Tuesday, 28 September 2010

In the footsteps of the masters

Having a bus man's holiday in the South of France, I'm on the trail of Maitisse, Renoir and Picasso. Cycled into St Tropez I've never been to this part of France before so was excited and wondered what the jet set lifestyle would be like. We are travelling in the campervan so no luxury yaught for this artist! Was pretty impressed with the tiny port of St Trop, loved the pastel coloured buildings and the light is just fantastic, but not as keen on the pristine models and poodles. This small town was made famous by artists coming to visit in the early 19th century and you can understand why with the lovely weather, pretty squares with quite fantasic shadows under pines and old men watching games of bouilles it had all the qualites for an oil painting.
So making our way up the coastal road to Freyus and onto Cannes, and Nice to find Renoir's home and the church where Maitisse worked his powers of colour.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Perfect painting weather

Well the weather for the last two days in the Lakes as been lovely, what I call 'perfect painting weather' warm, sunny intervals, no wind and barely any rain showers. We sat this morning on the banks of Rydal water basking in sunshine( well not quite, the sun did come out and we un zipped our coats) Perfect reflections of the boathouse, and the colours are just starting to change, I even thought that they were changing in front of our eyes. After lunch we made our way to the waterfall, quite full after a weeks rain, and with the 'Dippers and Robins' for company and the sound of the gushing water we enjoyed the afternoon splashing some watercolours about, and everyone had a fabulous painting to remember a lovely day.

Rydal Waterfall

Near perfect reflections, fingers crossed for more tomorrow.

Threatening clouds but Sunshine prevailed in Easedale Valley

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Packing my bag

Spent the day getting ready for this weeks course in Grasmere, with rain most of today not good en plein weather! But watching the weather tonight on 'Countryfile' my hopes of an Indian Summer from Monday until Thursday looks quite possible!! Usually I pack my bag on the morning of the course, but couldn't wait to see how my new 'Matthew' bag from http://www.millican.com/ would look. Has you can see, I've got a decent size pad of Arches, a pocket either side for Brushes and on the other side camera tripod and  paint palette ( in a plastic bag, I don't want any leaking paint!) Sketch book in front and loads of room for an extra jumper,sandwiches and small stool. Having a zip at the front makes easy access. I can't tell you how lovely and soft it feels.

 Two pockets on the front, one is idea for the Coffee Cup.Two more on either side perfect for the secret Chocolate stash, the secret to a great outdoor painting is keeping the sugar level high.
Here's what I'm hoping for over the next few days for my troupe of artists. Sunshine, shadows and Blue skies.

Grasmere Shore with Helm Crag in the distance also know locally as 'Lion and Lamb'

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Quinacridone Gold

Did you know that 'Autumn' officially begins in Britain this year on 22nd September! I think it's a week early here in Keswick, strong winds, leaves turning to hints of gold, brambles ripe for picking and wonderful light. Much better for painting, I was reading somewhere that only the months containing the letter 'R' make a good landscape painting in the UK ! and I must admit I do find it a tiny bit difficult searching for subjects here in the Lakes in August. A bit too much Green. So I ordered some paints the other day and included a few warmer Autumn shades. Today I used just Quinacridone Gold with Permanent Rose, Cobalt and Winsor Blues and was very pleased with it's mixing ability. STOP PRESS 'sales of Quinacridone Gold sell out! But too all my students/artists that are coming up to Grasmere next week for 4 days of lovely painting there's going to be an Indian Summer taking place in Cumbria Starting Monday 12 noon and finishing Thursday 23rd Sept, I'm sure Quinacridone is going to find a place in my palette.
A few reasons why
1. Transparent, a big plus in a watercolour
2. Is a good mixer, dark Greens with Winsor Blue, Oranges with Permanent Rose, bright light Green with just a hint of Winsor Blue and it's lovely by itself.
3. Didn't go muddy
4.Layered well and gave good depth, good for tonal work.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Leisure Painter

Just a quick email from wet and rainy Keswick today, it still looks beautiful just!! Only joking the hills are popping out of swirling mist perfect watercolour. Not had the best of painting weeks 1, Buttermere watercolour too much green and also used some Gum Arabic which did'nt work to my benefit, will have to have another go! Big Acrylic of Scafell it's sitting in the shall I scap or carry on and become a masterpiece, corner.
But was chuffed to bits at getting the Leisure Painter yesterday and seeing my painting made front cover.Yipee.


