30 Degrees, hot sun in January-Whats not to like! -Mauritius in 2020

The view from the Lounger at Le Tousserok beach. Sketchbook watercolour 9 inches by 8.

Hi Everybody

We have just returned from 10 delightful days in Mauritius, staying at the Le Tousserok Shangri-la Resort on the East coast. It is a long way away but the beautiful January weather makes that journey worthwhile.

For us it is a mixture of Sun and Pool and Golf as well when we are there, and The Shangri-La is a great place to stay at. Of course it wouldn’t be a holiday for me without the watercolour kit and so I also get some time for a few watercolours of the sea and the boats and mountains.

I think its the only place that I have ever been to where I can sit on a comfortable lounger at the beach and paint watercolours!

So here are those watercolours, some just sketches in my Sketch Book. This sketch book is a Khadi papers one and very handy on travel. There are also a couple of watercolours that are larger and were painted in the comfort of our balcony.

I hope you like them and this vision of just a little bit of this lovely Indian Ocean island.

Mauritius is an Island formed from huge volcanoes and large Basalt rocks are everywhere. It is also very fertile and Coconut Palms and Sugar cane grow everywhere, making the island very green. You are never very far from the mountains which make for some wonderful scenery.

“The Mountains by the sea”. Watercolour 14 inches by 10 on Arches paper.

Everywhere around the coast are many small fishing boats and the fish in the restaurants are very good.

“Fishing boats and a shack by the beach”. Sketchbook watercolour 9 by 8 inches on Khadi paper.

“Yachts at Sunrise”. Sketchbook watercolour 9 inches by 8.

There are fisherman all over the island, some fishing from the shore and some standing for hours waist deep in the sea catching their supper.

“Fishermen and boats by the sea”. Sketchbook pen and Ink watercolour 9 inches by 8.

“Boats at the shore”. Watercolour 14 inches by 10 on Arches watercolour paper.

We have now visited Mauritius on quite a few occasions and have always enjoyed it there. The people there are delightful and even though it is far away it is so lovely to go there for some seriously good weather in January 

I hope you will enjoy this and maybe my other posts on Mauritius and elsewhere .

Have look at my Artfinder site too, maybe something there will catch your eye.

http://www.artfinder.com/brianswatercolours

Happy travelling

Brian

Seasons Greetings!

 

“Do you think we will be able to play by 10 o’clock?”. The Golf Course in the winter snow Watercolour 20 by 14 inches by Brian

 

 

Hi Everbody

I would like to wish you all a Very Happy Christmas and  Good wishes for the New Year.

I very much appreciate you looking at, and following my blog and for your comments and interest in my watercolours.

Its been a busy year with a lot of new watercolours being created and it’s been exciting to ship quite a lot to homes around the world, where I hope they will be lasting memories of travel and good times.

 

Winter in the UK has been a wet affair with no snow in my area yet, but maybe we will see some in the next few weeks.

With that in mind I painted this scene a few days ago, of our local golf club  and it seems appropriate for this last post of the year.

 

Enjoy the holidays wherever you are.

Happy travelling

Brian

Kent, The English County that’s Home!

Rochester,visions of 1937,.A Sunderland flying boat makes it’s maiden flight.

Hi All

Another dreary November day, more rain and not much golf!

We seem to be having a very wet early Winter this year and as the leaves fall into ever increasing piles my mind wandered to all the lovely places that Kent has to offer all year round.

I thought I would see how many watercolour paintings I have produced over the past few years and it seems there are a lot, over 70 in fact and many have been in various posts in the past.

So here is post dedicated to Kent, our home County of England.

I hope you will enjoy seeing some of them.

Lets start in Hastings, such a famous town and still noted for its fishing fleet located on the “Stad”, or beach.

Fishing Boats at Hastings

Fishing boats at Hastings

 

 

More fishing boats at Hythe and Littestone


Towards the East are The White Cliffs, Dover and at South Foreland Lighthouse

Dover from the Cruise Ship Terminal. 15 inches by 6.5.

South Foreland Lighthouse on the Cliffs

And further to the East the traditional seaside town of Broadstairs

Broadstairs 18 inches by 14

 

Nearby on the Isle of Thanet, the most easterly point of Kent, and there we find is Margate, famous for it association with WM Turner.

Margate sunset 14 inches by 10

Towards the Swale and Thames Estuaries is Faversham, a very old town famous for Barges and its old buildings. There are many creeks in this area and boats and barges are often moored there.

