Spring has Sprung!

The Master’s Golf at Augusta in Georgia

At last , The Masters Golf Championship  returns at it’s normal time of the year!

The 12th Green, Ray’s Creek and The Hogan bridge at Augusta Watercolour sketch 20 inches by 9.

 

Whilst it was good to watch the Masters last November  it is so much better in April with the course looking so beautiful, the Azaleas in bloom and the greens once again  playing very fast to make the golf even more interesting.

It has become a habit for me to post some of my Augusta watercolours whilst the Tournament is progressing  but this year I have just painted a new one.

The view is from behind the 12th Green looking toward Ray’s Creek and The Hogan bridge. The 11th fairway is in the background.

Some patrons are back watching again, lucky them!

So here a few from the past and the new one above for you to enjoy as we all watch the drama unfold over the next few days.

Hogan Bridge . Sketch 10 inches by 8

The 12th green from the Teebox. Sketch 10inches by 8

The 16th green from the Teebox. Watercolour sketch 10 inches by 8

The 12th green and two bridges. Sketch 9 by 7 inches

 

I do hope you get to see some of the golf and the marvellous scenery. Maybe one day I will get there to see it at first hand!

In the meant time, stay safe and well, and I hope we can all look forward to better days and travel once again.

Brian

A new idea- Crazy or exciting?

Hi Everybody

Last week I posted about the beautiful Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland.

It started me thinking that a series of the same panorama for each season might be fun to paint and then I wondered, how about just doing one watercolour with all four seasons in the one painting!

Crazy or Exciting?

Well I decided to have a go today and here is the result, hot as they say , off the press!

It starts from left to right with summer first so that I could include some yachts sailing below a cobalt blue sky. Then comes Autumn with a softer ultramarine and cerulean blue cloudy sky before winter with dark skies and rain and snow landing on the Mourne’s highest peak, Slieve Donard and below it a colder sea foaming up on to the beautiful sandy beach. Lastly we are back to spring with big clouds in a cobalt sky.

I know it’s a bit weird but it was a lot of fine to try to paint and maybe you will like it.

I would love to get your comments.

I have popped it on to Artfinder in case someone really likes it!

I am now thinking of other scenes that might work with this idea so who knows you may see some more.

With our second jab due quite soon and half of the UK now vaccinated seeing friends and family and even some travel is becoming a reality, thank goodness.

It is a fantastic UK vaccine achievement which we all are very proud of and congratulate those who have made it happen – well done!

Stay well and safe

Brian

 

Four Seasons in one watercolour. Summer,Autumn, Winter and Spring Watercolour on Arches paper 54 cms by 25.

 

Summer

 

Autumn

 

Winter

 

Spring

The Mourne Mountains

Many many years ago when I lived in Northern Ireland a visit to County Down and the Mourne Mountains was always a treat, whether it was to go to the beautiful beaches, or to play golf at Royal County Down Golf Course or to wander down the Ards Peninsula and see Strangford Lough, no matter where the scenery was alway superb.

The gentle rolling hills, known as Drumlins are a characteristic of the soft and gentle countryside but with the promise in the distance of the Mourne Mountains rising above the busting seaside town of Newcastle.

If you have followed this blog you will have seen my watercolours that try to capture the amazing beauty of the wilder Antrim Coast but County Down is a greener, if that is possible, part of Northern Ireland

I have painted this area quite a lot over the years and so here are some of these watercolours that try to capture the Mourne Mountains.

From as far away as Belfast the mountains are visible even though they are over 30 miles away.

Cavehill near Belfast with the Mourne’s in the distance. Watercolour 14 aches by 10

As you approach Dundrum the mountains become even clearer and view from near to Dundrum shows the broad extent of the landscape.

Panorama of The Mourne Mountains from Dundrum. Watercolour 17 inches by 10.

As you approach the mountains a visit to Murlough bay will give you fine views of the coast and the mountains

This famous nature reserve is a really great place to visit.

