Good morning everyone. This is my latest acrylic painting and I chose a view of a white house in a valley for my inspiration. Actually, this is based on watercolour sketches I made in the Lake District, Cumbria in the UK. In fact, we used to go once a year, usually in spring or autumn. But we haven’t been in a while. Fortunately, looking at my sketches brings back lots of happy memories. For example, I did the two sketches I based this on whilst sitting in the hotel beergarden. A nice cool drink was just perfect after a days walking. And, as you can see, the views were spectacular.
Anyway, I also drew on my own memory to create this, remembering the varied colour and texture of the vegetation on the slopes. By the way, lots of the older buildings are painted white in this region. And they do stand out very picturesquely in these views over the rolling expanse of hills.
I seem to quite enjoy painting a white house, as you can see in this post here and here. All my paintings are for sale at reasonable prices. So if you see something you like, just go to the Contact Me page and send me an email for more details.
Good morning everyone. Last week I found out that Fronteer Gallery had accepted my painting ‘ I Dreamt of a House by the Sea’ into their Colour Exhibition. And I was so delighted – firstly because it’s always a pleasure to take part in their events. Secondly, because of the theme ‘Colour’. As you might have noticed, I call this website A World of Colour. So, most of my work does suit this theme. However, I chose this particular painting because it seems absolutely bursting with colour.
Virtual Travelling for the Colour Exhibition
Actually, I painted this without a plan and it was quite late on in the process before I saw what it was. Perhaps a path leading up to the house with a view of the sea. Then, later on I suggested landscape and some vegetation on the cliff. But, for me, the most striking thing about this is when I made it. Right in the middle of being isolated at home, when I was desperate to spend time by the sea! In fact, the colours, the sunshine and the sparkling air are much more reminiscent of the coast of northern France in August. Ah, those charming, unspoilt little resorts where we spent weeks camping. Happy Days! So it seemed ideal for the colour exhibition.
There are lots of seascapes for you to dream about in my gallery here. And a post all about another of my paintings in the fabulous Fronteer Gallery here.
All my paintings are for sale at reasonable prices. Just go to my Contact Me page and send me an email.
This is somewhere on the coast of Queensland, Australia. And you can find out more in my posthere. Well, virtual travelling is the only way for me to go, at the moment!
Good morning everyone. This is a gouache painting I did before Christmas and I had a look at some old sketches for inspiration. Actually, I remember this day very well – we had gone for a short walk in Derbyshire. And we were in the beautiful Burbage valley on a hot August afternoon, when my son was small. The heat was shimmering up from the moorland grass and there were no trees to sit under. In fact, this beauty spot was quite busy with people who had come out for some fresh air. But, everyone seemed a bit subdued in the heat. As we neared the car park, my husband and son went and queued for ice creams. Meanwhile, I sat on a rock and sketched the view in my tiny sketch book.
As I worked quickly, I thought about the ancient peoples who once lived here. Incidentally, behind me there was an Iron Age hillfort a field away. So it’s not difficult to imagine figures walking the paths all those years ago. By the way, that brings to mind a painting of mine showing a prehistoric man walking home at dusk. I must find it to show you. Anyway, if you look at this post here, you will see another sketch of the area that I did recently. Or, have a look at my page Gallery – Landscapes for more country scenes. (I’ve just updated the page). As you might have realised, I have many old sketches done over the years. Happily, I find them quite inspiring to repaint. Not to mention the lovely memories they bring back.
Good morning everyone. Now that everything is getting back to ‘normal ‘ after the festive season, I am catching back up. So, here is a little green and gold scene I painted in gouache, back in November. As I recall, the reference photo was a touristy one I saw somewhere. But I altered it quite a bit and added a figure. That’s me, standing on the rock in the cool morning air with my cagoul hood up. And, I’ve probably got my field sketching kit in my rucksack. Perhaps you’ve noticed that I’m looking at the leafless tree on the left. Unfortunately, a much more common sight now when we’re out walking. Anyway, I still managed to fit in plenty of green and gold to cheer me up. Also, it was good practice to paint in gouache and I am gradually getting more used to manipulating the paint.
