Friday, 29 July 2011

Skiddaw in Watercolour

I wanted to do something special for Blogs 3rd birthday, so I painted a pictue, I have yet to bake the cake
Started  nice and early with everything set up outside, but unlike yesterday the sun was shinning strongly down on the paper. Not easy to paint in these conditions unfortunatly. Paper blindness and washes drying hard lines on the paper. So back indoors and up to my Ivory Tower. Now I was quite tickled pink( Opera of course) with how this painting came out. So I put it in full view for 'number one critic' to see when he walked through the door, in fact he nearly had to step over it!! But eyes were only for latest cricket score! Ummm does he know the sweat and thirst I have gone through. Why you say 'Thirst' well I forget to drink while painting!
So you may wonder what  'Number one critic' when he did finally looks at the painting blocking his way? 'I like Blue skies' How do I say sweetly it was the misty atmosphere and drama that caught my attention. without hitting him round the head with the frying pan!!

So before I get the frying pan out of the cupboard, I want to thank all fellow bloggers, artists, lovers of Italy, dog owners, Australian ladies and my Dad who all leave lovely and  positive comments, without you I would'nt do a blog
Here are the ingredients used for the painting

Here is a link to a great watercolour book, that shows some great techniques

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Circling clouds on Skiddaw

Sketchbook tales begins today, with a new shiny book bought fresh this morning from Heaton Cooper.Swirling mists had me hot footing it down to the Lake shore along with everyone else!
Where would I find a quiet suitable corner

Derwent Isle caught my attention, but I've sketched it many times, but not with these lovely yellow daisies in the foreground.

The swirling mist which I had spied earlier was now just sitting on top of some of the fells, perfect reflections of Friars Crag, again from a different angle.

Now this isn't a fantastic photo and it just shows how much more you see when sketching 'en plein' nor do you hear the shrieks of joy from people playing on the lake in a giant ball! Turner never had to cope with this, but maybe he did.

Circling clouds on Skiddaw 28th July 2011

It's Blogs 3rd Birthday tomorrow, I'll keep you posted on the celebrations and presents.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Towards the Alps from Lago Maggiore

I painted this from lovely memories and a reference sketch while having a coffee.
The painting also has a little story, for some reason I couldn't stop looking at this simple view and wondering about the village in the distance. What was supposed to be a short cycle ride later that day turned into an epic ride, for me that it! Forty five miles later, trying to find the cycle route around Lake Maggiore without a map! we passed through this pretty village and with five minutes to spare caught the ferry back to Cannobio. And a big fat Ice cream sundae. I'm back in the English Lakes and struggling with painting. What to paint, Oils, Pastels or watercolours, where to go. But on opening my sketchbook the answer is there?
Take just the sketchbook and go and be inspired, I'll let you know where I get to.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Italian Blues

Lake Iseo

Just put the finishing touches to 'Lake Iseo' this was the view from the Rivalago every appertivi time! And it caught my attention every few minutes. This painting is going into my 'Italian Lakes' exhibition next week at Viridian Gallery, Keswick. I've also had my 100th Online watercolour student, what started as an idea in the middle of the night, is now a real enjoyable challenge. It's wonderful seeing students work progress through the course and I can't believe how good the paintings are that are produced. If you fancy having a go gives more information. Or if you fancy real time I have a place on a total beginners workshop this Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th July in Keswick.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Cannobio revisited

So starting where I left off! Lake Orta was visited but only briefly, what happened at Bellagio to me happened here too. Busy crowds and a major thunderstorm had us leaving quickly heading back to Lake Maggiore and Cannobio! We enjoyed a couple of days camping at 'Paradis' a classic cycle ride from Cannobio, passing Ascona, Locarno and round to Maccarno and a ferry bike to Cannobio. I managed a few sketches of the dramatic scenery, but could have painted much more in this delighful Italian town. A brief overnight stop in Frieburg and another amazing storm, followed by a chilly night in Bastogne and then onto Saint Omer and the long drive up England back to sunny Keswick!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, 8 July 2011

The night of the storm

The storm had threatened all day, suddenly it built up dark threatening clouds above a deep emerald lake, swirling mist caught in mountain passes.Loud thunder clattered and lightening lite the dark sky. We watched it arriving from the lakeside with camera and video at hand. While campers tightened poles and quicky grabbed chairs and tables getting ready for the onslaught of mother nature! I could'nt stand watching any longer, the thunder was above and the rain was starting to fall.I raced back into the comforts of the van and watched poor campers try to keep dry and Nigel holding onto the canopy for dear life! So you may wonder what happened, well I did go out and give support to the canopy and felt the wind try to pick it up, while watching the waves come crashing over the small wall onto a poor tent full of four Chinese tourists.But luckily it lasted only 15 minutes and the only damage was four very wet tourists that packed up and went looking for the nearest hotel and my camera case that I forgot to pick up while dashing back to the van!
You may wonder how the painting is going well it's still all very Winsor Blue, Opera Rose and Lemon Yellow here. But most of all I see Blue!

Monte IsolePosted by Picasa

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Lakeland art courses in Italy

Coffee time Italian style

What a fantastic week it's been, weather perfect, stunning views to paint around Lake Iseo and wonderful company. We have painted Pisogne, Sulzano, Monte Isole just to name a few and always with friendly Italians making kind comments about the masterpieces.A few things for me that makes painting at Lake Iseo very special is the unbeliveable warm welcome we get from the Rivalago and local trattoria's, stunning  colourful scenery wherever you turn and a truly relaxed atmosphere.greets us wherever we go. So because of that it seems silly not too return next year and share with you this amazing experience.

Sat 23rd  to 30th June 2012 Painting watercolours in Italy
Staying at the wonderful Rivalago
Price £1,050 and £895 for non painting partners
If you would like a brochure for more details,
just send me a email 

Painting at Rivalago

Apertivi with wonderful company

A truly spectacular sunset for the end of the Painting holiday.