Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Ramblers with an artist Glenridding Dodd

Glenridding Dodd 

Start and finish Glenridding 
Four miles circular 
Elevation gain 1,043ft

A bank holiday walk, ideal for getting away from the busy crowds. I found a car park in busy Glenridding and headed up through the village passing Travellers rest and leaving fellow walkers beside a junction looking at a map for the directions of Helvellyn. My quiet steep path headed behind the last row of Lakeland cottages on the fell.
The views already are something special open onto, paths leading along the valley towards the old mine,  opposite the fell  leads the way to secret Lantys Tarn and the bubbling stream gentle, today, flowing down through thè village and into the Lake.

The steep climb follows a rocky path, up the fellside  wild violets can be spotted amongst the stones with Blueberries still red and bright yellow leaves shinning brightly in the sunshine. The climb soon eases, a grassy spot can be found to catch the breath and admire the view. I couldn't resist a quick sketch, enjoying the beauty  below. Lemon yellow fields showing the way to Patterdale, a soft Blue Haze of Bluebells on the fell opposite with only the sound of the beck gurgling peacefully below.

Leaving the track before the wall, a small path meanders round the small hillock that is Glenridding Dodd. Larch with fresh new growth jostle along the edge for the best view, with clumps of  Heather carpeting softly below. Ullswater is glimpsed snaking into the distance. This is a true artist view and one that the Victorian walkers loved to explore.

You should be lucky and have the cairn to yourself, I couldn't resist adding a stone on top. An ideal sketching spot, the only difficulty is deciding on the 360 degrees of the view, you would like to include.

The way down is back to the wall and heading through baring right, but always keeping the bubbling stream on your left. A few mossy and boggy areas, but it could be worse after a little rain, which we can get in the Lakes at times!
A barely used path, heads down the fell, peace and quiet is so special along this route, Sheep and Lambs nestling peacefully in the bracken and Bluebells.

A few old trees lay resting along the path, be careful when crossing them and watch for the Primroses below.

Pastels or Oils came into mind for painting this grassy glade, with sunlight catching a few highlights of interest. Over the stile heading down to the lake with birdsong, Bluebells and Wild garlic keeping the senses alive.

Leaving the wooded path and crossing the road to reach the lakeshore path heading back to Glenridding along the new Ullswater way. The pretty rocky promontory has many places for the artist to stop and savour a few inspiring moments.

A bench has been placed and the view appears, perfect at any time of day to admire the visa beyond of classic majestic fells towering over Ullswater.


A short stroll back to Glenridding for Tea and cakes or maybe a pint or two.
If you have time take a look at the delights in the Glenridding Gallery.
I know an artist who exhibits here.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Irises in Oil part One

Following on from the day before
When inspiration was not flowing 
I wrote it down for you to see.

Thoughts of 
A walk to the park
Irises out in full bloom
Tall and Elegant
Not here for long
Delicate petals of Butterfly wings.

A painting has begun
An Oil, maybe working in a different medium, is all it needs.
Try and get out and be inspired this Bank holiday, it's a wonderful time of year.
Or please feel free to be inspired by the wonderful Iris above.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Finding inspiration with a Blank canvas

 Blank Canvas by Jane Ward

I sit here, and type.
Finding insignificant ideas,
Useless and trival at times.
Staring at White,  
Empty and lost.
Wanting above all to fulfil the blank
With colour and Joy

I think it's the weather,
Another excuse.
Time of the month,
Position of the Moon,
Change of the season.
I cannot decide
Another cup of coffee

Ideas on the Web, 
Paintings from old Masters
I'm starting to feel colour 
flooding through.
Yellows and Golds
Mauve and Pinks
Now where is the Blank canvas that needs a story to be told.

I'm sure all artists feel this at some time, not knowing what to paint, 
knowing that you do want to paint, it's just a little push in the right direction.

And so with this in mind I will retreat to my room of art and report back tomorrow x

Friday, 13 May 2016

Painting holiday in Grasmere

The base is the Glenthorne Hotel in Grasmere. 
I love running my painting courses from this relaxed beautiful location nestled just a few minutes away from the village centre. We had some gorgeous weather, in fact I think it could have been the best in all of the fourteen years I've been painting at the Glenthorne. 
I organised the course around the Bluebells, quite risky when ten days earlier we had fresh snow. With the gorgeous hot weather, it seemed that the Bluebells had all flowered at once and the display was magnificent. The Herdwicks also stole the show. We had a little lamb born before our eyes, Sylvie from Paris had never seen such a sight.

Having a couple of different  locations each day, a steady and beautiful ramble to each. 
Wandering along the Lake shores, spotting wildlife and choosing what to paint, was the hardiest decision of the day. 

Sitting peacefully in Bluebell woods, surrounded in fragrance and warm sunshine drying the paints, it really doesn't get much better than this for an artist.

We did have a few critiques along the way, Mother Duck brought the Chicks along, the Swans really wanted to be the focal point and even the Cuckoo sang with delight.

Mother Herdwick paddled the river with Twins in tow, we didn't see the Kingfisher, but heard it's strong tune, brushes stopped creating masterpieces and we gazed up and down the river banks.

A wonderful course with intrepid enjoyable artists, many ideas, sketches, painting and photographs all to remind us of a special time spent in Sunny Lakeland

If you would like to join me on a painting course in Grasmere, with gentle walking to beautiful painting locations, some indoor work, if the weather is not too brilliant. I have a course in August and also Autumn watercolours in October, both are suitable for beginners and Improvers with single en suite rooms.

Friday, 6 May 2016

The secret of Green

Lantys Tarn showing Orange underpainting.

I've often struggled with Green landscapes, I've even gone as far as only painting Winter scenes or Months which have the letter R in them!! That's got you thinking. September to April.

 When gorgeous Summer days come, you do want to walk amongst a meadow full of flowers  or sit beside a tranquil lake underneath a tree full of Green foliage and let inspiration run wild. 
My Greens were either too acid, too bright or maybe it was Fear of Green.

Lantys Tarn was tackled in a positive mindset and in the month of May with no R!!
Firstly I applied an Orange watercolour wash onto white Pastelmat and then let it dry.
Touches of warm Orange help to warm the painting, harmonise and stop the Green Fear.
I also was aware of  Green tonal values. 
I can now say ' Bring on Summer and those Green fields and lots of Happy outdoor painting.

Lantys Tarn.
Painted in Pastels.

If you fancy a day painting in the Lake District, just get in touch by email.

Painting Days start from £50.00