Friday, 25 June 2010

A perfect painting location

Just a very quick blog, what a fantastic week the weather turned out bellissimo, the painting locations have been challenging but fun, and Italy has got to be the most wonderful place to paint, well it does help having great food and wine!

Three little cutie's

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

England flags are flying

Now the Italian flag is flying, the sun is out and the old cliche' the sky is Blue and there really is nothing to spoil this view' We've had two lovely painting days in Lake Iseo, it is quite a magical place to paint.The locals are so friendly and nothing is too much trouble. It helps that the ice cream and pasta oh and of course the Franciacorta wine is delightful!Today the trusty artists are making their way by treno to the fishing town of Pisogne about 25 minutes from Sulzano at the head of the lake. The train follows alongside the lake edge and into the mountains so it should be a pretty ride.
So will the England flag be flying today, and will they make it into the next leg!! This is of course not the trusty artists, but the calcio team.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

After the Cloudburst

With Heavy skies full of more Italian rain, the enthusiatic watercolour party set off, with Umbrello's at the ready and sketchbooks to hand. Latte Macciato's helped the days first pen and ink sketch in Piazza Garibaldi, then moving on swiftly between the prolonged showers we found an undercover place on the front. Skies of grey, with low cloud adding to the damp atmosphere, but plenty of stripped turquoise posts to brighten up the painting. A glass of red helped the afternoon along and watercolours all came out to play.

Only in Italy do you see, a man with pink trousers, on a bike, with Umbrello up and managing to speak into a mobile phone.

'After the cloudburst'
Painted in watercolours by Jane Ward

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Forever the Optimist!

Well what can I say? I hear the weather in Keswick is HOT HOT HOT, and here in Lake Iseo it is RAIN, THUNDER, RAIN, but I have faith in the Italian met office which tells me that we will have sunshine for my Watercolour course starting Saturday.And so cucked up in the van, with luckily 2 pints of Milk for Coffee,with the kettle plugged in, it is kind of fun watching the storm! It must be the English in me! ' We are on holiday and we will enjoy it, whatever the weather' But I should have brought some boots, instead of sandals and flip flops, but on the positive side we are in Italy home of leather footwear.

Low Cloud over Lake Iseo

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Cows with Bells

Three days of driving, with overnight stops in 'Sandwich' a pretty village near to Dover, 'Sempach' a small pretty lakeside town near Basel in Switzerland. On arriving  in Lake Iseo the 1st thing that is needed after 1100 miles is 'Una Gelateria' Italian Ice cream!. The river and Lake seem high and driving through Switzerland the waterfalls were so dramatic gushing water down the steep Ravines, it a stunning country, near perfect dramtic scenery, snowy mountain peaks peaking through swirling soft cloud, lush green pastures, cows with bells and pretty wooden chalets. But on reaching Italy, the Landscape softens, colourful Pinks, soft Yellows and Terracotta buidings sit on mountain edges, vineyards slope down the mountain, and the petrol stations are full of people talking, smoking and eating off picnic tables set with cloths and full baskets overflowing with food.
And so what is next after an Ice Cream of course a Pizza.

Friday, 11 June 2010

The kitchen sink is packed!

Sensole, Monte Isola
 It's that time of year again, the paints, camera, novels, hammer and this time kitchen sink is packed. Checked the weather, the euro, web cam see link below and google mapped, it's amazing what you can do on the internet preparing for a trip. Now there's just 1100 miles to drive from Keswick to Iseo Town, this year we've got a camper van. So  It' Thunderbirds are go!!

Thursday, 10 June 2010

A chosen doorstep

A Strange sky took us down to the Lake today, I don't mean it gave us a lift down! Just thought we would get a better view from Crow Park, and what a lovely view, to think that this was on the way into town, to go to the Bank, Boots and Post Office. When I 1st moved to Keswick I would often walk this way just to go to the Supermarket, it's got to be better than Camberley Tesco's. I pick Camberley Tesco because to get there you had to drive amongst 8 other lanes, a massive roundabout and then 50 odd checkouts to contend with.

I also remember saying to a friend 'we are so lucky to have this on our doorstep' the friend replied 'Ahh but Jane you moved your doorstep to have this!'

Iris's in Bloom Hope Park Keswick

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Raindrops in Keswick

A few raindrops fell today on  my pretty little Viola's. We've amazingly not had much rain in the last 3 months! Dare I say! You can see better with the shot Itook tonight of Friars Crag. Often where the people are stood on the right of the picture is where the Lake comes to!

Monday, 7 June 2010

Cumbria folk

I've not felt like posting a blog with everything that's has gone on in Cumbria. Seeing places that you know so well in terrible situations, I can't believe what  happened, it's been shocking.Cumbria is a special place, and seeing how local people react and support each other makes it so.