Saturday, 30 January 2010

A nice Place

Sunshine and snowy tops perfect 'Wainwright' walking and Place Fell was a perfect mountain top, Leaving Patterdale and climbing steeply up the fell, with the sun shinning and barely any wind it didn't feel the 1 degrees that was on the thermometer. I got new walking mountaineer boots for Christmas and was warned when purchasing them that I could expect blisters for a year!! Not what a woman wants to hear. So today they got their 1st outing, they are much heavier and more sturdier than anything I've had before. I felt like Bambi with great big heavy hoofs, but they kept the feet dry and I didn't slip and best of all no sore feet.
This is a blown up photo from the picture above, it's of one of my favourite Lakeland peaks 'Striding Edge' This was the view where we stopped and had a coffee, what a view!
Me and the boots!
Couldn't resist the mention of Bambi, especially when we saw these on the unbelievably steep ascent, Nigel my walking partner takes great pleasure in taking us off route, usually it involves scrambling down, clutching onto heather for my dear life! But today seeing these beauties made it more than worthwhile.
All alone

Friday, 29 January 2010

After the Rain

I was given a challenge a few weeks ago, to paint a certain view, Blencathra from Brandlehow with the old posts. I've had a few attempts already, but today I was ready for the contest. I've painted down here many timesit's a lovely peacful spot, the main activity is the Launch picking up and dropping off walkers. This is the painting I will be demonstrating at my next monthly Wednesday class, its a limited palette of Prussian Blue, Permanent Rose, Naples Yellow and a touch of Burnt Sienna.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Tales of Stonethwaite

Stonethwaite in Borrowdale nestling under Eagle Crag. I love painting in this tiny hamlet, it's a buzz of activity in this sleepy little place. A friend of mine was brought up here and her Mum has the tiny post office which she runs from her kitchen. Whenever I take Students in Summer painting here we stop for a break in the tiny tea room. Sitting opposite each other with steamy mugs of coffee and a thick slab of Flapjack it only holds about 8 people, there's a bookshelf selling books for 50p which you can't help but browse through and usually come away with a book or two! For more tales of Stonethwaite tune in tomorrow.

Stonethwaite Watercolour by Jane Ward
 This is one of the Online Watercolour course projects, it has everything to tempt the budding artist, mountains, trees, buildings and even a little smoke from the chimney pot.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Watercolour purist


Stage 2 after a visit to the sink

 Nearly finished.
It was excellent getting back into a painting subject, I found this very challenging, I used a limited palette. I wanted to get out to paint, but with grey skies and no shadows and really cold, I worked off some sketches I've done before of Grange in Borrowdale. I'm a funny old thing when it comes to painting, things have got to be right around me Brushes laid out ready for execution, water constantly been changed,  room temperature warm but not hot or cold, radio or music on silence reminds me that the radio isn't on  and that stops concentration!  I was told the other day in jest' your such a purist' this was when the subject of tracing was brought up. I don't agree with it and said 'if you can't sketch it freehand you shouldn't sketch it at all' I was struggling getting the perspective right on a jetty, 'just trace it' they said, 'I can't it's cheating'!!! They replied that it's just a tool. But is it a tool? Surely it stops you from studying subjects, there is nothing more enjoyable than sitting on a beautiful day sketching something that inspires the heart and soul of an artist, and this is what we try to put down on paper.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Rule 1. To paint you need to be inspired .

After a lot of rubbing out, I decided that the watercolour paper was probably ruined and so I thought 'lets just throw some colour on and see what it does. Nothing, it did nothing,became nothing and I felt nothing! That was the problem. A friend wanted me to have a go at this scene, I said a would.
Now I hope this is the solution I am going down to the exact spot and will hopefully feel INSPIRED.
If not there could be more 'nothings' and a lot of painting on the other side! This is not painting on the other side of the brain, but other side of the paper!

The Louvre a place to inspire.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Sunday stroll at Whitehaven

What a difference a week makes, last Sunday walking near the frozen Derwentwater,today sitting enjoying OUTSIDE a cup of coffee. It was pure joy feeling the warm sunshine and seeing the crashing waves at Whitehaven. I saw two of my favourite birds 'tweet, tweet, tweet' Oyster catchers and ducking and diving Grebes, these always remind me of Lake Iseo in Italy where you see them all the time. The Lakeis so clear you see them swimming underwater.

