Monday, 31 May 2010

Waiting for the Launch.

Just had to share a beautiful morning down at Derwentwater, this was around and already people waiting for the launch to go up Catbells!

Stable Hills lovely Spring colours, soon all will be one shade of Green!

The blossom is everywhere, a bit of a pain to the hayfever sufferer, but so pretty.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Traffic on Catbells, Bank Holiday

I had a walk down to the lake today and thought about taking my paints but with a cold wind, I chickened out! Wondered what the Bluebells were like, but these little 'well I call them Cuckoo Flowers, think their real name is Wood Sorrel, caught my camera's eye. I nearly had a walk up Catbells, and figured out it would  be busy today, looking from the lakeside I realised I was right and you could spy lots walkers making their way up.

Catbells, the famous fell which everyone should climb if they come to Keswick..

Little Ants on the top and making their way up the ridge

So for the Bank holiday it's a nice feeling pottering around at home, and not getting in Traffic Jams be these on Catbells! and saving it for a quieter day.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Coastal Path, Isle of Man

Coastal Path, Isle of Man
By Jane Ward
This is one of the paintings I did over the weekend, Roughly sketched and blocked it in, then finished it yesterday back at home. Still trying out different techniques with the Daler Rowney Acrylics. It's great having a go with a different medium, certainly more challenging and I did nearly gave up up! I started again with a colour complementary wash, you can see touches of red showing through the green in the foreground. I also tried rubbing some colour into the sea with my fingertips. This was the pastel artist coming through! I'm going to try some different glazes next.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Isle of Man

Well what did I think to Isle of Man? and did I make it round the Isle on two wheels?
I thought it was a little gem and can't believe that more people don't go.
We sailed smoothly to Douglas from Heysham and what an exciting feeling as we wheeled the bikes off the ferry a real adventure! Friday started with a thick sea fret and with the sound of the fog horn blasting we cycled along the wonderful flat promenade. 1st stop was the ancient capital 'Castletown' and what a pretty place this was with lots of painting opportunities, but with 25 miles to go I only had time for a rough sketch.
Castletown, love the signpost on the left, it's a 'duck' warning!
After the quaint sleeping town of Port Erin and cycling alongside the coastal road, it was time to head inland and upland  and up the mountain pass. With so much varied scenery and such a beautiful time of year for spring flowers the pass was not too bad! This was also part of the TT route, but we had the road to ourselves, Bilberries were ripening in the heather and the golden gorse was everywhere to be seen.
'Peel' a very special little place. We reached Peel and found the B&B it didn't have a website and seemed to be the last room in Peel when I booked it, so we did wonder what it would be like! But shouldn't have worried our two elderly hosts treated us lovely and with a massive cooked breakfast to see us on our way, they knew the hills we had yet to climb! But getting back to 'Peel' set in a beautiful clean cove, with a castle and busy little harbour and a couple of pubs to watch the comings and goings of this local town, I could see the attraction.

Peel sea front, this was about as sea -sidy as it got, with locals and a couple of tourists enjoying a Saturday morning coffee.
Miles and miles of beautiful coast a perfect cycle tour. We stopped here for a breather and thought we had spotted basking whales, 20 had been seen the night before.
Gorse, Bluebells, Wild Garlic, and Cow Parsley perfumed our route around the Isle.

Now I did wonder which shoes and D40 thought I should take Red ones (which I don't have!) This lady obviously owns some!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Isle of Man on 2 wheels with sketchbook

I've never been to the Isle of Man but after seeing an advert about it, thought it would be a great place to cycle round!!! It's only 90 miles round, and with an overnight stop half way, it  should be an adventure! Now my predicament is which shoes and  sketchbook  can I fit into the panniers and can I get a paperback novel in as well as three days clothes? And then it's up to me to peddle my way around the Isle. Fingers crossed for no strong winds and calm sea's with it been a 3 1/2 hour crossing. Look forward to telling you all about it and sharing some sketches.

I've heard they have cats with no tails, and sheep with four horns and red necked wallabies, so will be keeping a watchful eye on the wildlife

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Lakeland Paintings

Stockley Bridge, Borrowdale
Acrylic By Jane Ward
For sale
Well  we are just about ready to put the Exhibition up tomorrow, it's been a day of framing, you think you don't have enough paintings and then you realise how much you've been painting! I've really enjoyed getting ready for this exhibition over the last few months and it's been great getting back into Acrylics. I painted the watercolour of 'Under Loughrigg' Under an umbrello last week and it was here that we heard the cuckoo, I pondered over what to call the painting 'Tales of the riverbank' 'Wet Afternoon' even thought of something 'Cuckoo' !
So if your near Keswick this weekend call in and say hello. 

