Sunday, 30 September 2012

Heaton Cooper Family exhibition

 There's nothing like been inspired. I went to see the 'Heaton Cooper' exhibition at Rheged. This fantastic exhibition shows the works of four generations of artists, with over 100 original paintings and wonderful sketchbooks all showing simply stunning sketches. At £2.50 entrance it is worth every penny. I  have always loved Alfred Heaton Coopers paintings and there was some beautiful originals that I had not seen before. A truly stunning paintings of a waterfall in Norway was fantastic. With lovely watercolour paintings from Chamonix,  high mountain views of Scafell  and true classics of Lakeland vistas by William Heaton Cooper. An interesting documentary was showing in a small auditorium about the works of Julian and following him on high locations with canvases, really made you appreciate his large and and dramatic Oil paintings. 
So I came back home full of inspiration and put a few finishes touches to an  Alpine Scene that I'm working on for a new Online project.

 If you would like more information about my online watercolour course 
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Friday, 28 September 2012

A touch of Autumn

Autumn is on it's way to the Lakes. I'm seeing touches of Gold on the Trees. 
Perfect for those Quinacridone transparent shades, I've recently bought some 'Daniel Smith' watercolours and I must say some of the shades are just delightful. I'm sure over the next few weeks I'm going to post more Autumn photo's and paintings.

My favourite Sheep are Herdwicks and I'm often telling students how they are born black and then over the years their fleeces turn to a soft grey.So here are a few Herdwicks born this year. 

 And with Autumn just round the corner, and those dark evenings approaching it's a perfect time to learn a new hobby, for all those people who yearn to paint in watercolours or who have dabbled and would like a little guidance why not enrol today on my
or just send me an email

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Col de Faucille

My Intrepid Artists didn't get to see Mont Blanc, it stayed moody and elusive. I did get close. Cycling up Col de la Faucille I was promised a view that John Ruskin stated was magnificent, one hundred miles of Alps with  Mont Blanc towering high above Lake Geneva. So with this in mind the peddling begun, and it was easier than mighty Alpe d'Huez! 

Nearly at the top and a blue glaze softened the majestic view.
 The view is argued to be better than the Col de la Plaine but I'm not sure!

Mont Blanc in the distance from the top of Col de Faucille our 8th Tour de France pass

A brief hello from Mont Blanc after a cold night in Chamonix

Friday, 14 September 2012

Alpe d' huez and it's 21 hairpins

The Seventh pass and what a devil it was. The famous Alpe d' huez with its 21 hair pin  bends all the way to the top. Many people think this is an easier cycle up than Col Jour Plane, but I disagree. I know it was a warmer day and without much shade, it was pretty gruelling. Counting the hairpins along the way, did seem to help but at hairpin 13 I did think why not just go down. But something inside does make you want to  conquer this wretched mountain pass. Maybe because I didn't find it pretty, not many Alpine pasture scenes on this one. Plenty of men in Lycra fighting their way to the top and then descending like crazy, dare I say 'idiots' But saying all of this I'm delighted to say I did make it to the top.

Taking a five minutes breather

Only six to go

Yes it's up there behind those buildings.

The top, now 21 hairpins down.I must be crazy.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Fall in love, in Samoens

What an amazing week, wonderful company, fantastic scenery in every direction, perfect weather, fabulous food, our base at Chalet 365 which was a pure delight to enjoy. What more can I say, oh maybe I can't believe how many super paintings we all did. 

Super reflections

A base with a stupendous view and such lovely hosts Chris and Allie. 
Waking to these views every morning, and we were all inspired before breakfast

Samoens has a saying ' Fall in love with Samoens' I think we all did.

Evening light on Criou, we watched the sun go down and light up the rock with shades of pink.

Just a few of the paintings from this week.

So what more can I say, apart from a big big thank you to my intrepid artists, Alan, Nigel, Allie and Chris.

Fancy joining us next year?

Saturday 31st August to 7th September 2013
Just three en-suite rooms left 
for more details

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Sixt a painters paradise

Really no words can describe how wonderful it was to paint in Sixt. We enjoyed two days in this paradise, with Mountain peaks towering all around, cascading waterfalls everywhere you looked, crystal clear Blue skies and peace, well just a few walkers, and the odd bus trip or two!

Friday, 7 September 2012

The Unseen paintings of Mont Blanc

A little cloud inversion greeted us at the top of the Col de Joux Plane. 'Don't worry everyone lets have a coffee and it will burn off' famous last words! The Lake was still and serene. All settled down to wait for the glory to enfold before our very eyes

But the mist stayed till lunch, so Lake views were captured.

With occasional sunny peaks

Until they disappeared behind the ever thickening fog!

And then a group of walkers,  were they too heading for the elusive mountain peak?

Yes I think we will see the mighty Mountain in five minutes!

'Waiting for Mont Blanc' Watercolour

But eh ho Mont Blanc did not turn up for tea, so Allie's gorgeous Chocolate cake kept artists enthusiasm happy.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

A painting day in Samoens

Another perfect day in Samoens. The morning found us around the pretty village square, painting quiet street scenes, vegetable stands and the local Restaurant where we would be dining that night. Jardin Botanical had delights up the steep hillock, with a delightful chapel perched halfway, and a waterfall with the sounds of gushing water interrupted by an occasional Cow bell in the fields below.

Just one of the many atmospheric shots of Alpine peaks emerging from a mist of soft blue shades, all decided the colour would be Prussian Blue.
Afternoon tea of homemade cakes served again by our perfect hosts 
Allie and Chris at Chalet 365

Monday, 3 September 2012

A day at Sixt

With swirling clouds but a dry warm day we headed down to the pretty hamlet of Sixt. This band of Artists  had so many views to be captured.What to do first. It had to be the circling mist around the base of the crisp  snow capped mountain peaks.
Early snow 

After cafe and pastries it was time to find the next vista to study. A long panorama of Sharp peaks, softened with low cloud above towering Pines, changing into their seasonal shades.

Alpine skyline 

Then back to Chalet 365 for Cakes and tea, served on the terrace, perfect painting day.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Mist over Samoens

Mist over Samoens watercolour by Jane Ward

It's been a real mixed bag of weather since I last blogged, swirling mist in the valleys, beautiful to paint and gaze at, but not cycling weather.

Not lasting all day brief spells of hot sunshine.

Cobalt Blue skies trying to get out amid swirling mist, dramatic waterfalls plunging down endless depths, and fresh snow for picture postcard views ready to be painted.

And then to a 'Stag do' and thankfully not a real stag, I'm sure it wasn't!!

And here is Chalet 365 waiting for it's artists for a week of real Alpine beauty waiting to be discovered.