Barge as Oare, near Faversham

Barges and Barge races are common around the Kent coast. Here are couple of watercolours of some barges

Barges racing in the Thames Estuary

The 2016 Medway Barge Race

Inland lies the great city of Canterbury with its magnificent Cathedral

Mist over the City of Canterbury

Sketch of Canterbury Cathedral

In spring Kent is famous for the beautiful Blue woods and the rolling countryside around Horsmonden

Bluebells

Near Horsmonden

i have posted before about the famous Oast Houses of the South of England, and Kent especially

Here is just one  watercolour

Kentish Oasts

 

And finally back to winter, no snow yet but will there be some for Christmas?

 

 

 

Oasts in the Snow

 

The gardens at Sissinghurst Castle.

Well I hope you have enjoyed this quick visit to Kent,The Garden of England,so I will leave you with a final image of Sissinghurst castle and it’s beautiful gardens.

Come and visit Kent sometime, there is so much to see and enjoy. 

And so many more watercolours, I may venture to part 2!

Happy travelling

Brian

A quick visit to The Seven Sisters in Sussex

The Seven Sister in Sussex Watercolour 12 inches by 10.

I had the opportunity to spend some time at the Country Park that overlooks the Seven Sister Cliffs at Seaford Head recently.

It gave me a little time to sketch the scene and start a painting of the view.

As it was November it was a pretty cold day but there was a lovely morning glow way out to sea in the English Channel and this just had to be in the watercolour, together with very threatening dark clouds nearer to where I was standing.

I love this iconic scene with the Coastguard Cottages in the foreground and the mouth of the river emerging into the calm ,cold sea.

so this quick post is just that one watercolour which is now for sale on Artfinder ,or you can contact me directly.

i hope you like it and if you get a chance make your way to the Country Park and walk down towards the Cotteges and enjoy this oh so English scene.

incidentally I also had lunch at the Seaford Head Golf Club which open to non memebers and it was very good and I was made very welcome there too.

Well worth a visit!

Happy travelling

Brian

brian@brianswatercolours.com

 

Lest we Forget

Poppies in the Field

It is now 101 years since the end of the First World War.

Today we remember those whose sacrifices both in that War and since have enabled us to enjoy the freedoms we have today.

We will never forget them.

I am reminded of this in the personal sacrifices of members of my Wife’s family in 1917.

We have visited Ypres twice in recent years following the final days of my Wife’s great Uncles who were killed at Passchendaele in 1917. Visiting there was a remarkable and very moving experience.

David Andrews ,from Larne in Northern Ireland, was reported as “missing in action” at Passchendaele in the Ypres area on 17th August 1917.  His body was never recovered. David was serving as a Lance Corporal with the 14th Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles when he was killed.
Tragically his brother, Frank, was also killed on the very same day, also at Ypres, but serving in the 9th Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers.   Two brothers killed on the same day. 
They and many hundreds of thousands also killed in the Ypres area, are commemorated on the magnificent Tyne Cot War Grave Memorial at Ypres. Their Battalions had only engaged that day.  Their other brother Harry also served in the First World War and was gassed, but he returned home eventually. Alas many of their friends never did.

 

We will always remember the great sacrifices made by so many over 100 years ago that give us all the freedoms we enjoy today.

Brian

Occasional larger watercolours

Hi Everybody

Thanks for reading this blog post.

I like to paint my watercolours in a few regular sizes

On travel they are often 10 by 8 inch pen and ink studies that sometimes become larger paintings. Here is a recent example

In the studio or en plein air I like to paint watercolours that are 14 by 10 inches or 16 by 12. For me it a comfortable size and I quite often use Arches 300gsm watercolour paper blocks which are very nice to work with whether indoor or outside.

Again here is recent one

Varenna on Lake Como

Occasionally I will paint lager paintings in watercolour up to about 25 inches by 20. For me these take a bit more preparation and thought and naturally take longer to do.

So here is  recent example of a lager painting recently sent to a customer in the USA. It is of Durnstein on the Danube river and was based on painting and photos taken there a few years ago.

It is 24 inches by 16 inches and was painted on 600gsm Saunders watercolour paper . This thick paper is great to use as it retains the water for long periods and that helps with larger areas of washes.

 

Watercolour of Durnstein. 24 inches by 16.

Here are a few more larger watercolours painted over the last few years

Misty morning in Norfolk. Watercolour 25 inches by 20.

Portofino Watercolour 20 inches by 10

 

Watercolour of Burnham Overy Staithe. 25 inches by 20. Painted during a Herman Pekel Workshop.

I hope to be painting quite a lot more larger watercolours in the future

Happy Travelling 

Brian

 

Evenings, stormy and calm

Hi Everyone

Just a quick post with some new and old watercolours of evening skies

Lets start with a very recent watercolour of Rye and one of a scene on the Rhine also painted recently.