Actually, the title says it all! For this scene, I used an old watercolour sketch I did when we were in Wales. However, I can’t remember the location other than it was a lovely ornamental park in North Wales. And, we had the place practically to ourselves. Because the season had been quite wet, all the late spring flowering shrubs were really blooming.In addition, the foliage was glistening after a brief shower. On the technical side, the paint was gouache and I built the painting from my watercolour sketch and , surprisingly, a bit of memory. In fact, it’s really addictive and I have a huge archive of sketches to mine!
The Flowering Shrub in my Green and Gold Gouache Landscape
Incidentally, there’s another uplifting green and gold painting in this post here , this time a woodland scene.
As ever, all my work is for sale at reasonable prices. Just go to the Contact Me page and send me an email for further details.
Good morning everyone. Well, obviously it’s not quite Christmas Eve just yet, but it’s been on my mind a bit this year. Because it will be different again, due to restrictions here in the UK. Normally we would visit a big house to see the lovely decorations, but we’re not too keen to be indoors with lots of people. So, just before things started tightening up we we went to the Carding Shed cafe, which is quite large and, luckily, was not crowded. And the coffee is very good! Not to mention the home baked pastries.
Incidentally, I’d just like to explain that the business is part classic car repair shop and part cafe with an American diner, fifties style. So, that might help you to make sense of the photos.
Anyway, just to explain, the premises is a renovated industrial building in a Pennine valley, near Holmfirth. And I think the name ‘Carding Shed’ refers to one of the processes in preparing raw wool into yarn. Actually, weaving was one of the main occupations in this area of Yorkshire back in the day.
Christmas Eve in the Mountains
However, although we haven’t been very far at all this year, I do travel virtually in my paintings. For instance, I went to a beautiful little valley in the mountains here! Then I came home and painted myself this souvenir. Seriously though, I was very pleased with this as I painted it all from my imagination. And, for me, this is a big deal – something I find hard to do. So, on that note of traditional Christmas card scene, I wish you all a Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year ( remember, snow is optional). You can find another Yorkshire snow scene in this post here.
Good morning everyone. Today I’d like to show you this intuitive abstract in acrylic- it’s all about the sea. Well, it wasn’t about anything at the beginning and I was playing about with colours. As usual, I put the first draft down fairly quickly, in some gorgeous shades of green, gold and blue. Actually, if you follow my blog, you may have noticed that I love this palette. And here is another seaside picture to prove it!
Anyway, to get back to ‘The Power of the Sea’, I worked on the picture from all four sides next. Then, at the end of this second session, I decided which version I liked best. And I chose the one with hints of waves, a cliff edge and a busy sky. Honestly, I don’t really know how this happens! But,the next hour is spent strengthening these images, And then I do a lot of looking over the next few days( or weeks!) Finally, I spend some time balancing up the composition and adjusting colours and tones. Until the painting says ” I’m done”. So, I suppose I can’t call this only an intuitive abstract. But, also a collaboration between my subconscious and my thinking brain.
Details of ‘The Power of the Sea’
As I say, I don’t know how it happens, but it’s a lot of fun, and, quite addictive! And just look at the sea in this post here, in a very different mood.
All of my work is for sale, at reasonable prices. Just go to the Contact Me page and send me an email for more details.
Good morning everyone. Today I wanted to show you another one of my sunshiny paintings – finished at last! As you have probably realised, I like to complete projects fairly promptly, before I forget all my ideas. And, this one was started a couple of months ago. So, it only needed a few finishing touches and at last I got round to it.
For example, I strengthened the figures so that you can spot them better.
And I also tried to make the background recede further back by blurring the vegetation on the headland. In addition, I dulled the colour of the sand near the cliff, so that it seemed more distant.
