Wednesday, 30 March 2016

The view from Latrigg

You don't need to walk many miles or feet to get a stunning view in the Lake District. I walked up Spooney Lane, along the delightful path, through the Woods passing sweet smelling bright Yellow Gorse. The path then opens up onto the fell and circles it's way to the top, you will see the bench sitting proudly on top waiting for passers by to admire the view. 

The bench was free when we walked up, but boy was it a strong wild wind. 
But sitting hunched against the cold, watching the clouds lift and raise over the Catbells range.
Is a wonderful uplifting experience. 

Walking back down the track, a shaft of light  broke through, catching the fields and ridges of the pretty Newlands valley.

With all this in mind. I quickly washed some watercolours over Pastelmat paper, applied pastels.
But something wasn't happening. A brave move was needed. Make or break!
A wash of water over the pastels, gave some interesting marks and more of a feeling to the painting.
A few more thought provoking bright pastel marks were added over the next couple of days.
I'm much happier with the outcome, it reflects more of what I felt when walking down the track from Latrigg.

Newlands from Latrigg painted in Pastels

Will be on show at my Spotlight Exhibition at the Viridian Gallery in Keswick 
from 22nd April to 7th June 2016

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Spring watercolour flowers in the Lake District

So wonderful to be back in Grasmere this week. Four days of watercolour flowers, Spring does produce some beauties. A  big bunch of pink, purple and white Tulips, a spray of muted pink Roses, sweet  scented blue Hyacinths and ruby red Anemones that didn't enjoy the Kirkstone pass car journey.

My fellow artists inspired every day, tried new techniques with glee never lost the way or muttered negative murmurs. We enjoyed many hours in the brightly lit studio nestled in the gardens. Plenty of tea and coffee on hand, and lots of kind support, when flowers didn't behave appropriately on the paper .

An afternoon spent in peaceful tranquillity in the famous Dora's field, with softly singing  Bluetits and Robins. English daffodills sitting proudly together, gently bending and all looking towards Rydal lake.

No great masterpiece by myself, but lots of experimenting and totally enjoying the feel of paint heavy on the sable brush. My fellow artists painted some inspiring pieces that were greatly admired. Thank you for a truly wonderful watercolour time.

My next four day course based at the Glenthorne Hotel in Grasmere will star 'Bluebells ' painting on location around Rydal water and also plenty of demonstrations in the studio. I do have a couple of spaces still available, if you fancy coming along  or send me an email for more information.

Dora's  daffodils 

Daffodil magic


Spring Tulips

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

A sketch from Hallin Fell.

A quick sketch, perched on the edge of Hallin Fell on a cold yet not windy February day.

My trusty Wainwright guide told me the height  of this little fell was 1271 ft.
A beautiful steep little walk from the car park at Martindale Church takes you to a birdseye view over Ullswater, I thought that this is what I would sketch, as I made my way to the top. I admired Striding Edge in the distance, covered in snow, but the light today was fairly flat, so didn't feel the need to go exploring higher. The view down Ullswater is extensive and quite a drop.
What did catch my inspirational eye today, the views down into intimate Martindale with rolling fells turning to grassy fields and a few lonely farms dotted along the valley bottom.

With just a brush, pencil and small watercolour palette, I quickly captured a few lines to get to know this pretty valley. Hot Chocolate kept me warm and a wooly hat, two necessary equipments for the outdoor artist.

I made my way down the fell and spied some cute Herdies in a field. These native Cumbrian Sheep the hardiest of all, look to have such a soft nature, especially when photographed.