Evening at Rye in East Sussex. Watercolour 14 inches by 10 on Arches Rough paper.

 

Evening on the Rhine in Germany.watercolour 14 by 10 inches on Arches Rough Paper.

And some stormier skies :-

 

A Evening storm brewing At Antibes

Fishing boat at Littlestone beach as the storm approaches.

 

Blustery evening at Kinderdijk.

And some calmer Evening to end this post

Evening in Provence

The sun setting on the Ile de la Cite in Paris

Sunset in Tuscany

 

Happy travelling Everybody!

Brian

Lake Como and a week cruising the Rhine. Kinderdijk Update



Hi everyone

We have just retuned from a great 10 days with some very good friends from a Viking cruise of the Rhine that started with 3 days at Lake Como in Italy.

We enjoyed really great weather and mostly blue skies and nice white clouds.

It was a trip that we had been looking forward to for quite a while and it was very good with the most spectacular views at Lake Come and on the Rhine.

Many photos were taken and each day I managed to find time to paint some watercolours of scenes we had seen as we travelled on the Viking Longship and on a smaller boat around Lake Como.

Most of these watercolours were sketch book size pen and ink studies which I hope will prove to be subjects for larger studio paintings in the future.

3 were larger 14 inch by 10 watercolours more traditionally painted with a few ink highlights. I have titled each one with their details.

The sparking water of Lake Como and the Rhine made the scenes really great and the Rhine Gorge area was spectacular with it’s many Castles and lovely towns by the river. Our lake  trip around Lake Como was wonderful too with time at Bellagio and stops  at many interesting vistas around the lake.

So here are my Watercolours of the trip, I do hope you like them as they were all fun to paint.

LAKE COMO

In Como itself we ascended the funicular to Brunate for Great Lake views but Como Town itself is a very nice and ancient place.

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, better know as Como Cathedral, caught my eye and so this is the first watercolour.

The Cathedral in Como, Italy. Watercolour ,Pen and wash. 10 inches by 7.5, on Arches Rough Paper.

A view of a lakeside residence from the Como to Cernobbio ferry is the subject of this next painting with a water fountain being enjoyed by some local boys.

From the Ferry. Watercolour sketch in Pen and Wash.10 by 7.5 inches.

On our way to Bellagio we paused at some great vistas. This very tiny town of Nesso with a waterfall cascading through it to the lake was just one of many.

Here is my interpretation of the scene

Nesso  by the lake. Pen and Wash, 9 by 7.5 inches.

Bellagio is very nice lakeside town to wander around ,enjoy  a coffee and the stunning views. From there you can see and visit Varenna

Varenna from Bellagio

i have also painted these two larger watercolours of Varenna

They are both 14 by 10 inches on Arches NOT watercolour paper.

Here they are

Varenna, Watercolour 14 inches by 10 on Arches NOT paper

Varenna,Watercolour 14 inches by 10 on Arches NOT paper

Lastly while on Lake Como I painted this watercolour of a lovely town as seen from our tour boat. It is called San Giovanni. Really a lovely looking town but so far only seen from the water. Maybe on the next visit….

San Giovanni on Lake Como. Pen and wash sketch 10 by 7.5 inches

We eventually left Lake Como and were driven across the Alps to Lucerne. A truly spectacular drive over the passes and not through the tunnels.

THE RHINE

We boarded the ship at Basel, itself a very lovely town but no paintings from there as yet

We  traversed 600 miles of the Rhine to Amsterdam and the passage through the Rhine Gorge was terrific with many castles and towns to see.

These two painting are of Kaub Castle, Pfalz. This was once a tollgate on the Rhine and dates back many hundreds of years.

Kaub Castle sketch 10 by 7.5

Kaub  Castle PFalz on the Rhine. Watercolour 14 by 10 inches on Arches NOT paper

On the way to the Rhine Gorge we stopped at Strasbourg and took a detour to Heidelberg on the River Neckar. I managed a quick sketch of the impressive bridge at Heidelberg with its towers.

The Bridge at Heidelberg.Pen and Wash sketch 10 by 7.5 inches.

From the Rhine Gorge we travelled to Amsterdam and stopped at Kinderdijk to see the lovely windmills there. That painting and some others are now awaiting action in the studio so another Rhine post should be coming soon.There were so many wonderful scenes to paint that I may be busy for while!

And so here is an update. This watercolour was painted today. October 1st.

This is Kinderdijk in The Netherlands. Our final stop before Amsterdam

This watercolour is 14 by 10 inches on Rough watercolour paper.

Title : “Kinderdijk Windmills on a blustery evening”

Kinderdijk Windmills on a Blustery evening.

