Thursday, 17 April 2014

Painting in Bath

I have been out painting in Bath again which is great fun. With a little baby waiting at home, it now takes a bit more organisation before heading out, but it's doable!

The painting below was my first plein air session in Bath since the baby's arrival. I can't say it went smoothly but it certainly was an interesting experience! Let me explain: It was planned that I would have some time to paint on Sunday. Although I woke up to pouring rain, I didn't let it stop me as I wasn't sure when I would get a chance to go out again. As a first painting I could have picked a nice spot around the corner. Oh no, for some inexplicable reason, I decided to take my bike with all my gear, in the rain, and get to the other side of town, right across the annual Bath half marathon! When I was finally set up, I only managed to get 3/4 way through my painting before receiving an urgent call asking me to come back. "She's hungry", my partner said... So basically I had to give the final touches in the studio!

Sydney Gardens bridge in March  10"x14" oil on board

So close to be finished but yet so far...


Below is my second attempt of plein air in Bath this year. I discovered a beautiful spot with allotments and great views over Bath, just 5 minutes walk from my house. It was a sunny misty afternoon which gave a lovely purple fog in the distance. I liked painting the bonfire too which adds a nice feeling of movement to the composition I think.

Monksdale road allotments in the afternoon  16"x9"  oil on board


My set up between the lettuces and cabbages

I came back to the allotments one sunny afternoon to do an other little study. My partner came to say hello while pushing baby Louisa in the pram. When I asked what he thought about the painting he told me the two things a painter doesn't want to hear:
1. It's not finished, is it? (while it was 90% done)
2. Well, it's... 'different'... (is it?? why? how??) 
The positive thing, is that I will never get big headed with such a partner!
Anyway, I ended up being quite happy with the result, I hope you like it too!

Monksdale road allotments, spring evening  8"x10"  oil on board

My set up at the end of the session


All my paintings are available for sale and can be shipped worldwide. Prices depends on size and subject and generally range from £100 to £500. Please email me to check prices and availability at

Friday, 28 February 2014

Back at the easel - painting in Belgium

After 6 months without touching a paintbrush, after about 1000 nappies changes and a couple of hours of sleep from time to time, I can say that I'm back at the easel and it feels good!! My little bundle of joy called Louisa was born in November, and as much as I enjoy being a mum, my need and passion for painting hasn't gone anywhere and I've finally managed to get out and paint. This was possible thanks to my own mum who took care of Louisa during my recent trip to Belgium, which enabled me to paint my lovely childhood home in Lasne. It is surrounded by woods and views which gives plenty of painting subjects! (which is fortunate since I had to stay at hand for feeds between paintings!)

Here is the house from the drive. I was blessed with sunshine which gave some lovely rich greens:

Bois Eloi from the drive, February  12"x9" oil on board

The set up - you can just about see the house in the distance

Look - I have a little visitor!

Indeed, Louisa kept me company for a bit while my mum was stopping by during her walk. She was well behaved and carefully made some mental notes about my painting techniques of course. On an other topic, I'm sure you will be pleased to see that haven't lost my sense of fashion. The latest style trend is the combo cap-hat-hood. Why choose when you can have all three?


The next painting below was done just outside the house looking at the views over Maransart. The strong winter sunshine brought some nice contrasts to the scene. 

Sandpit and view, Bois Eloi in February  12"x10"  oil on board

The little visitor is back! She just can't get enough...


I then did a couple of studies of the view from the window of the warm living room. Once in the morning, and once in the evening, to show the subtle changes of colours.  I like to think that if I open the window every now and then it still counts as "plein air" painting.

Here is the view in the morning:

View towards Maransart, February morning  7"x10"  oil on board

The set up in the living room

And here is the evening version (done while Louisa was cooing at me the whole time):

View towards Maransart, February evening  7"x10" oil on board

The set up from the living room


For the next painting below, I headed to the woods, which I have always found rather magical and fascinating. Many memories of walks, treasure hunts, and tree houses here while I was young. It is the perfect time of the year to paint because the leaves are not out yet so there is light and you can see the views in the distance.

In the woods, Bois Eloi, February morning  12"x10"  oil on board

My set up in the woods


On the last day, I woke up to a beautiful sunrise showing through the trees from my bedroom window. By the time Louisa was dressed and fed it had already gone, but I managed to paint it quickly afterwards from a photograph I took and from memory too. I like the way it almost looks like fire.

Sunrise from my bedroom window, Bois Eloi, February  7"x10"  oil on board

The picture I took when I got up. It doesn't have much colour information
so I only used it as a rough composition guide.