Here are a couple of watercolours painted from photos taken at that beach

 

 

The Mourne Mountains from Murlough Bay. Watercolour 16 inches by 8
A quick watercolour in my Sketch book Across two page 20 inches by 8
A recent larger studio watercolour of Summer seen from Murlough Bay . Watercolour 21 inches by 10

I am indebted to Gerry Judge for allowing me to use two of his fine photos as the basis for the next two watercolours

Firstly the same general scene as above but now at sunset

The Mourners at sunset from the bay. Watercolour 22 inches by 10

And secondly an old derelict cottage in the heart of the Mountains

A derelict cottage in the Mourne Mountains. Watercolour 12.5 inches by 9

This next watercolour, painted many years ago, is the scene from near Hilltown and was used as a background by a well know Belfast Chef, Alex Greene, in the series on TV “The Great British Menu”. It was exciting to see my watercolour being used by him.

The Mournes from near Hilltown. Wartercolour sketch. 2002.

At the foot of the Mourne Mountains lies the town of Newcastle , a busting seaside resort and where the Simna river reaches the sea. Nearby is Tollymore Forest park a marvellous place to visit and to enjoy the woods and forest of the mountain. A walk there will take you to Foley’s Bridge , one of the many Game of Thrones ;coalitions in Northern Ireland.

Foley’s bridge in Tollymore Forest park. Watercolour 12 inches by 9

Lastly here is another watercolour of the Mourne Mountains views painted quite a while ago.

I hope you have enjoyed this quick trip to the Mourners Mountains. If you have never been then do go there to enjoy the great hospitality and scenery of this ;lovely part of the UK.

Stay well and safe

Brian

Two new Sunset Skylines, and the Great Wall too!

Hi Everybody

In the first lockdown I painted quite a few skyline watercolours and recently I had a discussion which has resulted in the creation of two more watercolours with sunsets and the skyline.

I really do enjoy these type of watercolours which are 45 by 19 cms in size to try to get the panorama of the cities.

So here they are and as we start to see the easing of our UK lockdown we may even be able to think more about some travel once again.

Firstly Singapore which is continually changing and is such a terrific place to visit.

I recall that we ate on the top of the Marina Bay Sands building, the one that looks like a ship on three 57 storey towers. Quite an experience.

Singapore with a magical pink sunset. Watercolour 45.5 cms by 19Secondly Kuala Lumpur, an astounding Asian Capital City ,once again in the early evening.

Kuala Lumpur in the early evening.watercolour 45.5 by 19 cms.Both of these are for sale for £180 each with free shipping.

contact me for details at brian@brianswatercolours.com

 

Just for fun last week I had a look through some photos of the Great Wall of China which we visited in 2007, how time flies.
We had such a wonderful time there with some great US friends and also managed to go to see the Terracotta Warriors at Xian and visit Shanghai too.

Surprisingly I hadn’t sketched the Great Wall when we were there so I decided to paint two pen and was watercolours last week.

So here  they are, they are both about 27 by 24 cms

The Great Wall of China, just a small part! Watercolour pen and was sketch

Another part of the Great Wall Watercolour pen and wash sketch I hope you will enjoy this short post and that you keep well and optimistic for the future!

Brian

Places I would like to be – The Lake District of England.

Hi Everybody

As I sit here in continued lockdown and recall our many and  varied travel plans that have all come to nothing, I remember how for the past few years we had planned a short break in the The Lake District of England. To cap it all we now have snow! , not a lot just a few inches but that is enough to cause some travel chaos here, not that we can go anywhere anyway!

Frustrated by not being able to go anywhere or even meet people I resorted this week to guide books and the web for inspiration of the English Lakes and so for the past three days I have painted four watercolours of some of the many places that we would love to visit in and around the area of Cumbria, with its magnificent scenery.

Maybe later this year or next we will be able to visit and enjoy the scenery at first hand.

The Lake District today lies entirely in Cumbria and is home to the highest peaks in England. It covers over 1200 square miles of mountains and lakes.

The highest peak is Scafell Pike at 3,209 feet and this first watercolour tries to capture Scafell Pike and  Scafell  and the lake before them called Wasdale. With around 20 lakes and many Fells and Peaks the Lake District area is a very popular destination for visitors, hikers, painters, photographers and all outdoor pursuits as well as for it’s good accommodation ,and great food, and a warm welcome.

Scafell and Scafell Pike with Wasdale lake  in the foreground. Watercolour 13 inches by 9.5 on Arches Rough Watercolour paper. Available for purchase on Artfinder

My second watercolour is of the delightful small town of Ambleside which lies at the Northern end of Lake Windermere and is very famous for the “Bridge House”.

