Friday, 28 June 2013

Daises and Buttercups in a Jam Jar in Watercolours

From Buttercups in a jam jar, here are Daisies in a Jam jar, well two daisies!
Stretched on Arches watercolour paper.
Colours used Winsor Violet, Ultramarine Blue, Permanent Yellow, Danial James Phthalo Turquoise and English Red Ochre and a touch of Permanent Rose of course.

I applied very wet washes of neat Permanent Yellow to the Daises and buttercups.
I let the turquoise mix run into the yellow on the paper for the stems.
A watery mix of Winsor Violet with a hint of Permanent rose was used for the lovely puple flowers I have yet to name!
Ultramarine and Permanent rose was used in a very transparent wash on the white petals of the Daises

The jam jar was painted with all the above washes, I tried to leave patches of white in places .
A damp brush was used to take out colour for, the water level in the jam jar and also some of the stems inside the jar.
A shadow colour was applied using Winsor Violet and a touch of Ultramarine.

Buttercups and Daisies in a Jam Jar

9 x 9 inches

Monday, 24 June 2013

Sixt Fer a Cheval

Sixt Fer a Cheval

Painted in Pastels
Size 13 x 19 inches
For Sale

I've been working on this Pastel for some time, it was quite a challenge but really enjoyable to paint these lofty Alpine peaks.This is the view as you approach the Cirque Cheval from Sixt and it is a truly amazing view. I hope you like it.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Abondance Cattle painted in Watercolours and Pastels


Painted in Watercolours and Pastels
Size 12.5 x 12 inches

Price £125 unframed

Really enjoyed splashing around with the watercolours using strong tones and keeping negative areas 
untouched with paint. Using the brush to guide me instead of a pencil mark and painting at a tremendous speed. 
Next came the pastel, when all was dry and just a small box of inscribe soft pastels 
Pinks, Lilacs, Ochres and Siennas.

You may wonder why Abigail? a friend of mine was a Herdsman from Yorkshire and gave all his cattle female names, often ladies he thought attractive and in the field there was a Demi, Angeline and Marilyn all grazing happily. And so I thought I would start with 'A' 

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Abondance Cattle and wild strawberries

Here are a few images that caught my eye on a walk around the Block. I did have the art gear with me at the time, but couldn't make my mind up on 'What to paint' and be it Pastels Watercolours or Oils. 
So I just enjoyed gazing and thinking. So here are a few thoughts on what could be future paintings.

A window sill in loose watercolours with Geraniums sitting brightly in pots and old walking Boots under the seat.

Abondance Cattle the makers of Reblochon Cheese, I have two ideas one a loose watercolour of just a Abondance Cow, maybe even adding a touch of pastel.
 Cows under the tree and far distant meadows below painted in Oils.

Couldn't resist this little chap maybe an Oil or watercolour

Another colourful watercolour study, this little wood pile is at the bottom of our road, if you look closely you will see all the wild strawberries growing amongst the wall flowers

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Col de la Ramaz

 Thirty five miles of endurance cycling from Samoens to the Col de Ramaz and back. 
We headed up the sunshine slopes from the small town of Tangines round tight hairpin bends full of wild flowers and sounds of Cowbells gently grazing.
We passed tiny hamlets with quaint Alpine buildings and through forests and gushing waterfalls.

The views promised Mont Blanc and it's massif, we also spied an emerald lake and I was sure 'The Dru'.
The cycling was superb with quiet roads and barely any traffic, listening to the sound of birdsong as I slowly turned the peddle and watching the buzzards hoover above.

A little problem of a heavy rain shower didn't deter, finding  shelter in the ski village of Praz de lys and a welcome break. I studied the map and thought it's not far now, so when the rain stopped, back on the bikes and a nice flat plateau to cycle.

We reached this viewpoint and I thought 'just round the corner now' But no, can you just make it out the long stretching road above trees, well that's near the top and where we are heading.

Up above the village of Praz de Lys ( I think this translates to meadows of lilies) 
In the very distance is the mighty Mont Blanc.
Slowly peddling the last kilometre what did I spy? it begins with M and is cute, shy  and furry 

Nearly there, the last pull up, and what a view behind, this is what it's all about

 The top of  Col de la Ramaz, what a fantastic cycle ride, with stunning scenery passing by.

And what goes up must go down, all the way to the bakery at the bottom for a well earned Strawberry delicious tart, Number One Art Critic couldn't wait for the camera 

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Buttercup study


There are buttercups everywhere you look at the moment here in the Alps. 
I can't tell you how delighted I am at the flower meadows, and I don't think they are really in full bloom yet!
I do find these small still life studies challenging, I know it's not right but thought I would share it with you, and hopefully over Summer Improve! But maybe it's not about improving? 
Maybe just Figuring Out !And Striking lucky

Here are just a sample of some of the flowers I've seen over the last couple of days

 More Buttercups

What a fantastic post box

Not Buttercups but Rapeseed I think?

Leading the way

These pretty pink things were tumbling down between the rocks.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Maglia rosso passione

Maglia rosso passione  
painted in Watercolours

I loved painting this watercolour, it took me ages thinking about it, a few practice runs and lots of sketches.
I wanted overall a simple feeling, but with movement and pure colour. 

I sat and waited with anticipation and excitement at Borgetto. Then in a mad panic pencil and paper with a camera at the ready. Cheered as the riders came by, delighted to see Mark Cavendish wearing the Maglia Rosso jersey, 

Then an idea came to mind, 'A painting'

  So when someone asks 'how long did it take to paint this?'
The answer will be 'A cycle ride up and down Ghisalla, two afternoons spent sketching and planning while watching the final Giro days and then a morning spent painting? I'm sure they will wish they never asked!

So here are a few photo's to show you what a stunning ride the famous  Passo del Ghisallo is but also a Brute!! At 552 metres to climb and hairpins snaking steeply up to the top it was sheer joy and agony all rolled into one

A ferry takes us across Lake Como from Varena  to Bellagio with stunning scenery to enjoy.

Bellagio stunning but a little to busy and touristy, I prefer Lake Iseo for painting 

 But then we leave the crowds behind, ask for directions and it's Up UP and Up

Here I come, making my way slowly round each tight hairpin but with views getting more beautiful the higher you go, it was a totally amazing special cycle ride.

The reason for getting to the top, Madonna del Ghisallo the patroness of cycling. A beautiful tiny church dedicated to the cyclists with many famous cycles and jerseys from legends of the cycling eternity.

Views like these are worth the struggle up and what inspiration for an artist who wears Pink!!
So now you know it's not just about painting a scene or a view , it's passion.

I think I may have to invest in a new cycling top and this looks perfect!