Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Castlerigg stone circle Demonstration

Castlerigg Stone Circle 

Here is the demonstration piece from this mornings class. 
Yet another view of the famous Circle of stones, this time a close up of the stones. A limited palette of Ultramarine, Permanent Rose, Burnt and Raw Sienna and a touch of Cerulean. In this view I enjoyed painting a more atmospheric and misty background. The stones were aided by a palette knife.

It was my last class with this friendly group of artists before we head off to the French Alps. 
It is amazing what you learn from painting in a group and seeing everyone's different perspective and personality show in their work but best of all seeing their work grow with confidence. 

Old posts, Derwentwater at Twilight 

A watercolour class in the Lakes that you don't need to leave home for.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Bianchi Baby

I've never quite understood, when hearing about cycles been kept indoors! But now I do. 
Here is my dream machine that is going to power me up Passes and Cols. Bianchi Baby is far too pretty to live outside in the cold garage. I bought my Italian speed machine from Mike at Palace cycles in Carlisle. Mike gave  fantastic and kind advice to a novice like me, he put extra gears on, for those steep steep climbs and  a set of different brakes for more control on those long descents. A ladies seat for more comfort and changed my handlebars into a better position so I can enjoy gazing at the scenery passing by. 
If you fancy a Bianchi Baby I cannot recommend Palace cycles enough for such fantastic service.

So now I have the Dream machine, and just need to make dreams come true.
It's just over a months time till I leave for the French Alps and the adventure begins.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Castlerigg Stone Circle Lying down

I do like to paint the seasons as they are happening, so with fresh winter snow blowing wildly outside.
Castlerigg Stone Circle was captured this week in watercolours. I've had a few visits up there, early morning and late afternoon. All times have been freezing cold, after the first visit I didn't forget my gloves again.
The above photo shows Blencathra resplendent in early morning sunshine. 
Below is looking towards the Helvellyn range, Jason Chambers a photographer friend of mine suggested lying on the floor to capture a great pose, so this pic is taken lying on the frozen ground. 

For painting Castlerigg Stone circle watercolour , I did stand quite comfortably and not lie on the floor but when I see the two scenes together maybe I should try a lying down painting!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Art Mart, Ambleside

Grange in Borrowdale painted in Pastels.
Painted on Fisher 400 paper with Unison pastels.
For sale at Grasmere Art Exhibition.

Today I've spent the day in the studio framing up some of the paintings which I am entering into Grasmere Art exhibition and 'Art Mart' in Ambleside.Both exhibitions are on over Easter. 
Fingers crossed the weather improves we had another fresh dusting of snow on the hills today and small flakes fell all day. I'm hoping to get out to paint those Wordsworth daffodils!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Barnacle Geese on Derwentwater

The joy of walking down to Derwentwater with the camera is that I never quite know what will inspire me. Today these little stripped characters caught my eye. I thought they were ducks but after some research
 I find they are Barnacle Geese thanks to the RSPB web site I think they would make an interesting watercolour study and good for practising tonal work.

This reminded me of 'Red boat on Windermere' a watercolour I painted last year. It's become one of the projects in my Online watercolour course 

 Ducks all settling down for the night and Fresh snow on Robinson in the distance.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Moody Blues, Derwentwater

Moody Blues, Derwentwater 

Painted in Pastels by Jane Ward
Size 18 x 6.5 inches
Chilling days in the Lakes found me trying out some new pastel techniques on an old favourite pastel paper Hermes P400 Grey. Some folks don't like this strong harsh pastel sandpaper and for those who are just beginning in pastels it can be very cruel to the fingertips. Because of this you can load so many bright layers on top without getting any moody effects. I tried a little Acrylic under painting and then choose a tonal palette of Unison sticks.

 Gemini Dream by Moody Blues

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Spring is on the way, or not.

A Sunday stroll down to Calf Close Bay. Fresh Snow in Borrowdale

But signs of Spring lighting up the way.

Across to Causey Pike with a dusting of Snow on the top

I've often thought this would make an interesting pastel painting. With Skidaw in the distance and Ochre grasses in the foreground. 

Golden Yellow Gorse 

One of my favourite views down Derwentwater

Grizedale Framed with a single tree, or is it two trees?

A quick snow storm, to remind me that Winter is still here.

And then the Sun came out over Barf. Note the lovely mist perfect for a watercolour.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Rose Buds and Daisies in watercolour

Rose Buds and Daisies painted in Watercolours

Happy Mums Day xx

Here is the demo piece I painted on Wednesday. I have taken the scissors to it!
Did a little cropping and tried to look at the negative shapes instead of the positive.

The class on Wednesday was a little different,  trying to concentrate on what I find a challenging subject.
Was not helped by no Electric on, an Electrician in and out, catching the easel when he passed by.
He did look slightly bemused at gentleman with hairdryers in hand, but he did not know they were drying their precious paintings.

Next came a school cook banging by on the way to an oven that was pinging to let her know the playschool flapjack was ready. This is all going on while I'm trying to figure out am I using Opera Rose or Permanent Rose and do I mask out the daisies. 

Usually it's all peaceful with just the tinkering of brushes against jam jars full of water.

Sometimes demonstrating does make me smile.

Last week I  had a high up forestry person, walk in on a demo, come and stand at the front  and look at the tree I was painting and asked ' Is this an Ash in Autumn ?
Looking up startled ' No I replied it's a Jane Ash Tree

That got him thinking!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

A new adventure

I thought I might have a look into the past few years at the same time this week to see what was inspiring me,  where I was, and what the weather was up to

March 2009 Still snow on the fells but I'm managing some en-plein

March 2010 A fantastic trip up to the Scottish Highlands.

March 2011 In the studio with Italian music and cappucino on hand and a bright Poppy and Vines pastel

March 2012 Planning a sketching trip to Samoens, wondering how many sketch pads an artist can have.

It's good to look back I've enjoyed seeing what I was up to.

So what about March 2013?

 I have a big adventure coming up and are planning for it, wondering how many sheets of Arches paper I'm going to need and do I need a new easel? The French dictionary is certainly getting packed

I've always dreamed of living in France for a little while trying out the culture, painting of course and seeing some real seasons.

Samoensin the French Alps is where we are heading for six months, with ideas full of paintings and courses to run there and in the Italian Lakes, I think the blog should be full of Alpine pleasures for you to enjoy

Friday, 1 March 2013

A fresh coat of paint

It's been an hectic week, with painting workshops in Keswick and Penrith Rydal Waterfall, Ullswater Daffodils, Sunset over Grizedale Pike and Grange bridges have all been given a fresh coat of paint or pastel!.
My new canvases have come and are looking super in Viridian Gallery and will be in Rohan in Keswick next week too.
It all comes at once I was chuffed to bits to see my article on Lake Iseo in this months Leisure painter and Phase 2 out next month shows step by step how I painted this wonderful Italian Lake scene.

I do have a course running to Lake Iseo from Saturday 14th to 21st September if you fancy painting in this beautiful part of the Italian Lakes just send me an email

But best of all this week the weather in the Lakes has been stunning, just a shame I haven't had time to get on those fells with the new camera and paints.