Monday, 13 June 2016

Rambles with an artist Latrigg

 Latrigg, a small hill with stunning views over Keswick and the surrounding fells. This four mile walk is perfect for a couple of spare hours, when you need a little inspiration. Two Lakes Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite, a glimpse into Borrowdale and Newlands valleys and a few of the highest peaks Helvellyn and Skiddaw. On a clear day Scafell Pike can be viewed  from the bench positioned ideally on top.

An ideal start is Spooney Lane, a quiet bridleway that crosses the busy A66. Pass Spooney Green a Bed and Breakfast with a variety of Hens running freely in the gardens. You should notice the sounds of birdsong  walking  by the side of Brundleholme Wood. Red squirrels are about so do keep a look out. Head straight up the track between Yellow Gorse, Broom and wild flowers. Glimpse through the shaded trees, a patchwork of Green fields towards the tiny hamlet of  Applethwaite and  Bassenthwaite. This is the steepest section of the walk and only lasts a short time.

Follow the path round to the left ignoring the gates on the right into Brundleholme wood. The first viewpoint towards Derwentwater is reached. I often stop and sketch, not able to wait any longer. 
 Sun rays glisten and sparkle  on the Lake and light up the sides of the fells into the valley of Newlands. A painters paradise. This low level viewpoint is often more sheltered than the summit top of Latrigg. 

Back to the path and through the peaceful woods leading to a gate to reveal views towards Grizedale Pike and on to Bassenthwaite. Flat pastures with old Chestnut trees dotted around casting useful shadows. The mighty flanks of Skiddaw are well viewed ahead, covered in Heather, a wonderful spectacle of colour in the month of August. Especially with the light on a late Summers evening.
The path soon comes to a crossroads, take the right hand path and zig zag up the side of Latrigg. 


Newlands from Latrigg
Painted in Pastels

Views open up, a few Sheep grazing on the hillside could be an useful lead in for a photograph
Nearing the top, the Bench will be spotted, fingers crossed it as no weary walkers sitting taking in the lofty view.
The Slate roofs of Keswick below towards Derwentwater, Borrowdale  with Great End and Scafell Pike on the distant horizon. Helvellyn and the Dodds on the left with Grizdale Pike and Bassenthwaite shouting for attention on the right. 
This is a perfect place to stop for a break, just watch out for the strong winds if you do get the painting materials out and a few walkers passing by.

Head back down the track you came up, plenty of photograph opportunities along the way. After reaching the first viewpoint, cross the tiny stream and head through the gate into the woods. In the month of June wild foxgloves will skirt the track through the woods, a wonderful sight to see, especially with the sunshine lighting the way through the pretty woodland.

Foxgloves, Brundleholm Wood painted in Pastels.

The path comes to a crossroads, take a right to head back and join the Spooney Lane track and back to the start of the walk.
The filling Station, on Crosswaite Road is an ideal place to stop for Coffee and cake or for a well earned pint the Pheasant Inn opposite.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Online watercolour courses

Here are the paintings for the first two Online watercolour courses

Each course has six projects which comes with a sketch to guide and simplify a scene, colout tags to help with colour mixing, a material list and with each project personal feedback with  helpful hints and tips on how to improve your watercolour painting.

Course One

Project one 
Derwentwater  Posts 

Project Two
Blea Tarn

Project Three
Windermere Sunset

Project Four 
After the Snow

Project Five
Red Boat Windermere

Project Six
On the Rocks

Online Course One £55.00

Course Two 
Watercolour Course

Project One
Ullswater Daffodils

Project Two
Tarn Hows

Project Three
Above Windermere

Project Four

Project Five 
Derwent Isle

Project Six
Bluebell Wood

Online Course Two £55.00

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Sketchbook Walks in the footsteps of Beatrix Potter

Catbells home of Mrs Tigglewinkle.

I grew up with the books of Beatrix Potter her words and beautiful paintings inspired me, to paint and have an interest in wildlife. On visiting the Lake District many years ago, my first stop was Hill Top at Near Sawry to see where this wonderful lady had lived and painted. 
Now living not too far from Derwentwater  is a pure joy, to be inspired along the lake shore when taking my sketchbook on a walk. Stopping when something catches my eye for a quick sketch. I find this an ideal way to get material to work from at a later stage or back in the studio, you see much more than a photograph.

Sketchbook Walk around Derwentwater
Tuesday 19th July 2016

The day starts at 11.00am with a sketch before heading on the Launch across
  Derwentwater to a peaceful location. Sampling stunning views as we walk along the foreshore, stopping occasionally for an inspiration sketch.
 Heading towards Lingholm Estate where Beatrix Potter spent many Summer holidays here.
Finishing around 4pm back at the theatre by the Lake.

Learning to draw and observe are essential skills for the landscape artist. A sketchbook is the perfect place to practise and refine your drawing and painting skills. You may record memories of places visited with comments jotted down alongside. Learn to secrets of sketching and drawing in a loose and lively style.

This is a great introduction into outdoor sketching
Materials needed
Sketchbook, 2b (0.7mm) clutch pencil, small watercolour travel set, water soluble pen, a couple of brushes, Pentel or Derwentwater water brush, small water holder, sit mat, camera, umbrella just in case, packed lunch and a rucksac to put it all in. 

Price £50.00
email Jane to reserve your place

More dates for August coming up.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Rambles with an artist Scafell

Spending weeks checking the forecast, for a special day in the mountains. 
I couldn't ask for a better day, Cobalt blue skies, warm sunshine and magical light.
Starting from the village of Boot in Eskdale, passing the super pub and thinking of the well earned drink that would come at the end of the day.
Finding the little track that would lead us to the summit of Slight side, we shared it with a couple of Herdwicks. You can see the summit in the distance.

And here we are on the summit of Slight side, views as far as the eye can see.
Across the Solway to Scotland, I even think we could make out the Isle of Man. This was a tick in the book for Wainwright's, and with only four left, to do, we started on our accent of the Fourth last 'mighty Scafell'.

The Ridge walk would take about forty five minutes,  a bit of trek up the rocky, boulder strewn summit. Concentrating on the path was necessary, with iconic giants surrounding the area, it was quite difficult with Crinkle Crags, Bow fell, Scafell Pike even Blencathra and Skiddaw all jostling for attention.

Looking back to Slight side, and the path is somewhere there.

Cotton wool balls sitting in a perfect Blue sky. Great Gable and Napes Needle is sharply pronounced in the bright sunshine.

This is one of my favourite views, of Gable and I'm looking forward to painting this on a big scale, but today a super quick five minute sketch, before the scary descent down the scree slope.

Views down to Wastwater and Burnmoor Tarn, where we are heading towards.

Making our way across the boggy Marsh,  much easier after sliding  down scree. We barely saw many other walkers, a couple of families at the Tarn sunbathing along with a herd of Cows.

I wonder if this is the pair of Herdwicks we saw earlier in the day, posing in front of Harter Fell.
A lengthy ten mile walk, in wild Lakeland scenery. Wainwright calls Eskdale a piece of Heaven and today I would agree. 
Back to Boot, over the bridge and passing the pub!!!

I hope you've enjoyed my super Scafell walk, it certainly inspired me and I can't wait to get the paints out. 

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