Sunday, 17 August 2014

Tea With a View

oil painting on mdf panel  24x28 cms 

A couple enjoying a rest from sightseeing caught my eye as they sat sipping drinks on a terrace.  It was the light on the chap's hat that kept my attention, they were also sitting at the table with the best view and to be honest I was envious!
The restaurant was high up looking over the sea and rooftops on a glorious sunny day, what more could you ask for, except for a seat outside on the terrace...ggrrrrrr.

I wanted to try something different so I  collaged some ripped newspaper, tissue and wallpapery bits to make a border.  Not sure if it worked or not but the idea was to capture the old fashioned atmosphere of the restaurant.

I've no idea who the couple are but the man had a white beard and could have been American or Canadian   If you do happen to recognise yourself in this painting or perhaps friends who had a holiday in Sicily this June please let me know.
I have forgiven them for grabbing the best table by the way!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Summer Sketching

I've photographed a few pages from my sketchbook, the first is a corner of my friend's house.
It was built by my friend's grandfather in 1920's and stands on top of a hill over looking the coast.
I'm very tempted to make a larger painting of it.

A slice of water melon...very summery!  This was a melon grown across the road...this year a lemon grove was turned into a little market garden.  This is happening more and more as work gets harder to find and  people are going back to their roots, trying to make a business out of the resources they have.
The  melon was delicious by the way!

A windy afternoon  and a quick sketch on the beach.  this one is in my smallest moleskine sketchbook, the one that slips into the side pocket of my bag.
I hope you're having a good summer!

Sunday, 3 August 2014


Freshly painted fishing boats drawn up on the beach in readiness for the annual 'festa' , when a small flotilla sets off around the bay.  It's a popular occasion which the whole village comes out to see, hoping of course for sunny afternoon. 

My painting is in mixed media on mdf board, 25x50 cms

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 Cefal├╣, 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.


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