walked to the Butcher's. We can see Skiddaw from the house and walking down the drive wow! The mist  was breaking open and there on the top was a tiny patch of snow. I suddenly felt inspired. Must now decide where to go tomorrow.

Which dog are you?


Ashness bridge yesterday, low cloud and raindrops

I got a call this week from Cumbria Radio, asking if I would do a 'week in the life' I was major excited, what it involves is writing down in 130 words what I do in a 'Normal' day, so I've 5 of these to do and then go and read it in a studio in Carlisle. Now I've realised over the last few years that I  can run around like an headless chicken! and if asked what breed of dog does my personality resemble? it would be a bounding golden mad labrador, that runs around excited searching here and there for a ball that probably doesn't exist and eventually after lots of calling comes back to it's master, knackered! which dog breed are you?

So I've sat down this morning after
getting paper and studio ready for painting
cleaning the Kitchen
stopping myself from baking a cake
lighting the woodburner
answering emails
this was done all at once!
all the time thinking what shall I write about? what do I do!
So I Started and thought I'll count up the words I've put down already, 278!! I'm only allowed 130
So I've now realised my next 5 days are going to be short and sweet, and I must concentrate on one thing at a time and not get too excited or I will be hit round the back of the head with a frying pan like in the Tom and Jerry clips.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Christmas card workshop


I often get asked about my paintings of snowy scapes did you go there? They look with disbelief, sometimes awe, sometimes, with that look that just says WHY. So here is proof that yes I do go to these places and  you can see I'm smiling infact for me this is heaven, the sun is shinning, the scenery is spectacular,
a painting everywhere you turn and seen as we are at the top LUNCH!
Autumn officially ends Dec 1st but as I look out onto a wet, chilly grey day with all leaves nearly blown away till another year I think Winter is here, so bring on the snow, frosty mornings, Keswick shop windows are full of Christmas goodies and so for me this morning I have organised my Christmas card workshop. I've popped a few details below for those who live in or near Keswick.


 The date is THURSDAY 19TH NOVEMBER

The place is UNDERSKIDDAW VILLAGE HALL in the hamlet of Millbeck

The time is 12.30pm to 3.30pm so you might need a light lunch before but Tea, Coffee and of course Mince pies will be included
The Price is £20 this includes 5 of your own personal Christmas cards.
What do you need to bring Stretched watercolour paper, paints, brushes there is a kitchen sink!
so you won't need that.
So to book your place either send me back an email janeward@ukonline.co.uk
or give me a ring 017687 72471
Places are limited so get in touch sooner rather than later.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Wastwater Demonstration


Can't believe it's nearly a week since my last blog! What have I been up to? I did go over to Yorkshire to my cousins wedding on Halloween, the weather was fantastic thank goodness especially with it been in a marque near to the top of Brimham Rocks. It was quite a different affair, the tables named after Ghoulish things, chocolate mice with jelly tails served with the sweets and puddings,a photo booth with fancy dress for different guest photo's and a table full of old fashioned sweets which went down well with the kids from the 70's and 80's. So back to work, I've my Wednesday monthly class tomorrow and they asked to paint snow!! It was fun getting some of my winter sketches and images out even more so sitting in front of a warm wood burner.I used a limited palette of Ultramarine, Winsor blue, Permanent Rose of course and a touch of Burnt Sienna.

This painting of Wastwater is featured in my six projects for Improvers in Watercolour see
http://www.watercolourcourse.co.uk/ for more details or to enrol, you will be amazed how easy it is to paint stunning snowscenes.