Happy Travelling

Brian

A few days on the Isle of Wight

Hi All

Just a few miles off the south coast of England and a 40 minute car ferry ride away from Portsmouth lies The Isle of Wight.

We have just returned from a few days there and thoroughly enjoyed our visit to this very picturesque island. It was made even better by some pretty good summer weather, which has been in short supply this summer.

The highlights were our visit to Osborne House, a former holiday home of Quuen Victoria and our trips round the coast and also to Mottistone Manor and it’s beautiful gardens.

Time too for a few watercolours for this Post which I hope you will enjoy.

We had never spent any time on the Isle of Wight so this was a very nice opportunity to see at least some of the island.

We stayed at Ventnor on the south coast and really enjoyed a restaurant there called “Le Tour du Monde”. So good we went there twice! I would recommend it if you are visiting Ventnor.

The journey West from Ventnor goes past some lovely island scenery and great views of the coast. The bay at Freshwater is lovely (painting underway) and the town of Yarmouth was very nice too with a good lunch place by the pier called The Gossip Cafe.

From there is was only a few miles to Mottistone Manor and it’s Gardens. This National Trust place was really lovely and this painting tries to capture is beautiful summer garden and the 16th Century House.

The Garden and house at Mottistone Manor Watercolour 14 inches by 10 on Arched NOT watercolour paper.

Another trip was to Osborne House, a favourite holiday home for Queen Victoria and Price Albert in the 1840’s and 50’s. There they enjoyed being by the Sea in this Italian revival designed mansion with only 100 staff!

The gardens a very beautiful and the walled garden is a must see there with it’s soft fruit and flowers.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert entertained and enjoyed time away from London until Price Albert’s death in 1861. Many rooms can be visited and the park around the house contains a “Swiss Cottage” which was a playing and learning place for their children. There is a bus can take you down to the beach there where family used to bathe in the sea, and where you can see Queen Victoria’s batheing machine where they could change and be rolled down into the sea!

This view of Osborne House is from the path to the Swiss Cottage.

Osborne House Watercolour 9 inches by 7

 

We also visited Cowes East and West, connected by a Chain car ferry and also went to look at Carisbrooke Castle. A Castle has stood there for over 1000 years but it is most famous as the place where Charles 1st was held before the second Civil war of 1648 and his subsequent loss and then his execution in 1649.

My watercolour shows the very imposing entrance to the Castle.

Carisbrooke Castle Watercolour 9 by 7 inches.

Our last trip took us to Bembridge,  a boat haven on the East coast and to Seaview where their Regatta was underway.

Here is small watercolour of some boats at Bembridge.

Boats at Bembridge Watercolour 9 inches by 7.

So a very enjoyable few days on the Isle of Wight, if you have been I hope you will enjoy these watercolours and if you plan to go maybe they can give you some ideas.

Happy travelling

 Brian

A short trip to Northern Ireland

We have just been over to Northern Ireland for two Celebrations.

The first a couple of days at the Lough Erne Resort in Fermanagh to celebrate a couple of notable Birthdays and then to Carrickfergus for a great family Wedding

Both events were really good and the weather was very kind to us too, with sun and warmth as we travelled about.

Just time for a few watercolours and a couple painted before we went as gifts for the Bride and Groom.

Lough Erne is a huge Lough with countless islands and lovely views. We were able to take a boat trip on the Lough and visit Devenish Island with is now ruined and very old Church and Monastery. 

The ruined Monastery on Devenish Island on Lugh Erne. Water colour 14 inches by 10 on Arches NOT paper

At the southerly end  of Lower Lough Erne lies  the very old and historic town of Enniskillen.

The “Watergate” there is a focal point of the town and this watercolour was painted from photos taken from our boat trip on the Lough.

The Watergate at Enniskillen. 14 inches by 10 on Arches NOT watercolour paper.

Around the shores of Lough Erne there are many sights to see and this cottage scene is typical of the scenery.

A Cottage in Fermanagh. Watercolour 12 inches by 9 on Arches Rough watercolour paper.

The Wedding  was held in the lovely statley home called Magheramorne House, quite close to Larne and not far from Carrickfergus.

This sketch of Magheramorne House will remind the Bride and Groom of there Wedding day there as they start their new life together in Carrickfergus.

Magheramorne House. Watercolour pen and Ink sketch 10 by 8 inches.

Everybody wishes them All the Best for the Future.

Carrickfergus on the Causeway Coastal Route. Watercolour on Arches NOT paper 12 by 8 inches.

 

So a very enjoyable week on this beautiful part of the UK, and many more photos to paint in the future

Happy travelling

Brian

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