Saturday, 27 June 2009

Painting archways

This was one of the painting locations in Iseo a quiet alleyway leading into a small pretty square, what caught my eye was the Italian Flag and the arch ways, but after an hour of sketching I realised that the archways were quite a tricky subject!!! There was a cafe at the bottom and the chef kept popping out to either speak on the phone ' pronto, pronto' he kept shouting or having a cigarette in a very Italian fashion. People on cycles kept dodging round us, a little boy wanted his red four wheeler cycle putting in the picture. For lunch a piece of Margaretta pizza from the bakery round the corner. Afternoon chatter from the hairdressers, a husband and wife having a heated discussion all drifted down to us from open balconies, but the funniest was when a chap opened his balcony and dropped his cigarette tray nearly on our masterpieces! It could only happen in Italy.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

A good painting location

Some things you have no control over, last week I had figured out a lovely quiet painting spot in the village of Carzano a short ferry ride from Sulzano. We arrived set up camp and sketched away quite happily, the sun was shinning, the shadows on the buildings were all were we wanted them to be there was even a pretty tap for water. Then the rain came and we had to abandon ship. But with sketches all completed and angles correct we ventured back the following morning again with beautiful blue skies swallows dipping and the shadows still in the right place, turning the corner into the pretty square we were confronted by this blocking our view!!

Friday, 19 June 2009

Location for painting holidays

My perfect dream Italian house

A nice breeze and cover with shade

Water, shade and a lovely place for lunch

Balcony from a coffee shop

Nigel and I have spent the last couple of days wandering round the streets of Iseo Town, finding painting locations for next weeks course. I like to have everything in place ie plan A,B and C just in case. So what have we been looking for , somewhere with a view is a good start, a bit of shade for sunny days and also just in case we may get a touch of rain somewhere for cover, water for the watercolours, cafe stop and toilet stop all close by and also not too busy. The course starts tomorrow I can't wait to get the paints out, I've only done a touch of sketching so next week I hope to have some lovely Italian Paintings and also my students the same.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Lake Iseo

Well here I am in the wonderful Italian Lakes, beautiful sunshine and a very warm 30 degrees, the photo above is of Sulzano port one of the prettiest villages around the lake. We decided to cycle round it, with it been a mere 46 miles, it is mainly flat so not too hard she says !!! and with plenty of stopping off points for coffee, soft drinks and panni's. Sulzano is one of my favourite places and cycling in to the old village also called bay of flowers the smell of roses was intoxicating. Next came the old road from Marone to Lovere and with no cars it was much safer, until I was gazing into the lake watching a Grebe suddenly a chap coming the other way on a racing bike nearly collided with me It was my fault for not looking, it could have been very nasty!!! One of the joys of always looking at scenery!
On entering Lovere our next stop was Riva di Solito the pretty village above.

See again Sulzano port for some reason it came up twice!

Mont Isola, the biggest European Island in a Lake, watch out next week for more Island photo's and even paintings!

Friday, 12 June 2009

Watercolour gear

One legged geese, couldn't resist them, hope to do a little watercolour of them, not sure if they should have two legs though. Getting ready for our trip to Italy, the painting bag is packed, so unless I sneak the paints out there won't be any painting done to maybe Wednesday, gosh will I last that long. Getting ready for a trip abroad does take a lot of planning and washing! I think I've got everything, nearly every colour Winsor Newton does in watercolour, Fabriano paper, Arches paper, Arches pad and a new sketch pad, I've also got a new small compact palette thanks to Mum and a birthday pressie. I've hummed and ahhed all week about a new brush, and finally on Wednesday got in touch with Rosemary and Co who hand make their brushes I new size 8 rigger in Kolinsky Sable arrived on the doorstep on Thursday, ooh it's heaven when you get a new brush it's got a beautiful tip and handles so easily.The hammer you may wonder why it's traveling to Italy, I need it to bang the rods in on my paper stretcher, I like to take a couple of art books this year Trevor Chamberlain and my most recent book by Nita Engle will be opening their covers in the Italian sunshine. Otherwise all my art gear is in the bag I hope!!!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Watercolour Weekend

