Sunday, 23 July 2017

Pink peonies

I haven't painted flowers for many years but recently got the urge for it. I set up in my studio and painted the same peonies over three days to watch them get bigger and gradually more open. Or maybe I just like to get my money's worth! Either way, here is the result:

Day 1 - I set up the flowers in the day in the studio with a mix of natural and artificial light:

Pink peonies (1) - 10"x10" oil on board
Available for sale here

I set up a grey background as I thought it would go nicely with the pink of the flowers. This happened to be my husband's golf jumper which had the perfect grey I was looking for. He probably won't be super pleased to find out I used it in a studio full of paints... But maybe he won't read my blog? Let's see! 

In progress...

Towards the end

I think in this series of paintings, I enjoyed painting the vase as much as the flowers. The subtle reflections on the glass were so satisfactory to paint.

Detail of the finished painting

Day 2 - I painted in the studio with only natural light in a contre-jour effect:

I wanted to capture a bit of the garden in the background and light coming from behind the vase to make it lighter.

In progress...

In progress...

Detail of the finished painting

Day 3 - Set up in the studio in the evening with artificial light only, which explains the warmer feel about it:

Pink peonies (3) - 10"x10"  oil on board
Available for sale here

The set up. No golf jumper in sight this time. Didn't want to push my luck...


I really enjoyed painting these, and will do it again with an other bunch as soon as I get the chance. 

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Friday, 7 July 2017

Painting in Bath

I'm lucky to live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Bath never fails to inspire me. I recently went painting the Bath views from Alexandra Park, one of my favourite places in Bath. As usual, I tried to simplify the scenery and capture the essence of it. 

Bath views from Alexandra Park in the morning   12"x10"  oil on board
Available for sale here


The challenge was to cope with moving clouds constantly changing what is in the sunlight and what is in the shade. I had to make a decision and stick to it. 

I had a great time painting this and spoke to a few people passing by. There was a couple of lovely dutch ladies who were on holiday sightseeing, and said they wouldn't mind if they grabbed an english husband at the same time! I told them there is not better place to do it, I talk from experience! I fell in love with Bath 12 years ago when I came as a tourist, and conveniently met my husband at the same time which resulted in me staying in this beautiful city! Clever me!

in progress

Check out issue 12 of Paint & Draw magazine where I will be writing a full step by step feature about this painting. You can find the magazine in WH Smiths and some supermarkets in UK and you can subscribe here.

Issue 10 is out now and has a step by step of my painting 'The pond at Victoria Park'. 

For info an other painting I did of Alexandra Park is currently exhibited at the Victoria Art Gallery for the Bath Society of Artists show which is on until 15 July. Fantastic show, don't miss it if you're in Bath.

Finally, here is below a painting of the Royal Crescent I recently done. I sat under the big tree to shelter from the rain to come, and painted the Crescent through the foliage. It had been raining a lot the days before so the grass was of a flashy green colour.

The Royal Crescent through the foliage  10"x7"   oil on board
Available here


Here are a few steps of the progress:

This painting is currently exhibited at Number 1 Royal Crescent at the exhibition A View of the Crescent until November 19 (more info here) alongside my other painting of the Royal Crescent (which they have used for the poster, very happy about that!)

I have been out and about painting recently and I'll post them soon so watch this space. 
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Monday, 26 June 2017

Portugal Day 4

Finally here is my last blog post about the Portugal trip with the 4 paintings I did on the last day. It took me so long to finally post them all that either you had completely forgotten about it (quite likely), or instead the intense suspense of this long wait was killing you! (who knows) ;-) Well, no more waiting, here they are.

On the last day, we all stayed in the beautiful garden and surroundings of the property as there was lots of beautiful subjects to chose from and we didn't want to waste any time travelling to various painting spots. In the morning, Tim, David P., Karl and I walked to the edge of the cliff to capture the warm colours of the morning light.

Morning light, Cama da Vaca   16"x9"  oil on board
Available for sale here

In progress

Towards the end

Tim King

David Pilgrim

David Pilgrim and Karl Terry

Walking back home through the garden, I spotted an interesting tree with light piercing through the leaves. I couldn't resist, I had to give it a try. Lunch will have to wait!