Kept singing this little tune, watching the memorising waves, not sure why, but they did seem to be rolling over! Check it out to see a real classic

Whitehaven, it could be anywhere.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Chamonix a truly spectacular painting location.

 It's been a busy week, catching up with emails, starting new students from Canada, Cheshire and North Yorkshire onto the . I had my Wednesday monthly class, 'Composition' was the word of the day, it's a great class everyone is very encouraging and supportive. Wednesday was when my article in 'Leisure painter' came out, It's a pastel demonstration on Grange in Borrowdale.Since then I have been working on the website getting 'French Alps painting holiday' set up, here's a few photo's to tantalise. Really looking forward to painting here with a group of artists, it is wow wee scenery!!!  Did you hear any mention of brush to paper! That's next week, I'm starting with 3rd Online course so need to get some exciting and stimulating new material for this. So watch this space.
The famous pointing pose! This is that way to the top of  Mont Blanc.

Mont Blanc towering above a typical street scene in Chamonix.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Melting ice on Derwentwater

Derwentwater or should it now be called 'Derwentice' from Walla Crag, this is not a black and white photo but a grey, grey day. Seeing the lake like this is very surreal. A walk up the fell through drifts of snow, and then a slippery, skiddy slide down hanging onto trees, gorse bushes and anything that would keep you from
 ending up on your bum!

Here's one of my favourite trees, here's a link to when it took centre piece before in a blog.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Frozen Lake

Coming back to the Lakes, I caught up on the local gossip, which was' Have you heard that the Lakes frozen?' So had a walk down yesterday and was totally shocked, it was a surreal moment, seeing just a vast flat plateau, this is what a mini ice age may look like. But what amazed me most was the amount of families walking on the ice in the middle of the lake! Call me boring, unadventurous but I couldn't walk in the middle of the lake on ice!

I did wonder how my friends from the Island made it backwards and forwards. Pleased to see they channelled a small passage back to the island.For a small rowing boat to get through.

Looking towards the Jaws of Borrowdale 4 miles of frozen lake. Unbelievable, I've never seen this before

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

A little bird told me.....................................

A little Bird told me that the weather in the Uk is the same as this! Maybe I did'nt need to take the ski's to the Alps could have gone up Latrigg or Walla Crag.

But Latrigg does'nt at the moment have a cute little log cabin selling Hot Chocolate.

And the views even though inspiring are not quite Mont Blanc! But big But this is the 1st time we've seen the mighty peak show it's face in sunshine.

Now a skiing holiday is good relaxing break for the hard working artist,
 it makes you think of nothing else but staying alive and where to plant the retched poles, today after many years of skiing I realise I've been planting them in the wrong place, this was brought to light down a nasty black run needless to say where I ended up! But at least it's was a soft landing.

Here is the car crying out for help before it was dug out.Without the aid of a bread board!

Monday, 4 January 2010

It's still snowing

What is is about snow, you love it or hate it, me I love it. So today I opened the curtains to find two foot had fallen, quietly laying in wonderful moulds and shapes. It's now evening and it's never stopped all day, the car has disappeared, and will need a shovel to bring it back from under it's white cloak, with only the aerial  showing. Tomorrow it will be dug out with a 'bread board' why you ask a bread board well the apartment does not have a shovel and we figure a bread board could do the job! and the car needs to feel love and belonging to take us back home to Keswick. I've managed a little outdoor sketching but realise I should have brought Gouache, the watercolour keeps freezing and the gin was left with lime at home.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

I love this lead in, I'm an artist who like to find a way into a painting. Skiing at the moment it does not come naturally if you've seen the 'Bridget Jones' film it's something like that, but I do try!

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all my fellow bloggers and everyone that calls by to see
what's happening in my topsy turvey world.
Any New Year resolutions?
I heard somewhere that you should'nt use the new year for a resolution.
But sometimes you need a date to kick start you into action!
So what are mine? Now this is wrote after a glass of red wine.
 30 minutes later sat in a french warm bar with snow and freezing conditions outside, I've had a good think.

Be Happy, stay motivated, be positive and above all paint what inspires.