Saturday, 21 December 2013

My five favourite paintings 2013

Here are my top five favourite paintings from this year. All chosen for special reasons 

Peas from Provence fresh from Samoens Market
I love going down to the market each Wednesday, seeing what is on offer and all mainly what is in season, the stalls are prepared like works of art and the smells so enticing.

Daisies and Buttercups

I painted a jar of wild flowers five days on the trot, all very different having positive and some negative issues. Sitting in the shade, trying to capture the delicate and bright hues was truly delightful. 

Polka Dot Jersey

Watching the tour de France was an amazing spectacle, the bright colours of the jerseys flashing by. We watched it over two days one very wet and stormy on Croix Fry and a beautiful sunny start from Annecy, the Polka Dot jersey was painted from this.

Sunshine Mooring

Getting the Oils out and figuring out this intimate scene, challenged me. The reflections of the rowing boats, in the clear Lake Iseo waters and shadows on the posts on a warm afternoon inspired me 

Alpine Retreat

Waking to fresh snowfall, the paints came straight out, a scrap of paper was found and about twenty minutes was spent painting this little scene from the warmth of the chalet.
Been inspired by the seasons and light makes painting such a joy, I hope you've enjoyed my painting time in the Alps this year.

If you would like a week painting in this magical place staying in the best chalet in the French Alps with lovely friendly hosts why not join me? Lakeland Art Courses with Jane Ward

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

My top ten paintings 2013

 Here are the first five of my top ten paintings from this years time in the Alps.
 I've loved painting a different landscape with new views that opened my eyes to new ideas and it's fantastic hearing lovely comments and positive vibes along the way. Thank you

'Blossom Chez Nous' painted in Watercolours
We had just arrived in the Alps, there was Blossom on nearly every tree and carpets of Golden Yellow Dandelions. I wanted to capture a sunny Spring day.

Sunshine Meadow, Samoens painted in watercolours
I painted this en plein with a friend over two afternoons,we watched and painted the thunder and lightening from under the Umbrella, while poor Alison wondered were we even safe, but we came back when the weather broke and finished our paintings.

Maglio Rosso, Giro d' Italia painted in watercolours

Seeing Mark Cavendish wearing the Maglio Rosso jersey on the side of an Italian road and watching the peleton race by  filled me with so much inspiration. I had never painted a cyclist before, but negative thoughts never even came to mind.

Floating painted in watercolours

Swimming in Lac Annecy and sitting on this old jetty on a hot August day was all it needed.

Lac Montriod painted in watercolours

A twenty minute stop while walking round the lake, spent with fellow artists. We quickly got the paints out and just enjoyed the peace and beauty of this lovely lake

The last five will follow tomorrow

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Winter Morning, Samoens painted in Gouache

I've wanted to paint this little scene for ages, and with just two days left at Bonamour chalet, the paints quickly came out early this morning. I choose warm Ochre Murano Pastel paper, stretching it first and then painting on the smooth side.I used a very limited palette of Gouache paints, limited because I only have a few colours!
 What I wanted to capture: the bright light and the Mauve shadows on the roof tops , Winter trees parting their branches to reveal the small town of Samoens below and finishing with the sparkling snow in the foreground casting shadows. I managed to paint a little of this outside in sub zero conditions, but  in the  sunshine. I'm trying out this technique because I think it could be ideal for some real Winter conditions in the New Year.

Colour Sketch Winter Morning, Samoens

Friday, 6 December 2013

Painting in the Snow

We have just a few days left at Chalet Bonamour, I've loved ever minute living here watching the changing seasons all from the balcony. And of course trying to capture it on paper or canvas. You may have noticed I've painted this little wood a few times, It's a hard one!!! There's been lots of rubbing of the head and thinking I'm going to scrap it, but it keeps grabbing my attention. The sun popped out for a few hours today, so out came the easel, well it's actually, a pochade box on an tripod. I started this canvas a few weeks ago and would like to finish it sometime!! Notice the snow, I know I'm painting  Autumn leaves, the imagination melted the snow in front of me! And the puffer jacket kept me warm, I do love painting outside, with the inspiration just there in front of you, giving ideas and showing hints of light.

Still not finished! I will post it again when 'the fat lady is finally singing' The perfect gift for an aspiring artist.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Paris in a weekend

'The kiss ' Hotel Ville by Robert Doisneau 
I bought this print in my early twenties, so I had to go and find the spot in Paris where it was photographed.

A couple of days in Paris. 

We walked miles and miles linking famous landmarks. From the dizzy heights of Sacre- Coeur to finding Hotel de Ville my favourite Paris photo. Up and down the Christmas Market on Champs Elysees under the Arc de Triomphe and along the Seine arm in arm looking at what the street artists had to offer. Had possibly the most expensive Coffee ever in the Tullieries Jardin. Looked at the queues at the Orangiere and decided on Rodin's place, was inspired by the Thinker and in awe at Rodin's portrait by Singer Sargent. Sampled the Marais galleries on a  Sunday afternoon. Figured out the metro colours and ate Croque Monsieur. Loved the train ride from Annecy to Gare de Lyon and delighted people watching while having Petit Dejeuner of warm croissants at a street cafe in Monmatre. Listened to Jazz, Street Buskers and a wonderful legend guitarist called Tony Iommi. 

Shafts of Light from Sacre -Couer