Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Painting boats at Annecy

 I do love to be beside water and find nothing more enjoyable than trying to capture it with paint.
At first I sketched in the entire view from the bench at Veyrier du Lac. I thought about what I wanted to see  on this blank piece of paper and it was not the entire view!! I then gently rubbed out all the pencil marks. Picked up the brush and  loaded it with paint and went boldly in with no marks to show me the way. Looking all the time at the boat in front, figuring out the light and colours ignoring people passing. You need full concentration for this style of painting. About forty minutes later I had my watercolour sketch, probably not correct but thoroughly enjoyable and fresh!

 Relaxing over a glass of wine and watching the sunset, I did think it was a shame the paints had been put away. The camera came into action and took some great shots. With the scene still fresh in my mind I dug out the Oils and started to paint the sunset scene.

Annecy Sunset painted in Oils on Board
Size 8 x 10 inches
For sale for more details See here

A watercolour course with personal guidance and feedback

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Col des Aravais

Col de la Croix- fry  1467 m and Col des Aravais 1486m
Start Le Grand Bonnand 22 miles
Total ascent 874m

It was an uphill battle all the way to Croix Fry, I was unsure why and blamed it on not been fit, but on the downhill descent I realised it was quite a climb to the top of the Croix Fry. The weather was threatening all day and I declared that it would be amazing if we didn’t get wet, which of course we did a few minutes later. It was a lovely quiet ride towards the Croix fry through a wooded area with great tarmac. I wondered as I cycled over it that ‘I bet it was this way because the tour had passed the previous year’
We came to the Col at long last me puffing and panting, it was very quiet except for a bus load of Grannies having lunch at the hotel. By the way these are the best toilets I’m sure in France. A grand coffee and equally large Chocolate Croissant was ordered.

We free wheeled back to La Praise and started the steady climb up the Aravais with markers along the way showing pleasant gradient markers ranging from a wonderful 4% to 7% the going was much easier and with switchbacks that seemed to flow we soon made our way to the Col top with much more ease. Maybe the Croissant did the job.

I had an email this week saying that 'I seem to be enjoying the sunshine and does it ever rain where I am'  as you can see, it does rain and quiet alot! We didn't waste time on the top.

The joy with uphill cycling what goes up must come down!

I even by the looks of it raced a car down!
La clusaz with the threatening rain clouds above

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Criterium du dauphine

With the last stage of Criterium du Dauphine just a few miles away what a super way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
We parked the van at the bottom of the hill and walked up the col for about a mile the sun was out with dark clouds overhead threatening a storm. We sat under the apple and cherry trees with happy families picnicking waiting for the race to pass by. It was nothing like the Tour de France with no colourful pomp or overhead helicopters. Police on motor bikes clearing the road announced that the riders were on their way.

The leading pack a few minutes ahead.

The main peleton with Sky leading the way, the excitement of the moment is so uplifting

Getting so close to the riders going by,we are looking for the yellow jersey of Contador and Chris Froome wearing Green. What other sporting event is like this, you can cycle the route and shout so loud that the voice is croaky and be just a few feet for the cyclists that whizz by. For anyone who is thinking about watching the Tour de France in Yorkshire all I can say is it will be totally magical.

So pleased with this shot of Chris Froome, I didn't think I'd get this close.

And I nearly caught Contador but he sneaked by, if you look closely you can see the yellow jersey near the apple tree on the left. The lady in Blue is also pointing to the Yellow jersey, I'm sure she's telling her husband he's pointing the camera in the wrong direction.

The paints went to but there wasn't time for them to get some action, but I am inspired to paint.

P.S Froome didn't win today, nor did Contador but he sure raced trying. The winner of today's dramatic race was Sky Mikel Nieve 

Friday, 6 June 2014

Col de Romme

Col de Romme a promising difficult ride, I was told and one of the hardiest Cols in Haute Savoie area. 
Why did this then not ring a few Alarm bells! The first kilometer marker gave us a steady 11% start and I knew this was not the only 11% to the top a brief 7% through the pretty village of Nancy sur Cluses.

Puffing and panting even jumping off the bike for a respite from the attack of this beautiful yet cruel Col. Shaking my head wondering why I was attempting this arduous cycle ride. Passing hairpin bends full of gently grazing Beaufort Cows, fields full of Golden Yellow Buttercups, and hills and pastures that just need a little of Julie Andrews company 'The hills are alive ..........

The tour de France in 2009 made its way the first time up this amazing Col but I am positive the speed was faster and the atmosphere amazing.

Here is the bike at the top I am lying in the field recovering surrounded by the Golden Buttercups getting ready for the descent. I'm getting to be a real connisieur of tarmac and the route down was wonderful smooth tarmac with barely any potholes. 

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

The Red train in Chamonix

Birthday Bunch
Painted in Watercolours

A ride on a Red train to one of the best views in Chamonix.

And what a view, the winding glacier taking your eye to Grand Jorasses in the distance 

With the Dru towering above

A gentle walk down through Pine and Spruce with views of Chamonix town below.