Thursday, 27 January 2011

Outdoor Weekend watercolour

I've wanted to walk round this lake for ages, so with threatening skies and freezing cold northerly winds,  a perfect time! Leaving the car at Skelwith Force and walking beside the gushing falls towards the open river. It was flat all the way, with a few prams and mountain bikes for company. What a lovely surprise, it's great going somewhere new and exploring. Today was not the day for painting outdoors, it seemed colder than in the Alps. But using the famous words of a certain actor 'I'll be back' On hopefully a warmer sunny day. For the outdoor artist, it's perfect, 15 minute walk and A Bench with a glorious view over Elterwater towards the Langdales.

The Langdales from the river Brathay

The Langdale Pikes with a few slithers of snow

 STOP PRESS Outdoor Based Two days spent around Derwentwater painting in classic locations suitable for students who have dabbled in watercolour and never painted 'en plein' or for those who enjoy painting in small groups. Walking between locations or catching the launch to quiet delightful bays around Derwentwater.Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th April 10.30am to 4pm £125.00

Monday, 24 January 2011

Watercolour Holidays in Italy

The view from Cacciatore, Sulzano.
What is the Cacciatore? It's a wonderful Trattoria above Sulzano, for the non speaking Italians it means 'The Hunter' so it's not really a place for the vegetarian, but I'm sure the wonderful Stella could russle something tasty. So let me tell you about this photo, well it was taken by Jan one of the artists on the course. We walked slowly up the small hill after having breakfast at the Rivalago. Which is set on the most beautiful bays on Lake Iseo. Reaching the gateway with paints, paper and cameras at the ready and small gasps I'm not sure if it was the view or the walk. A wonderful morning of quiet sketching, contemplating and just soaking up this magical place was followed by a rustic bowl of homemade pasta parcels filled with delicious cheeses, bread, salad and to wash it down a crisp cool glass of prosecco. We sat under the shaded gazebo and painted under the warm afternoon sun until it was time to head back down towards the inviting warm lake.
If you fancy joining me this year in August at the Rivalago and sampling the wonderful atmosphere just get in touch at All abilities are welcome and there is plenty for the non painting to spend his or her time.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The first outdoor Sketch of 2011

After this morning's class I felt I just I had to go and have a look at what we had been painting, also the sun was shinning with a Spring feel everywhere.

I had my sketchbook packed just in case, and wondered what would catch my eye? Light on the rocks and beautiful coloured ripples at Calfe Close Bay. The 1st outdoor sketch of 2011, and what a pleasure, with the sun shinning, but the watercolour did take a while to dry. You really can't beat sketching outdoors, and Derwentwater has so many painting opportunities. Why not come on a Lakeland Art course and try it out?

The evidence just a quick scribble

Stable Hills, Derwentwater by Jane Ward
This morning demonstration, Spring Greens mixed with Lemon Yellow and Winsor Blue, hints of Burnt Sienna in the sky.

Monday, 17 January 2011

January Resolutions

Stable Hills, Derwentwater

It's amazing how a week away can recharge the batteries, and help focus on new projects, old ideas and January resolutions! I'm speaking and demonstrating tonight for the Ladies WI in Threlkeld so straight back to it! I'm also teaching my monthly Wednesday group this week and think the above view beside Derwentwater could make an interesting subject. I'll keep you posted how it all goes and the resolutions! 

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Alphine Glow on 'The Dru'

Alphine glow over the 'Dru' what glorious shades of Pink and Orange. I really enjoyed watching the changing moods in the Chamonix valley and gazing at those magnificent Alpine Peaks this week, but time for a Cumbrian Fell now.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Sunrise over 'The Dru'

Sunrise over 'The Dru' Watercolour by Jane Ward
We had a fantastic Sunrise yesterday, the only trouble is it's happens so fast and early!!!
'The Dru' is one of my favourite peaks and it took a good five minutes to recognise it from a different angle, but  lovely to see an old friend. Three primary colours were only used in our brief meeting.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Off Piste skiing in Chamonix

After two days of bad weather we ventured up the mountain for a spot of skiing. A few days ago it was all sheet ice and a clacking noise that made the heart race. While today I had my first foray off the piste on powdery deep snow, where the skis disapeared and I just had to keep going, again with a pumping heart but silence.

 Mighty Aguille di Midi the highest cable car in the world, if you look closely you can see the man made viewing platform on the top. I've been up quite a few times in the past and it is certainly a white knuckle ride!
A quick sketch, while watching the mist open up and reveal snow capped mountains, rising sharply and never ending into a Cobalt blue sky. The trouble was everytime I looked up from the paper, the view was changing before my eyes. I realised this would make an exciting proposal on a large canvas. 

It started with just the barn and a few trees and then the curtains opened and the performance began.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

A damp day in Chamonix

Came across a group of famous climbers today whilewalking about in a wet damp Chamonix. Woner how long it took to paint, but loved it.

Whlie skiing yesterday, what came across most of all was the colour Brown and not snow shadows of Blue!!

But there was some snow shadows up at at La Tour

Friday, 7 January 2011

What a view from the Living room

Just sharing my view with you, it is so stunning, if your wondering where it is? It's not a Lakeland fell but a French Alp! I'm staying at Les Houches which is a few miles from Chamonix. My only concern is have I got enough paper, will keep you posted.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

The night watchman

Had a long drive to France through the night and learnt a few things on route!
Had the radio on and listened to someone talking about 'The Night watchman' ah thought I'd tuned into a good art programme, then a maiden was mentioned, still thought it was talking art! When the 'Cook' was brought into the equasion still did'nt twig!! And then memories of seeing the 'watchman' live let me dream for a while until I realised I was listening to The Ashes!! But tonight could see the masterpiece been finished!!