It is the view I have seen every morning for 15 years so I was pleased to be able to do a little painting to remember it.


A quick note about my material for those who are interested: while pregnant and still now, I have switched to the "Artisan" range from Winsor & Newton which are water mixable oil colours, so I didn't have to use toxic substances like turpentine or white spirit. I also use only "hues" of toxic colours such a cadmiums. I must say I'm very happy with the quality of the paint and have decided to carry on using it for a while as I find it safer while I have a baby in the house. 

I'm hoping to go painting in Bath in the next few days so hopefully I will be posting again soon!

Friday, 18 October 2013

Show review: 3 Wessex sketchers "painting the seasons"

Thank you everybody who came to our show (work from Bob Child, Andrew Taylor and myself) at the West Barn in Bradford-on-Avon on 4-6 October. We had an overwhelming number of visitors (about 600 people in 3 days!) and it was lovely to be able to chat about our work to so many people. We were blessed with great weather so the venue attracted many walkers and we got equal interest from their enthusiastic dogs! 

The West barn, Barton Farm, in Bradford-on-Avon

You can see below the set up of the show which was fairly similar to the show we had last year at the same place. The space is just perfect for three artists and the old barn stones gave a great feel to the display (which is an other way of saying that you can get away with having pictures not hanging perfectly straight because it is a part of the countryside charm, isn't it!).

Below are some pictures of the reception which took place on Friday evening. We were blessed with a great musical duet who set up on the balcony of the barn. It was a lovely evening, thank you everybody who managed to come and we are delighted and grateful for all the red dots!

Here is a picture of us three on the evening. As you can see my baby was thoughtful and considerate enough to stay nice and warm in my belly and wait before sending me into labour (which hasn't happened yet...). I don't think the crowd needed this kind of entertainment!

The three "Wessex sketchers": Andrew Taylor (left), myself and Bob Child

And here is below a close up of the work on display:

Bath and Bristol paintings by Valérie Pirlot

Venice paintings by Valérie Pirlot

Cornwall paintings by Valérie Pirlot

Watercolours by Bob Child

Watercolours by Bob Child

Paintings by Andrew Taylor

We were very pleased with the success of the show and hope to be back next year for some more! For those who couldn't make it, you can still contact us for prices and availability as several paintings are still available for purchase.

Do feel free to browse our websites:

I'm not sure when my next blog post will be as I'm preparing for the imminent arrival. Maybe I'll be posting baby portraits soon, who knows! I do like the idea of painting in plein air with the baby on a carrier, and soon she will be passing me the brushes! 

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Upcoming show!

I would like to invite you all to my Art show "Painting the seasons" that will run on the 4-5-6 October in Bradford-on-Avon with two other local painters (Andrew Taylor and Bob Child)Do come and say hello, we will be there for the three days. There will be plenty of original paintings on sale, and also a large selection of prints and postcards. Or just come to see a heavily pregnant woman that could possibly go into labour while hanging her paintings! (that's me!)

You are all welcome to join us during the preview evening reception which will be held the Friday 4 October 6-9pm. The three of us will be present and there will be drinks, nibbles and music and plenty of art for sale! 
Painting the seasons
(Bob Child, Valérie Pirlot, Andrew Taylor)
Oil and watercolour landscapes by three local painters

Friday 4 October - Sunday 6 October 2013
The West Barn, Barton Farm, Bradford-on-Avon BA15 1LF, UK
10am - 6pm FREE ENTRY 

It is the same venue and concept as our show last year. Click here to have a look at the pictures.

For a preview of what will be on show, feel free to have a look at our websites (most of our available paintings will be on show):
For all of you who can't be there, you can reserve paintings in advance - simply browse our websites and contact me for prices and I'll be happy to help and reserve/ship work to you. 

Hopefully see you there!

Here is just a small sample of what will be in show:

Watercolours by Bob Child:

Bob Child

Tutton Hill 1 (Bob Child)

Chartres (Bob Child)

George St (Bob Child)

Watergates (Bob Child)

Oil paintings by Valérie Pirlot:
Valérie Pirlot                     image©Luca Girardini

George Street - Friday evening in August (Valérie Pirlot)

Claude Vale, Bath, in the snow, morning (Valérie Pirlot)

Hot summer day, Sydney Gardens, Bath (2) (Valérie Pirlot)

Boats at low tide, Porthleven harbour (Valérie Pirlot)

Oil paintings by Andrew Taylor:
Andrew Taylor

Cloud view from Redhorn Hill (Andrew Taylor)

Cheverell Corn Bales (Andrew Taylor)

Princes Bridge (Andrew Taylor)

Haystacks field (Andrew Taylor)