Monday, 29 November 2010

Christmas shopping in Keswick

 With all this wonderful festive weather here in Keswick, here's a shot of Moot Hall with the fluorescent mountaineer making his/her way up the triple mountain peak.

More mountain themed Christmas lights, they look pretty impressive for this 'Outdoor Marketplace'
Keswick, is a fantastic place for Christmas shopping, Friars for Chocolates, Fishers and Rohan for all the outdoor gadgets and gear, and many interesting galleries especially 'Viridian' which sells the best Original Paintings by an artist I know!!!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

The Streets of Keswick

It feels like the Alps here in Keswick, fresh mountain air, brilliant Blue skies and the odd Snowboarder, heading up Latrigg.

Nearly at the top, the ice chill was quite unbelievable no painting or sketching.

But what a view looking over the streets of Keswick out towards the  Lake

Think we needed Crampons on, even for this little hill! It was lethal underfoot.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

The snow in Keswick today

 Couldn't resist a walk to the lake, and thought I would share this joy with you
The moon over Grizdale Pike

Herdwicks and Catbells

Catbells reflected

It's going to be a cold, cold winter

Snow shadows

Friars Crag doesn't get much better than this

Taking off


Winter coat

Friday, 26 November 2010

A magic Medium

Hot footed it down to Heaton Cooper Studio in Grasmere to get some magic Acrylic medium that I hope will be the way forward, what you may ask is this little bit of Magic!! Well It's 'Matte Medium ' all singing all dancing' you may think I've lost the plot, but really as all artists know there's nothing like thinking this could be the product I've been searching for!! Last night looking at my Innominate Tarn sky section, a thunderbolt hit and I realised what I needed was depth in the clouds! So my magic new medium is going to help with these glazes.

I'll let you know how it goes, the one thing about painting at this time of the year is that daylight hours are very short.

So here is my Friday Tunes,

Its a lovely up lifting tune, you can't beat a bit of 'Take That'

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Art Vouchers for Courses

No snow yet here in Keswick, it seems to have hit the Eastern side of Northern England but the Met Office tell me tomorrow at 6 pm Keswick will have heavy snow, Lets see. I've been painting an Acrylic for the last three days on and off, I keep getting stuck so answering emails for my online watercolour course, sending Calendars and  Christmas Art vouchers for Holidays and Courses as kept me busy and given me time to look at the painting of Innominate Tarn to see how it's evolving. The sky is most challenging especially in Acrylics. But a walk down to the Lake has helped with ideas, so tomorrow I'll see if it works

This is day two, used quite a few Primary glazes as an under base

Day three still a bit to go.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

The lost valley

The Lost Valley, Glen Coe Watercolour by Jane Ward

With the little bit of snow we got last week, and I think there may be some more on the tops today, I was definitly in the mood for some snowy drama. And where better than the 'Lost Valley in Glencoe. I've been into this valley three times twice in Summer and once in Winter. I had sketch pad and paints with me then and kept poor Nigel sitting by my side freezing!! It's funny but when your sketching in the outdoors it's not until you stop that you feel the cold!!
It's a very famous valley in the Scottish Highlands and you can feel the history and drama when you walk in.The residents of Glen Coe, famed for their cattle thieving activities were reputed to have used it as a safe haven for the cattle they stole from richer neighbours.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Friars Crag a special place.

A favourite little haunt, love this view and place. It's Friars Crag on Derwentwater, it's a lovely place to watch the end of the day with ducks and Geese flying by.It's been all go lately with no time to walk the fells so a walk down to Friars Crag is next best.

Winter reflections Tarn Hows Watercolour by Jane Ward
 I dare not tell you that this is 'Tarn Hows' I've obviously got a thing about another beautiful place in the Lake District, I will have to visit soon, maybe that might help with this addiction. Used just 3 colours one of them was my new Raw Umber winter colour. Walking down to Friars Crag today and I could see Raw Umber everywhere!! I'm demonstrating this little watercolour tomorrow at  Keswick monthly art group.

Friday, 12 November 2010

A week of weather

You've needed your woolly coats this week, we've had snow, ice, Gails and lots of rain. Oh and Wednesday was glorious but the nasty wind has blown all the colourful leaves out of the Lake District. Luckily on Wednesday morning I took a detour down to the Lake, with camera at the ready and snapped some beautiful photo's, I'm pleased I did. With the 80 mile an hour winds that came on Thursday, the only leaves left are on the ground.