It was a lovely weekend over on Derwent Island, Saturday brought showers and a chilly wind, but with a warm fire burning in the Drawing room we all enjoyed the wonderful scenes from every window. The history of the Island is fascinating the house was built in the late 17th Century, with added extensions over the years one of them been the Italian Balcony and Loggia where we painted from.The flowers were in full bloom, with Ornamental Poppies and Red Hot pokers jostling for a place in the well groomed borders.
Just one of the views we sketched from the patio, we were lucky on Sunday bright skies and only one little rain shower, so the gardens were explored for secret corners and views of the Lake. The sounds of children on Kayaks, men in fishing boats and every hour the public launch going by kept us all entertained.

The patio with unbelievable views of Catbells, we watched a steady stream of walkers making there way to the summit.

Afternoon Tea served in a lovely bay window with views over the garden and beyond to Borrowdale.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Derwent Island Watercolour Weekend

Thought I would have a go at this little watercolour before tomorrow. Saturday and Sunday I'm spending the days on Derwent Island painting in watercolours with a small group.This is a painting from Derwentwater shore looking towards the boathouse on this fantastic gem of an Island. It must be the third year that I have taken a small group of artists over to this unique Island we have the full run of the garden and if the weather is nasty painting inside the garden room and also the fabulous drawing room with floor to ceiling views of Catbells, Derwentwater and into the Newlands valley. Can you tell by this blog I'm a Little excited!!! I wasn't sure how the painting above was going to turn out? I ordered this week some new watercolours, paper and a couple of new brushes getting ready for my Italy trip one of the colours was Brown Madder. Not a colour I usually use but thought I would give it a try been that it's translucent. This was painted with Naples yellow, Indian Yellow, Cobalt and Ultramarine and Brown Madder. Quite liked the purple and greys that it made. One last thing before I go for a run. I was about to put the last wash down in the front of the lake, had it mixed up stirred it for a while decided where it was going, started to paint the front bit, the phone went!!! Carried on quickly laying it down oh I'm going to have to get the phone, finished it in a matter of 5 rings just before the answering machine kicked into action. Came back after the call expecting cauliflowers growing out of the lake! But no it had worked.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Rossett Pike Langdales

It was my birthday on Tuesday and I always try not to work and be somewhere pleasurable. We decided on a walk up Rossett Pike in the Langdales. It was a beautiful day and quite hot on the way up. We found a lovely little tarn at the top with a fantastic view of Bowfell in the distance. With sandwiches from my favourite deli 'Good taste in Keswick' and the warm sun shinning I could'nt ask for anymore. I could'nt help doing a quick sketch while we had lunch. I've walked up some lovely mountains on my birthday Ben More on Isle of Mull, Buachaille etive mor in the Scottish Highlands, and quite a few in the Lake District.

New Birthday shoes!

The long walk in the track goes under Langdale Pikes

A touch rocky section near the top

A quick sketch from the delightful Tarn

Monday, 1 June 2009

Italian Balcony Painting

Italian Balcony Watercolour by Jane Ward

Worked all day yesterday on Italian Balcony, painting part of it in the sunshine on the patio really helped. I could look at pots, plants and dreaded steps.Listening to Zucchero an Italian Rock band I like got me in the mood. I think sometimes you do need to get into a feeling or place for a painting. I came across this balcony two years ago in a little old square in Iseo Town (Italian Lakes) we were sitting under this beautiful balcony trying to get the angles right when out came a nonna (Italian Grandma) she was captivated with a group of English painters trying to paint her wonderful balcony. Throughout the morning she would pop her head out to see if we were still there and then around lunch time out she popped with wooden spoon and lifting it to her mouth to try her Delicious tomato sauce.It was then that you knew you were painting in Italy with the sun shinning, enticing spells and gentle clattering of lunch been made. We were offered peaches fresh from a tree and glasses of white wine throughout that wonderful day.