Monday, 29 September 2014

A walk to see Mont Blanc.

A walk up to Bellevue. Just a mere gallop up the ski slopes for a few hours on a glorious sunny day. Or so I thought! Orange and Red Autumn leaves looked great next to the bright blue sky.

Pots and baskets full of flowers sitting pretty at the chalet halfway up the slopes.

Washing day at this chalet perched on the slope, warm socks and jumpers on the line drying ready for Winter to begin.

Bellevue was reached and then we decided to head a bit further up the hill looking for a nice picnic spot. I was hoping for a pretty cafe, a cold glass of Coke, maybe with a red chequered tablecloth. It's funny what runs through the mind tramping up hills.

Up the road we have skied down many times. Looking back towards the mighty Blanc

Late Summer and Autumn flowers Purple Heather, Pansies and Giant Mushrooms basking in the sunshine.

No mushrooms were hurt in taking this photo.

The picnic spot was finally found. Perched high on the top of Prailon a mere 1969 metres high. What a vista. Sandwiches were quickly eaten, so that a sketch of this fabulous view would be remembered. To walk up here is something special, the views and light were incredible. Funny that I never considered the descent at this point.My head was full of paintings, flowers and pretty walking!

So now I find myself sitting perched on an edge staring at the abyss below. Number One Art Critic is ahead checking out the path for a frightened Mountain artist who's not good with heights!
We took the path one step at a time, clinging to the wire rope that was there for added drama. No photo's were taken as I could only look at the ground beneath my feet. Thank goodness for Number One Art Critic with a good head for heights.

And so safely down, and aching thighs but a wonderful hike that filled me with inspiration to paint a stunning scene.

Have no fear I will never venture up the Mighty Mont Blanc, just admire from below.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Painting clouds in Oils

 Painting en plein is not easy. It is very enjoyable, and you see so much more than looking at a photograph but there are factors that you need to considerate.Getting the equipment set up in front of 'the view' I then feel at one with nature and ready to capture.
I am a little fussy about light and so looking out and seeing the Aguile look just right, the oil paints were grabbed and I started on a colourful canvas I had previously given an underbase.
Looking up all the time and then placing colour, looking up again trying to figure out the rock formations. Clouds started to roll around playing hide and seek with the mountain peaks. So I started following suit. Succumbing and softening clouds over the too bright sky. I was now starting to speed paint and then looking up to see all the view was lost behind a mass of cloud!

Clear Blue skies I thought. Why didn't I notice the clouds rolling in. But it does make a more atmospheric scene.

I thought I would paint this view so much, but instead I just sit and watch it change every minute. It's more entertaining  than  TV especially when a storm is brewing, the colours of the clouds and light on the mountains can be so dramatic.
But as the cloud came completing down today, the brushes had to be put down for another day.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

A walk in Chamonix

 The Autumn colours are suddenly emerging, they look great against the blue haze of the mountains. It must be the complementary Orange and Blue. We have three weeks left here in the Alps and then it's back to the glorious Lakes to make a new home and art studio! The light today was wonderful as we walked up to catch the Montenvers train back down to Chamonix. This fab little Red train and track was built around 1907 to take tourists up to see the Mer de Glace and the awesome views.

We walked up the ski slopes that we have skied down, then into the forests that cling to the mountain sides. Sunlight and magical views of the valley kept popping into view. A pretty little chalet perched on the edge offered tea, coffee and comfy seating.

The litle Red train passed us by, tourists cameras at the ready wondered why we would be walking up.

Gorgeous woodland waiting to be captured with a paintbrush of colour.

We reached our picnic spot and sat in delight taking in the view that anyone would amaze at. A quick sketch, but it took a while wondering what to pick 'The mighty Dru, Grandes Jorasses or the Glacier sweeping round.So much for the artist to admire.

We spied some climbers on the Glacier, this is zoomed in to show the expanse of the glacier

I love this view and have painted it a few times in Pastel and Acrylics, it never fails to inspire me and I think it is such a special place.

Grandes Jorasses from Flegere
 painted in Acrylics