I've never painted this boathouse, but it caught my attention on Wednesday sitting bathing in the morning sunshine.

You won't be able to tell but most of the ducks where having a morning nap!

'Robinson' the mountain or fell on your left, one of my favourites seen from Derwentwater.

 Here's this weeks  Friday 'tunes'

Not sure what I'm dreaming but the 'all the leaves are brown and the skies are grey!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Autumn Leaves, Tarn Hows Step by Step Pastel on fisher 400 paper

Stage one With the paper taped down  I laid on Unison pastels heavily, covering all of the paper. I thought about colour complementaries and flashes of bright colour showing through.

Stage two, using a damp old sponge I blended all the pastels together, I then dried with a hairdryer, making sure the paper was dry before I started to lay on more pastel.

Stage three Detail in the background was painted in a negative fashion, notice how the sky shapes the leaves and shows the colour laid on in the 1st stage.

 Finished painting
Autumn Leaves, Tarn Hows Pastel by Jane Ward
I thought I would have a go in Pastels at the Acrylic painting I did last week. It's a bit all go at the moment with 'Tirral Art Group' Pastel Demonstration tomorrow. It's an Autumn scene, any guesses on what the view is!
Looking at the Acrylic and Pastel side by side, I'm not sure which one I prefer, the pastels are softer and the Acrylic is slightly more photographic?

Tarn Hows Acrylic

Monday, 8 November 2010

First snow this season.

Had a drive down to the banks of Ullswater yesterday, and was surprised to see Snow on the very tops.

 So you can imagine how excited I was to see Catbells covered in fresh snow this morning, I don't think it will last long, but it does seem quite early.

Driving down to Grasmere this morning caught this bleak scene on Dunmail Raise. Picked up some Fisher 400 paper from Heaton Cooper Studio and then spent a lovely cosy afternoon painting but looking out onto the snow covered fells. It was raining, hailing so not outdoor painting weather!!
Thirlmere with snow on the back fells, but the trees are still holding onto their golden leaves.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

The plough above Penrith

Well it's a wrap!! Really enjoyed meeting all the students that came along to my Art Live workshop yesterday the ladies from Columbia and  South Africa,The chaps from Ireland, and the delightful artist  from the Wirral! Everyone was very enthusiastic and in the small amount of time we had and  there was some fantastic Autumn scenes captured. Driving back up the busy M6 at rush hour was made less painful with the displays of Fireworks that were lighting the sky. But the best  was seeing 'The Bear or Plough' lighting the sky above Penrith.Spending time in a busy city always makes me appreciate living here in Keswick. Looking out of the top window this morning and seeing the light on Catbells and Robinson is a view that takes some beating.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Art Live workshop

I know it's not Bluebell time of the year, but we have such a miserable wet day here in Keswick we need a little 'Bluebell Magic'
Major quick blog, just about to drive down to the NEC Birmingham for tomorrow's Workshop day with Daler Rowney, fingers crossed I've remembered everything. How am I feeling about doing my 1st workshop at the Nec? Really excited. Just need to drive safely down the rotten wet  M6!!!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

The wettest place in England

Nasty, Nasty today here in Keswick. It's rained most of the day and at times torrential, and the strong gusts are blowing all those precious golden leaves away. We all know that Seathwaite approx 8 miles from Keswick is the wettest place in England, but I'm not aware which is the Sunniest and driest? So after checking on google

Sunniest is Eastbourne with average 146 days of sunshine per year, or 34,6 hours per week. But no mountains and Lakes there!

St Osyth, Essex is the driest place in the UK, with only 19inch approx of rain on average per year recorded over the last 40 years! But on the down side St Osyth Beach contains Essex's largest concentration of static caravan parks!

Seathwaite is pelted by around 124 inches of rain each year. Gosh can you believe it, no wonder we have Beautiful Lakes and gushing waterfalls and I have to wear  full mountain gear and wellingtons to go to the post office.

This doesn't show how wild it was!
The tall approx 30 foot  Christmas tree arrived in Keswick and was put up today, I hope it lasts till the festive time