Under Loughrigg

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Painting Exhibition in Keswick

Out of the Mist

Acrylic by Jane Ward

Another Acrylic session, I'm very impressed with the Heavy Bodied Daler/ Rowney Acrylics, I thought I would have a go at an old favourite. Creating the mist was my biggest obstacle, I wasn't sure where to begin, but there's nothing like just getting in to the painting, turning the music up and going with the flow! I've an exhibition this weekend in Keswick at Moot Hall, so it's been all go, and will be until it begins on Friday. It's the Jazz weekend in Keswick as well so should be a great atmosphere. Anyway it's back to framing for now.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Dead Colouring

Autumn Glory in Acrylics

Trying out the Acrylics again, this time trying out glazing which got my surfing the Internet about 'Dead Colouring' The famous Dutch artist 'Vermeer' used this technique in many of his paintings. The idea is that you block in your composition with one colour usually Raw Umber to figure out your tones, shadows and highlights, then just glaze over with many different glazes. I didn't try this out on 'Autumn Glory, but will have a go next time.
 Here's a link to more about 'Dead painting'

Louvre Paris, The Astronomer 1668 Johannes Vermeer
A bit more surfing and here is my favourite Vermeer which I went to see at the Louvre.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Mother Nature holds the Painting Brush!

Somethings you can't order or organise for a painting holiday or buy! This is one of the reasons why I keep pretty flexible, I can't order Blue sky everyday, I wish I could, but we would never mix those lovely greys nor can I order these graceful Deer's to prance by the studio window!

I've waited for months to see some buds or even leaves appear on the trees and out they all come at once.
And so the rain came when we sat down to paint beside the riverbank, and the watercolours got extra natural dampening, but they were all rescued and what wonderful and exciting shapes appeared. While sitting in the damp drizzle what lifts all spirits? The 1st Cuckoo singing right on cue!
A hidden corner of Dora's field, the famous piece of land owned by William Wordsworth where the planners refused him permission to build a house.
After a month thinking that there was no way my troupe of artists would see a single Bluebell flower, what joy it was to smell the Bluebells and see a carpet full of flowers, again something I can't order or buy, Mother nature is the one to ask!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

How to keep artists warm when painting en plein

You never know what's going to catch your eye, or inspire other artists, but this beautiful sun lite tree did on Monday. I think what helped was the old stone wall disappearing out of the picture, but it is a lovely Spring scene, and considering it was Bank Holiday in the Lakes, nobody came to observe what we were trying to capture or give advise!!
Driving past Thirlmere with mirror glass reflections, I hoped by the time I'd rounded up my flock of artists and made it to the shore of Rydal that smooth ripples would not be replaced with 'White Horses' But we made it there and what a view and so many pretty shades of Green and Cobalt blue sky.

The leaves are out in all their glory, I tried out a new colour today 'Green Gold' it mixed to just the right bright Spring Green with a touch of Winsor Blue and guess which tree it was used on?

But perfection does not last forever! The cold northerly winds blew gustily down the lake and froze all artists fingers. The mention of  Hot Chocolate with all the trimmings to revive, was enough to encourage  artists into the tearoom. How many Bags, easels and stools were left behind in the mad rush to get the Hot Choc!

Luck was on our side, or maybe mine! the sun came out, the wind died down and we all settled down to a paint a picturesque waterfall.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Which bag holds more painting gear!

Well I've checked the weather forecast at least 10 times since Friday and again just now, and I think we could see some sunshine for 'Grasmere outdoor painting course'. My art room looks like a tornado has hit it!! doors, drawers, cupboards all open, the table full of pencils, pastels and sit mats!! And now my biggest problem is WHICH BAG shall I use!!! What a dilemma to be in, The old trusty rucksack with plenty of pockets and also fairly waterproof, or one of the shoulder bags which will hold more but be open to the elements. Only I can decide and at 5.20 on a Sunday evening too late to buy another!! I've fancied painting all day today but like a Racehorse before the string has dropped, I've held myself back and sharpened pencils and cleaned up pastels ready for action tomorrow. I wonder sometimes if those who never paint know the pains we go through to capture that special moment, lugging easel, chairs, brollies and paints single handled to the chosen spot. To then not know where to start, and how frightening that empty paper can be,  to wrestle with the elements be it rain or worse wind, wasps or midges freezing hands or sun-burnt heads. But oh when you relax and leave all thoughts behind and capture that view, you realise it's all worth it and such a joy.
Right which bag will it be!!!