Monday, 29 September 2014

A walk to see Mont Blanc.



A walk up to Bellevue. Just a mere gallop up the ski slopes for a few hours on a glorious sunny day. Or so I thought! Orange and Red Autumn leaves looked great next to the bright blue sky.



Pots and baskets full of flowers sitting pretty at the chalet halfway up the slopes.




Washing day at this chalet perched on the slope, warm socks and jumpers on the line drying ready for Winter to begin.


Bellevue was reached and then we decided to head a bit further up the hill looking for a nice picnic spot. I was hoping for a pretty cafe, a cold glass of Coke, maybe with a red chequered tablecloth. It's funny what runs through the mind tramping up hills.


Up the road we have skied down many times. Looking back towards the mighty Blanc


Late Summer and Autumn flowers Purple Heather, Pansies and Giant Mushrooms basking in the sunshine.


No mushrooms were hurt in taking this photo.



The picnic spot was finally found. Perched high on the top of Prailon a mere 1969 metres high. What a vista. Sandwiches were quickly eaten, so that a sketch of this fabulous view would be remembered. To walk up here is something special, the views and light were incredible. Funny that I never considered the descent at this point.My head was full of paintings, flowers and pretty walking!





So now I find myself sitting perched on an edge staring at the abyss below. Number One Art Critic is ahead checking out the path for a frightened Mountain artist who's not good with heights!
We took the path one step at a time, clinging to the wire rope that was there for added drama. No photo's were taken as I could only look at the ground beneath my feet. Thank goodness for Number One Art Critic with a good head for heights.

And so safely down, and aching thighs but a wonderful hike that filled me with inspiration to paint a stunning scene.

Have no fear I will never venture up the Mighty Mont Blanc, just admire from below.

www.watercolourcourse.co.uk

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Painting clouds in Oils


 Painting en plein is not easy. It is very enjoyable, and you see so much more than looking at a photograph but there are factors that you need to considerate.Getting the equipment set up in front of 'the view' I then feel at one with nature and ready to capture.
I am a little fussy about light and so looking out and seeing the Aguile look just right, the oil paints were grabbed and I started on a colourful canvas I had previously given an underbase.
Looking up all the time and then placing colour, looking up again trying to figure out the rock formations. Clouds started to roll around playing hide and seek with the mountain peaks. So I started following suit. Succumbing and softening clouds over the too bright sky. I was now starting to speed paint and then looking up to see all the view was lost behind a mass of cloud!


Clear Blue skies I thought. Why didn't I notice the clouds rolling in. But it does make a more atmospheric scene.


I thought I would paint this view so much, but instead I just sit and watch it change every minute. It's more entertaining  than  TV especially when a storm is brewing, the colours of the clouds and light on the mountains can be so dramatic.
But as the cloud came completing down today, the brushes had to be put down for another day.





Wednesday, 17 September 2014

A walk in Chamonix


 The Autumn colours are suddenly emerging, they look great against the blue haze of the mountains. It must be the complementary Orange and Blue. We have three weeks left here in the Alps and then it's back to the glorious Lakes to make a new home and art studio! The light today was wonderful as we walked up to catch the Montenvers train back down to Chamonix. This fab little Red train and track was built around 1907 to take tourists up to see the Mer de Glace and the awesome views.




We walked up the ski slopes that we have skied down, then into the forests that cling to the mountain sides. Sunlight and magical views of the valley kept popping into view. A pretty little chalet perched on the edge offered tea, coffee and comfy seating.


The litle Red train passed us by, tourists cameras at the ready wondered why we would be walking up.



Gorgeous woodland waiting to be captured with a paintbrush of colour.


We reached our picnic spot and sat in delight taking in the view that anyone would amaze at. A quick sketch, but it took a while wondering what to pick 'The mighty Dru, Grandes Jorasses or the Glacier sweeping round.So much for the artist to admire.



We spied some climbers on the Glacier, this is zoomed in to show the expanse of the glacier




I love this view and have painted it a few times in Pastel and Acrylics, it never fails to inspire me and I think it is such a special place.


Grandes Jorasses from Flegere
 painted in Acrylics

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Ten tips to paint a Bluebell Wood in Watercolours


How to paint a Bluebell Wood in Watercolours

Top ten tips
1. Use Not or Rough watercolour paper, ideal with a little more texture.
2.Test colour mixing before on a scrap piece of paper.
3.  Create many different Tonal values with different amounts of water.
4. Cobalt Blue and Ultramarine Blue mixed with Permanent Rose give a great Bluebell color.
5. Have a few good photographs and even a sketch to work from.
6. Try gently rubbing a little candle wax over the paper to create sparkle.
7.Paint some complementary colours in the scene, this will make the scene sing!
8. Take a walk through a wood and note the colours and shapes of trees.
9. Add a little Gouache for lighter Bluebells. 
And Number ten let the scene evolve naturally with the watercolours.

If you would like to paint a Bluebell wood and not sure where to begin, 
 The Bluebell Wood project is free with the Online Watercolor course.
This watercolor course is ideal for anyone who would like to learn how to paint with watercolors
Following easy step by step instructions with each project you will gain the confidence to enjoy this wonderful absorbing hobby, that opens up a whole new world.

www.watercolourcourse.co.uk for more details

Online watercolour course with six projects and a free Bluebell Wood project


Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Tarn Hows watercolour


Tarn Hows

Painted in Watercolours
Size 13.5 x 15 inches

A favourite haunt in the Lakes. Near to Hawkshead. Perfect to visit in any season. 
A pleasant circular walk of about three miles.This is the view  half way looking back up the Tarn.
Its a place that will bring a smile to any artist, photographer or those who love natural beauty.
Just never visit midday in the School Holiday in Autumn, otherwise you may like me come away without finding a car park.

To purchase this original watercolour send me an email for more details

Monday, 25 August 2014

Magic in watercolours


Tarn Hows

Nearly finished and still on the easel. Just having a few thoughts about the foreground. 
I want to keep it simple, and give it a lovely tranquil feel. All with a paint brush, and watercolours.
Not an easy task.

I love working with watercolours , why? Because you are never quite sure how it will dry and just occasionally a little magic will happen!

I'll keep you posted on the finished result

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Grand saint Bernard



Grand Saint Bernard an iconic pass joining Switzerland and Italy. At a towering 2,469 metres 8,100 feet this would be a tough ride. But not today we had read about the frightening tunnels of 5 kms and a busy road with fast traffic. The decision was made we would drive to the old col road, park up and then make our way to the top from there. A mere 8kms ride with 695 metres to climb.

 We would cycle through was aptly know 'Valley of the Dead' whether it was the dull day or the silence shattered by falling rocks it certain had an eery feel. Saying this I loved ride through the valley, it reminded me of the bleak Scottish highlands.


 Napolean had marched through the pass with an Army ready for battle, supposedly a procession of drums to warn the opposition they were on their way. On reaching the top of the Col they were each given glasses of wine and cheese from the waiting Monks. No wine and Cheese today but the promise of Italian Hot Chocolate.


 The quiet Swiss pass below, a tough eight kilometres.


A lake, Hospice, Grand Bernard cuddly toys and promised Chocolate that needed drinking with a spoon.
And a very cold free wheel back to the van.