Saturday, 30 April 2016

What makes you want to paint?




40x40 cms, oil on wood. Click here to buy



What makes you want to paint? What should you paint?    I recently read a magazine article where the artist said paint what you like and chances are someone else will like it too.  I don't remember the artist (sorry) but I think it's a good way to approach what we paint.

I am often inspired by my friend's garden.  It's an unusual garden with hidden corners and vintage objects given new uses or just displayed because they remind my friend of her parents and childhood.  The above painting is a group of old jugs with a jam jar of flowers was just outside the back door.




 These are just a few of my other paintings inspired by sunny mornings or afternoons spent with my painting friends in the garden ...there are many more!




Sunday, 6 March 2016

Sketchbook Sunday





These are my sketches from a sunny but windy morning with the local USK group.
The first is an abandoned ceramic works which I sketched sitting on the side of a busy road.  Lorries and cars hurtled along but I always enjoy sketching these types of buildings so didn't notice.










The  above park is nearby, called 'Acqua dei Corsari' which means pirate's water, legend has that pirates were saved by a fresh water spring in the area.
We sat overlooking the sea and ancient watch tower in an amphitheatre built by the local council a few years ago in an effort to give some life back to an area ruined by industry and pollution.  The whole area is now sadly overgrown and desolate once again.



Monday, 8 February 2016

Bandits and Thieves






A couple of sketches from last week and a lovely morning sketching and listening to the sea and surroundings.  My favourite part of sketching outside is absorbing the sounds and sensations of a place that then become part of the sketch itself.




This time I was with the Urban sketchers group at a tiny harbour hidden away in the city.  While we sketched fisherman mended and prepared their nets chatting and telling us stories from the area.  Little wooden boats came in and out of the harbour, usually in twos as one with a motor towed another without.




The area we were in is known as 'La Bandita' and used to be a fishing hamlet in its own right.  Over the years it became engulfed by urban sprawl and went into decline, polluted and dirty.  Now it is struggling to survive, the sea seemed to be clean but the little beach was still littered.

The name Bandita has various legends and stories attached to it but the general theme is about a woman who kept a nearby tavern. This tough talking woman gave protection and shelter to bandits and thieves earning her the name of  La Bandita or a sbannuta in Sicilian dialect.


Yes I often use the back of my hand to clean my brush!

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Painting Pears



oil on wood 20x20cms/approx 8x8"



2015 was a good year for pears...both on my tree and on my easel.  I have pear tree and most years it's weighed down with these little pears.  I can't resist painting them as being home-grown they are all different shapes and sizes.  They look to me as if each one has their own personality, especially if I put them in a row.

Oil on wood, 17x40cms/approx 7x16"

This isn't the first time I've painted pears and it certainly won't be the last.  I've come to the conclusion I quite like painting fruit and veg!

or

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Sketchbook Sunday catch up




I'm playing catch up...these are my sketches from December at the Zisa Palace, Palermo.

'La Zisa' was built in the 12th century in an Arab/Norman style and is set in peaceful gardens, designed as somewhere to relax, it even has a primitive form of air conditioning. A series of vent ducts and air tunnels captured the wind to maintain a cool airflow through the building.




I didn't have long there but from the park/garden I also sketched the S.Stefano church.
A beautiful sunny day, although now I'm sitting by the fire with far more wintery conditions!

or

Monday, 21 December 2015

It's that time of year again



oil on wood 20x20cms 
Christmas time is here again, this year has flown by. I have been concentrating on my oil paintings for most of the year, especially the small 20x20cms size.  They are fairly quick to paint and allow me to try out new subjects and techniques, I'm really enjoying them and getting a lot out of it so be ready for more in the next year.
I hope all of you have had  great year and I wish you a festive and peaceful Christmas!



Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Into the Blue




Oil on mdf wood  20x20cms (approx 8x8")

I know that in a lot of places it's freezing cold and wintery, so here is a memory of a warm summer.

This is the edge of an island, at the top of a hill... a view from a castle.  In the middle of Lipari town on the island of Lipari, Sicily, there is a steep walk up to what was once a castle and is now a museum.  The views are spectacular from all sides, out to sea and over the town

I'm always curious to see what's over the wall, round the corner or on the otherside, so if you are wondering what could be seen from between these trees......here you are.


To paint this painting I made myself use only a large brush for everything, which was fun as I often fiddle about too much. I liked it so much I haven't touched my little fiddly brushes since!

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