As you may have guessed, this is a bay in Australia, somewhere, sadly, I have never been. But, I really enjoyed painting this as part of the online course I am following. Plus the fact that , in these dull, cold winter days, it cheers me up just looking at it! Actually, I might frame it and hang it on my wall so that I can feel its warmth everyday.
Finally, here’s another of my sunshiny paintings. In fact, I did this a couple of years ago and, there is some memory painted into it. Because I visited France many times and well remember walking down streets like these. Always on the shady side of the street!
In case you didn’t know, all my paintings are for sale at reasonable prices. Just go to the Contact Me page and send me an email for details.
Good morning everyone. I’ve been doing a bit of finishing off again and this little watercolour, Summery Days was started about a month ago. Actually, I was following a free tutorial one evening. And, putting the first layer down was straightforward, But, after that I found it difficult to make progress. So I left it to one side for a bit, busy with other projects. After a while, I couldn’t ignore it any more. So I tried to move it along by myself. Honestly, I wasn’t very confident. I often feel like that when painting a subject that wasn’t really of my own choosing. However, I persevered and I’m reasonably pleased with the end result.
Summery Days – Painting the Sheep
On the plus side, I learned how to make the sheep look more realistic . Initially I did this by putting a medium tone on the body, reserving the white of the paper for the light patches. Then I added the dark tones after. And, most importantly, I did all this as soon as possible so that the animals look part of the scene from the beginning.
Well, that’s all for now. And, I’ve now got a lovely summery picture to look at while we wait for the snow to melt here in the UK! (And here is another post with summery pictures in it.)
Good morning, everyone. This is the windmill house in Wentworth village, painted in plein air on a sketchtrip in September. At least, I painted the main part of it outdoors. But, as conditions weren’t great, we dashed off to the garden centre cafe for coffee and a chat. This image below is the first draft that I did outside.
Actually, I was quite pleased with this and I tried to use the techniques I have been learning about recently. However, as we were standing in a field of rough pasture and nettles, behind a 5 foot wall, it wasn’t ideal ! Anyway, at home later that day, I tried to think ‘ plein air sketching ‘ and not paint the picture to death!
The History of the Windmill House
Most of the land and the buildings in Wentworth village were built and are still owned by the Wentworth Estate. And this is now separate from the big house Wentworth Woodhouse, just around the corner from this lane. Perhaps you may remember this post here, where I reported on my visit to the mansion gardens. In fact, the family built this mill here on Clayfield Lane in 1745, obviously to process flour from the grain grown on the estate. Of course, it is now a private dwelling in a charming cottage garden, giving pleasure to everyone who walks by. To be honest, the whole village is full of picturesque views. And, I don’t think this will be the last sketch trip we will make to Wentworth village.
Good morning everyone. This watercolour experiment started off as a doodle really, then I began testing out different ways of manipulating the paint. After studying Paul Talbot-Greaves’ lovely book, I realised that I needed to practise techniques. And, by making a sample sheet, rather than a ‘proper’ painting so that I felt free to play. And, it definitely worked! So, here you can see wet-in-wet, stippling, spattering, dry brushing dripping and, hopefully, more movement of paint. However, it’s not in my nature not to put a bit of a story into my painting. Consequently, it became a walk in a wood at autumn time. Actually, the choices of colours and shapes must have come from my subconscious.
In fact, I found this exercise very useful and I think I shall be a bit more confident now when painting in watercolour. Honestly, I wasn’t using enough paint or making it wet enough, so things had to change!
Last Year’s Watercolour Experiment in Autumn Colours
Really, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the season than to sit and drink in the atmosphere of a beautiful autumn day. And then to paint a memory.
You could see more of last year’s autumn plein air watercolour sketches in this post here. And, don’t forget, all my work is for sale at reasonable prices. Just go to the Contact Me page and send me an email for more details.