Wednesday, 8 September 2010

New Look Web Site

Beautiful weather in the Lakes today but I've had my nose to the keyboard for nearly a week, rebuilding and re decorating the web site http://www.lakelandartcourses.co.uk/ we have some lovely new photo's hanging on the walls, New Dates for courses and a new venue, so why not take a look, I hope you like the new colour scheme. I can now leave the keyboard and with an order from Ken Bromley coming my way some new Autumn colours to play with. I've also got the New very exciting art bag ordered from http://www.millican.com/ it was a case of should I should'nt I? The old one might do! Is it extravagant! But then I thought oh bug...... 'I need it'
I'm pretty positive I'm not the 1st woman to say this about a bag!! But it's not gold and glittery, well it is actually it's 'Antique Gold' and it's 'The Matthew bag"

Italian Ladies deciding over which bag, I wonder who if not all of them bought one!!

Monday, 6 September 2010

Lodore Falls Hotel

I went proper sailing on Friday evening, it was something I wasn't really excited about, but looking forward to spending the evening sailing on Derwentwater with friends. But isn't it fantastic when you do something new that you really enjoy, I was in charge of the 'Hudder' I think it's named and spelt this way but not sure! Now would you put someone who doesn't know right from left in charge of a sailing craft!! Adrian our Captain just kept shouting 'head for Catbells Jane' and then, more excitement and challenges the sail went up. ' Feel the wind Jane and keep sailing into it' at this I had no idea but just kept moving the Hudder, but what absolute great fun. So we sailed on Derwentwater and moored next to this boat ( see below) getting on and off was a laugh especially with 'Bex's who had the handbag filled to capacity with everything a woman would need, but we managed and made our way to the Lodore Falls Hotel' I can't believe that all the time in Keswick this was my first visit. So after a slight appetizer, Dusk had fallen and darkness was nearly all about we made our way sailing under the starlight sky back to Portinscale. So today because I was so taken with Lodore Falls Hotel, I've been back to meet the manager, had a good look round the gorgeous rooms, fantastic Indoor and outdoor Pool and amazing gardens with stunning views over Derwentwater and we have a 'Lakeland Art Course taking place next year at this fantastic location. I'm updating the web site at the moment and hope to have all details on by the end of this week
 Here's a quick link to the hotel the  date will be Monday 18th until Friday 22nd July 2011

Sunset over Skiddaw

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Pillar from Wasdale Inn a truly classic walk

A truly wonderful day in the Lakes, it began early in the morning waking up to the sun shinning brightly, lighting the east ridges of Great Gable with colours of warm ochres and soft pinks. Boots on,bags packed full of sandwiches, plenty of water and camera at the ready a classic walk began. Along beside the bubbling stream, and into the open empty valley with Herwicks, dotted about grazing quietly in the warm morning sunshine. With only gushing waterfalls to be heard making our way up the bracken and heather filled mountain pass, hot sunshine highlighting the emerald inviting pools. Along the ridge and old friends appear Gable, Blencathra, Kirk fell and Scafell all basking contentedly in a cloud free blue sky. Near the top and views one cannot buy bring overwhelming tears of pure joy and pure happiness. Colours, shadows, shapes,drama and memories will all help to paint these marvellous fells, will it be Pastel, Acrylic I doubt that watercolour can do it justice. So after four mountain  tops along classic ridge paths with views of Lakes, Wild Tarns, and a sandy beach leading into a calm turquoise sea  through to the mountains of Isle of Man. Meeting a few happy walkers who all declared what a fantastic day was to be had, it was time to make our way down the steep scree, slipping but safely returning with tanned skins and a wonderful memories.

I hope to post very soon paintings from this glorious day.