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
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!

Here's also Alpine glow on skiddaw