Good morning everyone. This is just a catch up post where I’m showing you some of the watercolour sketches I did whilst painting outdoors. In fact, the weather this year was very kind to us artists. And I spent quite a lot of time sitting quietly, painting the view. Sheer bliss! So, this the view over the rough pasture to the pond at Longshaw Estate in Derbyshire, UK. Now the pond is man made and designed to be seen as you leave the formal garden and take the path to the stream. Actually, I’m not sure whether this is the pool for boating or swimming – there are two! But, as you can see, it’s idyllic and right on the edge of the moors.
While I painted this little scene I tried to use some of the techniques I’ve been studying. In particular, I wanted to show the contrast of light and shade in the trees behind the water. Not all that easy on a low sunlight day. Also, I used a gentle touch with the reflections on the water, which were very subtle.
Painting Outdoors at Cannon Hall
Lastly, we also went to Cannon Hall on a warm, sunny day and we sat in the shade in the formal garden. And I had another attempt at portraying the glass panes of the little greenhouse. And the effect is a bit more lifelike, I feel, (see here for another attempt!) Incidentally, this is where the 200 year old grapevine lives, but that’s another story!
Good morning everyone. This is the first quick watercolour I did from a little book I have just bought. ’30 Minute Landscapes ‘ by Paul Talbot- Greaves and I can thoroughly recommend it. Actually, I had a couple of recommendations from friends. And as Paul is a brilliant, local artist, I thought I would treat myself and support him too! As you may know, I use watercolour paint for little plein air sketches. But I’m really self taught and I started to feel a bit dissatisfied with the direction my paintings were taking. So, I was ready to learn and experiment with new techniques.
To be more specific, in this sketch I learned how to make the last layer of background recede in a subtle way. That is, by adding a wash of light red plus cobalt blue over the base colour. Also, I understood the importance of using increasingly small brushes for the branches and twigs of the tree.
Next I tried my hand at this sunlit, summer scene and I really enjoyed the challenge of portraying trees loaded with foliage. In this exercise Paul taught me how to put down the first wash of green with other colours subtly mixed in. For example, sap green, lemon yellow and ultramarine blue. Surprisingly, this makes the end result (after adding more layers) more vibrant. In addition, I tried stippling darker colours into the mass of leaves to show shade. Of course, you use the tip of the brush to dot the paint on. In fact, I was delighted with these two exercises and I can’t wait to attempt more . And I think this studying is changing the way I paint my own subjects – in a good way. What do you think?
Good morning everyone. Well, summer is officially over now and there are signs of autumn showing. But, on one of the last of the summer days last week, we had our morning coffee break at Sandal Castle. Only 15 minutes drive away, and the weather was heavenly!
To be honest, I don’t know a lot about the castle. Just a few of the walls remain but they are quite impressive on the top of a mound on a hill. So the location is significant and played an important role in the Wars of the Roses in the fifteenth century. Just think Richard the Third. See here for more details.
Anyway, what attracted me was the glorious yellow colour of the fields in the landscape. And the juxtaposition of the old stonework and the modern housing at the bottom of the slope. Of course, I know you can’t see the ruins. But, I promise I will do a plein air watercolour painting of the castle soon. Meanwhile, here’s one of my favourite acrylic paintings of summer days, from a while ago, sunny Jamaica.
Finally, if you missed seeing this before, here is my imaginary scene of a sunny day nearer to home.
Good morning everyone. Well, this is the last of the watercolour sketches that I managed to do on my little holiday in Derbyshire. And we went to the English Heritage site at Ashby de la Zouch in Leicestershire to look around the castle in ruins. In fact, the castle was built in the 15th century and deliberately partially demolished during the Civil war in 1648. However, enough of the shape of the buildings remains so that you can imagine the life that was lived there.
Actually, the weather was unseasonably cool for August, and the light levels were low. So I had to exaggerate the shadows a bit, as I sat underneath a huge old tree to sketch. And we were looking across at the Medieval Great Hall – that’s in the centre of the picture. To the right is just the edge of the huge kitchen tower. Incidentally, there is a tunnel connecting the kitchen to the hall. Just to make sure the food doesn’t arrive at the table too cold! If you want to know, the building on the right was the chapel. Perhaps you may know that this castle was one of the settings for the novel ‘Ivanhoe’ by Walter Scott in 1819. As I’ve not read the book , I can’t tell you much more, apart from the fact that Ivanhoe was a medieval knight.
