Friday, 11 April 2014

Out of Season







Not quite the right time of year for an autumn painting but this one had been waiting patiently to be finished for a while. 
Sicily has warm weather right into October, the blue sky and early morning sun on autumn leaves in my garden were my inspiration.  It might be spring but autumn is still my favourite season!
Oil on canvas  35x25cms


Tuesday, 25 March 2014

My favourite places to visit (continued)




Old church door, watercolour























To continue my virtual  tour around Sicily I delved into my sketchbooks and chose to visit Erice, a mediaeval town high on a hill 750m above sea level.



There a two ways to get up to Erice (unless you have a helicopter), you can drive up the steep and winding road or get on the cable car from Trapani....not for the faint-hearted!








Once you're there it's like going back in time.  The old cobbled streets, ancient churches and two castles give you a real sense of history.   The origins of Erice go right back to the Elymians, but it was also conquered by the Arabs and the Normans giving  the town an original architectural and cultural mix found only in Sicily.










You can fill a whole day exploring and looking...or tasting some of the local pastries!


















Admire the breathtaking views along the coast, it's said you can see Etna on the other side of the island on a clear day.



Tuesday, 11 March 2014

My top places to visit in Sicily





I'm planning where I want to go as soon as the weather gets a little bit better.  After the flu and grey, cold days I'm ready for some blue skies.  I'm lucky to live in Sicily where there is not only warm weather nine months of the year but also plenty of interesting and beautiful places to visit.  
I thought I would show you some of my favourite places to visit, a virtual tour you might say!






My first destination is 'Le Saline'  a natural reserve along the coast between Marsala and Trapani.  I've often  posted my sketches and I never get tired of painting or photographing the lagoon, salt pans and windmills.

  



The shallow waters and dry winds are ideal for extracting salt from the sea water.  The lagoon (Lo Stagnone) is closed off from the open sea by four small islands.






One of the best times to go is as the sun gets lower and the colours of the sun setting reflect on the sea and windmills.  Have I sold it to you yet?  It will always be on my list!

The little watercolour sletches above are little on the blue side as I had to photograph them...how I miss my  scanner!  Here's a tiny watercolour from a year or so ago, much better colours.





Where will we go next?  Wait and see!

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Cactus



Oil on canvas 50 x 60 cms


This has taken me much longer than I originally thought it would... I keep going back and fiddling!
I will now leave it for a few days and see if it still looks ok.  I also need to take a better photograph, this one had to be slightly skew to avoid the light glare as much as possible.

These cactus were part of a long row that my friend had in her garden. They caught my eye because of the way the midday sun was making them glow, offset by the cool greens in the ceramic bowls.
I am still using the working title of 'cactus' ( highly original and interesting I know), so any good title will be appreciated thank you!




Sunday, 2 February 2014

Chalk and Cheese





I love to do these little sketches in watercolour, it's good practice and it's good to have a break from my big oil paintings.  Both of these are of men, but one is Sicilian and the other is English....I bet you can't tell which one is which!








My art group has booked our exhibition for May so I'm going to be preparing some new work to go with the pieces I already have.  I'm focused and ready to go! (hopefully)


Sunday, 19 January 2014

Sketching around Sicily





Looking through my sketchbooks and albums I realised just how many sketches and paintings I have from Sicily.  I am so lucky to live on such a beautiful island and have endless possiblities  and inspiration on my doorstep.





I love to get in my car and become a tourist for the day or a guide as sometimes happens.  there is always something new to discover even if I have visited the same place several times before.





I will be sorting out and putting these little sketches and paintings into an ebook, perhaps adding a few new ones to my collection too.

'The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.'
Marcel Proust








Sunday, 12 January 2014

'The hours seem short'




I am busily working away at several paintings, one quite large (for me), here is a little sneek peek although there's still quite a bit of work to be done.  I'm not a fast painter, I enjoy the process too much!






Then there are a couple of sketches in my sketchbook that I photographed so they're a bit grey.
The first is one overlooking the River Avon from my recent trip to the UK, just behind the Royal Shakespeare Theatre at Stratford.



This tree is at the front of the theatre.



This is a little sketch of seagulls on the barrier of rocks created to protect the seafront.  I often wonder how birds decide who sits where...and what the pecking order is?


'Pleasure and action make the hours seem short'

William Shakespeare

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