Sunday, 27 July 2014

Red grapes on the kitchen table

Still drying on my easel and getting a photo without shine was a problem, but here they are... red grapes on my kitchen table.  Not the most original title, can you think of a better one?
If I get up early I can catch the morning sun as it shines through my window onto my kitchen table.  This little pool of light often inspires me to paint, especially glowing almost transparent fruit.  'Glowing grapes' could be another perhaps not !

Oil on board 30 x 40 cms

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Nothing goes to waste!

I broke a flower head off one of my geranium plants by mistake but I didn't want to waste the beautiful red flower... so I turned it into this little oil painting.
I already had the small canvas at home and it didn't take long for me to paint the background in acrylic using masking tape to make the stripes. I also painted the basic flower shape in acrylic, letting it dry overnight before finishing off with oil paints.
I'm enjoying acrylics more, I'm beginning to get a feel for what I could do with them... I might even have to buy some more colours!

20x20cms mixed media

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Last Light

There is always something to inspire a painting when I have a wander down by the sea. Even places I visited time and time again have something different or a certain light to capture.
This little village by the sea is always busy especially in the summer months, if I hang about enough something always catches my eye, it could be a fisherman mending his nets, gulls out on the rocks or the colourful fishing boats like this one.
I experimented with oil over acrylic, trying to get some texture in the harbour wall and sand, it's a fun process and I'm already trying out some new ideas. Hope you like it!

Mixed media on mdf wood panel, 38 x 30 cms

Thursday, 19 June 2014

My sketchbook and days out...

It's the beginning of the summer, and hopefully there will be more time to sketch and paint.  To start with are some tiny little pears.  Every year I can't resist sketching them, they are all different shapes and none bigger than my thumb.

A 'manderino' was hiding in  my sketchbook too (that's one from a couple of months ago).

Out walking in the woods I was struck by how many pink flowers there were, these are just a few.

I've had my mum here to stay for 10 days so some days out... it's nice to be a tourist sometimes!
This is Cefalù, we had a wander around and some lunch overlooking the sea. 

We also ate here on a trip to Erice. It was an old house with much of it's original decorations, we sat upstairs in what could have been a bedroom.  I had the fish cous cous!  This place is an off-shoot of Maria Grammatico's well known cake shop next-door, so we couldn't leave without tasting some almond pastries.

I wrote about Erice in one of my previous posts here if you want to know more.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Soft light and terracotta pots

20x27 cms coloured pencil

I have a thing about terracotta and the way the warm Sicilian sun throws delicate shadows and pools of colour.  This group of plant pots and young grape vines was no exception as the afternoon light filtered through the tender leaves.

I started this coloured pencil piece at the beginning of the year, as much as I love coloured pencil I find that I don't have the patience that I had before or perhaps it's just that I don't have the same time available for art that I used to have. This means I have had to make choices and decide where I will concentrate my time.  It won't be the last of coloured pencil just a break!

Thursday, 29 May 2014


So where did I go in Europe for a short break?  Well to start with I didn't go anywhere as the flight was delayed for four hours!  Luckily the view was good from the departure lounge.

We eventually arrived at our destination late in the evening....yes Barcelona! 

Our hotel was in Gràcia, just slightly out of the city centre.  Everyday we walked down Passeig de Gràcia past Gaudi's Casa Batllò, just one of the stunning examples of his work in Barcelona.

You either love or hate the Sagrada Familia with its towering spires and ornate decoration.  To me the side I sketched looked like a fairytale sandcastle, I loved the carefully thought out madness of it all.

Just around the corner from our hotel was Gaudi's Casa Vincens, his first important building.

No visit would be complete without seeing Parc Guell and one of the reasons why I wanted to see Barcelona. 

A walk along the Ramblas to see the famous Boqueria market, Liceu Theatre and a pavement mosaic by Joan Miro-

So much to see  ( so many tourists) and not enough time...I will have to go back one day!

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Somewhere in Europe!

I'm just back from a short city break somewhere in Europe, I will be posting some sketches soon!  In the meantime just for fun can you guess where I've been?
Here are some clues......


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