Another Castle, not in Ruins
Now, just to finish off with, this is a real castle, not in ruins. As I recall, we picked up a postcard in Renishaw Hall, a painting by John Piper, one of my favourite artists. Incidentally, this is my version in acrylic. And, if you want to look at a folly in my own local area, see here for another plein air sketch.
Good morning everyone. As you may remember, I spent a few days in Derbyshire last week. And I managed to fit in quite a bit of sketching, including at this World Heritage Site, Cromford Mill. Perhaps you’ve heard of it – I had too but it didn’t look anything like I had imagined. In fact, it was quaint and very sketchable. Actually, this part of the complex is the original mill and it dates back to 1771. Incidentally, it was the first successful cotton spinning mill ever to be driven by water, so no wonder the complex is a World Heritage Site.
The founder, Sir Richard Arkwright is credited as inventing the first factory system, bringing workers together in one large building. And also providing housing nearby in Cromford village. But, as you might guess, my main interest was in the pleasing views I could sketch. And I really liked the juxtaposition of the old mill building and the even older limestone crag. I spent about thirty minutes on the watercolour sketch. Then I felt like my eyes needed a rest, so we had good coffee and cake in the courtyard cafe. Sometimes I realize that I benefit from taking a break from a painting, even a quick one. Then, I can see it clearer, and, in this case, add a bit of pen and ink for emphasis. What a lovely way to spend a few hours!
If you want to see more sketches from this trip, see here.
Good morning everyone. I’ve just finished this acrylic painting of a lonely farm and I’m so pleased! Because it was really bugging me, and I couldn’t work on it until I came back from my short break. Incidentally, I wonder if you feel the same way when you have some unfinished work lying around? As I recall, I read somewhere that a painting isn’t finished until it stops speaking to you. And I think that pretty much describes the situation for me. Anyway, that conversation is now over, so I can start planning my next big painting.
The Lonely Farm on the Dales
However, this painting is loosely based on a photo I took a couple of years ago. And I vaguely remember the walk – it was limestone country in the dales. To be honest, I can’t be sure whether it was in Derbyshire or the Yorkshire Dales. But, in any case, the walking was gentle and we passed a few settlements like this. In fact, these buildings are probably barns, and we had probably just walked past the house and outbuildings. Possibly further down this hill, in a more sheltered location.
Actually, the thing I remember most about the walk was the quiet peaceful feeling of the place. And the intense green of the grass. Although these buildings are modern barns, I still remember the sense of timeless farming of the land. And, of course, walking in the footsteps of many people from the past on these ancient paths.
Finally, I can see with hindsight that this composition was quite influenced by pieces I have done in my online course. Although, obviously, the location is very different! See one of my Australian landscapes here.
All my artwork is for sale at reasonable prices. Please go to my Contact Me page and email me for more details. It really is Affordable Art!
Good morning everyone. I suddenly realised that I hadn’t shown you my latest Australian landscape. Actually, I finished Morning Sunshine on the Crags a couple of weeks ago. But my life is quite busy just now and it slipped through the net. However, I like to use this blog as a record of my painting life so I had to find a space for it.
Apparently this location is Kenilworth Bluff, somewhere in Australia, but that’s all I know! If you know more, please tell me. Anyway, I sort of projected my own story on to it. And I imagined myself going out for an early morning walk across the sun burned grass of the fields. Obviously, this is where the path enters the cool inviting trees and then on to the slopes.
As you can see, the rocky crags sparkle in the sunshine – the view must be spectacular from up there. Unfortunately though, I must turn back, go home and get started on my chores. So, perhaps another day I’ll walk up to the tops.