Tree, Cama da Vaca   12"x10"  oil on board
Available for sale here

After 30 minutes

Towards the end

Painting gardens is one of my favourite thing so I was having the best time ever. Just after lunch I spotted this beautiful arch with views over the sea. I kept it very loose, I just wanted to capture the essence of it without getting lost in details.

Garden arch at Cama da Vaca  7"x10"  oil on board
Available for sale here

Quick drawing

Blocking the colours in

Adding more contrast

Towards the end

Finally, we only had time for a last painting before heading back to the airport.  I was shown this beautiful view with olive trees that some of the guys painted in the morning so I couldn't resist having a go myself. The place was beautiful and it was so peaceful, I could have stayed there for hours, but it was time to catch our flight!

Olive trees, Cama da Vaca  10"x7"  oil on board
Available here

At the start

After an hour or so

Towards the end

In case you wonder how we managed to transport wet paintings, well, during the trip I used a wet panels carrier box. Mine was kindly made by Tim King who ingenuously built it with polystyrene (and not wood like many on the market) so it is truly lightweight. And for the plane, most of us used the ingenious matchsticks technique: stacking the paintings up two by two with same sizes and separating them on the edges with matchsticks (whose heads have been cut off) glued at the back, to leave a gap, then stacking the whole pile together and wrapping it tightly with tape. That can be then transported in a hand luggage.

I have wonderful memories from this trip and had so much fun painting so intensely after such a long baby break. 

A few group pictures from the trip:

From left to right: Valérie Pirlot, Haidee Jo Summers, Mo Teeuw, John Stillman, Karl Terry,
Andrew Roberts, David Pilgrim, David Bachmann, Tim King, Tony Dakin, Michael Richardson

All my Portugal paintings are available on my website here:

I now have some new Bath paintings to post and some news to share so I will do that in my next post as soon as I get the chance. 

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Sunday, 11 June 2017

Portugal Day 3

Better late than ever, here is the second part of my recent Portugal painting trip which includes paintings of Lagos and a painting of the beautiful fish supper we had one evening.

Here is below the view over Lagos that coud be seen from the car park. Most of my artist friends went to explore the nearby beach to find the best painting spot, but I was happy staying right there, because I found the view inspiring and wanted a change from the beach and the rocks. (or maybe I was just too lazy to walk, that is a strong possibility too)

Lagos  10"x8"  oil on board
Available for sale here


Here are a few steps

quick drawing

Blocking the colours in

Adding finishing touches

When I finished the painting, I had time for an other quick one before lunch, so decided to simply turn my easel around (now I do sound really lazy!) and paint the view towards the beach. Here is the result. 

Lagos cove   7"x10"  oil on board
Available for sale here


A few steps:
Simple drawing

Blocking the colours in

Towards the end

Afterwards, we all stopped for lunch. I never share pictures of food as it's pretty boring, but this was the best prawn pasta ever!

From left to right: Tony Dakin, David Pilgrim, Karl Terry, John Stillman, Andrew Roberts,
David Bachmann, Mo Teeuw, Haidee Jo Summers, myself and Tim King

After lunch I went to paint in Lagos centre but after an hour battling with my brushes, I ended up wiping my disastrous attempt to paint a busy street. There was only 45 minutes before we had to head home and I did a quick little 5"x7" painting of the view towards the marina. Very simple but I quite like it.

Lagos, looking towards the marina  7"x5"  oil on board (SOLD)

Can't get much smaller than this!

Finally, back home, our lovely cook was preparing some beautiful fish. Haidee, Mo, Karl and I couldn't resist doing a quick painting of it. The poor cook just wanted to put it in the oven, and we kept saying "just five more minutes please"! We ate a bit later than usual that night but had a great time painting these. 

Fish at Cama da Vaca  10"x8"  oil on board (SOLD)


Haidee, Mo and I painting the fish dish (on the coffee table)

That's it for day three. I'll soon post the paintings of the last day of the trip. 

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