That’s it for today – all of my artwork is for sale. Just go to my Contact Me page here for enquiries. Of course, there are lots more landscapes with stories in my Gallery here.
Good morning everyone. Well, as I write this post all about summer paintings, the rain is falling in a steady drizzle. And the temperature has dropped a few degrees, so it’s not exactly hot and summery. Nonetheless, the day is warm and fine in this acrylic painting of a scene in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. Perhaps you don’t know this area of rounded hills and sheltered valleys (the dales) in the north of England. But it’s one of our favourite spots and only a couple of hours drive from our home.
This view shows a very distinctive feature of the valley of the river Swale – the very numerous small barns. Actually, there’s practically one for each field and the farmers used them mainly for storing the hay. Whatever the reason, they are picturesque and very sketchable! In fact, the whole area is covered by a network of public footpaths and quite easy to explore. If you want to find out more about the region, look here.
Another One of my Summer Paintings
Now, this is something completely different! And it started off as an intuitive abstract I painted in March this year. As the winter dragged on, my thoughts turned to sunshine and holidays by the sea. Slowly elements started to emerge which suggested a landscape I’ve often seen in France. Of course, this was back in the day when we used to travel – seems an age ago now! Anyway, we would often camp near a small seaside resort. And, somehow, this scene reminds me of parking the car on a rough patch of ground. Then struggling down a path made of soft sand to the idyllic beach, with only a few families to keep us company. Happy days!
Finally, I hope you enjoy looking at my summer paintings and dreaming your own dreams. Here is another lovely scene you might like. As you may know, all my paintings are for sale at reasonable prices. Affordable art! Just go to myContact Me page and get in touch.
Good morning everyone. As promised, here is my Australian landscape, finished only yesterday afternoon. And, I must admit, I’m really quite pleased with it. Actually, I feel now as if the tuition I’ve had access to on this course is finally coming together. If you’ve been following my blog, you will have seen many of my practice paintings of Australian landscape. I will confess that I felt out of my comfort zone with some of them. Perhaps the advice on using a restricted palette and simplifying the shapes was a lot to take in at first. Not to mention the unfamiliarity of the Queensland countryside. However, I would fully recommend this course, the Moore Method of Painting here.
At last, I’m beginning to pay attention to the pattern of light and shade in the scene. Also to use different kinds of brushstroke to indicate grasses, leaves and so on.
Anyway, I definitely feel like I’m making progress, at last and I’m really looking forward to my next project, possibly an English landscape scene. Incidentally, there are some interesting paintings in my Gallery. And, if you like this one, it’s for sale. Acrylic on paper, 12 by 16 inches, unframed and without a mount. Go to the Contact Me page and drop me a line. Affordable Art, at reasonable prices. It’s £50 plus shipping , free in UK.
Good morning everyone. I thought you might like to have a look at this weeks artwork. Actually, if you read my last post here, you’ll know that I was a bit fed up. Because I hadn’t found enough time to paint. So, for the last two days I completed the most urgent tasks on my ‘to do’ list. And then I did some artwork, which is, in its own way quite urgent, for me anyway.
Well, I started off with this one, as we were having a coffee break. In fact, we were sitting in my little garden, in a cool shady spot. , Then, I suddenly rushed into the house for my sketchbook, absolutely determined to snatch some art time! My husband was engrossed in his book, and I had about fifteen minutes to spend. To be honest, it’s about sixteen months since I sketched from life. But, I always did my best sketches when forced to work quickly. So, I enjoyed it despite feeling very out of practice.
An Australian Landscape – this weeks artwork
Next morning, full of confidence from the day before, I just abandoned the chores list. And spent a good part of the day doing a project from my online painting course. Sheer bliss! Of course, it’s not finished yet, and I need at least another hour to tidy it up. But the fringe benefits from this weeks artwork are enormous! Actually, I feel so much calmer after painting. Perhaps you feel the same when you have some creative time? I hope so!
If you would like to see more of my Australian landscapes, look here and here. Happy Painting!