The 17th Century house, originally built to store produce from fields on the far side of the Stock Beck, is one of the most curious and  often painted houses in the Lake District.

The Bridge House in Ambleside, a Pen and Wash Watercolour. 13 inches by 9.5 on Arches Rough watercolour paper. Available for purchase on Artfinder.com/Brianswatercolours

Other bridge scene in the Lake District, this time of Stockley Bridge in Borrowdale. This very old packhorse bridge is one of many in the Lkae District.

Stockley Pack Horse Bridge . 18th Century. Watercolour 14 inches by 10

My last watercolour, for now anyway, (there will be more when I can actually go there), is the view across Buttermere which is another popular watercolour artist’s view.

My inspiration here comes from photos and also a wonderful watercolour painting by Edward Wesson, an amazing 20th century English watercolorist who is an inspiration to myself and  many artists.

Across Buttermere. Watercolour 9.5 by 13 inches on Arches Rough watercolour paper. Also available for sale  on Artfinder

Lockdown has reminded us of how many beautiful places we have to visit in the UK and with International travel some way off, even though we have now had the Covid Vaccine, there will be many places to plan visits to over the next year.

Wherever you are stay safe and well and like us please look forward to travel in the future.

Best regards

Brian

The Delights of Cornwall.

St Ives Harbour in Cornwall.

Hi Everybody

In 1983 we enjoyed a holiday in Crackington Haven in Cornwall. Our children were quite young then and after the sandcastles were built, the swims over, and the games played I decided to have try at a bit of sketching,  –   I had never tried before. 1 year later I had started painted holiday watercolours.

So here we are in 2021 nearly 38 years later and there have been many watercolours produced since 1973 and a fair few of Cornwall. If you follow this blog you will have seen  many of them!

I fact I notice on my stats that over the past year there have been over 9000 views from 76 different countries around the world  –Thank you for looking!

These past weeks we have also been enjoying  a Rick Stein series on Cornwall  on the TV and so these things have brought me to doing a post of some of my Cornwall watercolours, some old, and some new which I hope you will enjoy.

The header is one of St Ives , one of the most famous of Cornish towns, and like many parts of Cornwall a haven for artists.

Toward the most westerly parts of Cornwall  is Cape Cornwall and this watercolour tries to capture the Cove and Cape Cornwall from the Kenidjack valley as a storm brews over the sea.

Storm Rising at Cape Cornwall

Not far away from there is Priest’s Cove (accessible from the Cape Cornwall Car park) where a few fishing boats still go out to sea.

Priest’s Cove near Cape Cornwall

Also on the North Cornwall coast there are many ruins of Tin and Copper mines , some right at the edge of the precipitous cliffs. Here is a watercolour painted recently of the Crown Engine houses at Botallack Mine.

Stormy seas at Bottalack Mine

You can also visit the Levant Mine and beam engine a little further north and see a working Beam Engine there. Amazing for any engineering fans!.  After passing or stopping in St Ives the coast will eventually lead you to Hayle and eventually Newquay.

Further on is Bedruthan steps with great coastal views and then Padstow, a great place to have a meal or sit by the quay, as we did,  and enjoy a traditional Cornish Pasty. The passenger ferry crosses to Rock but to drive round to Rock and Polzeath the road takes you via Wadebridge.

At Polzeath there is a  great beach which is a favourite place for surfers due to the excellent waves coming in from the Atlantic.

Polzeath Beach, popular with surfers!

And a bit further on the coast is Port Quin and then the famous Port Isaac, well know as the setting for the TV series of Doc Martin.

Port Quin

A new impressionistic watercolour of Port Isaac, TV viewers will know it as Port Wenn.

Further up the North Coast, beyond Crackington Haven  is Bude, a larger summer resort again famous for the sandy beaches, and I seem to remember very good ice cream!

Bude

Leaving the North coast behind the South Coast of Cornwall is equally appealing, with quaint fishing villages, much history and beautiful coastal scenery.

A few places that I have painted watercolours of are here now and all are well worth a visit if you are there.

St Clements is near to Truro on the River Tresillian. I was introduced to it by another blogger who produces a great Blog about Cornish History and Folklore  ( Cornishbirdblog.com   The Cornish Bird) and this watercolour is, with permission, from a photo from that blog.

The village of St Clements near Truro

The south coast has so many great places to visit but here is just one real favourite of ours, Mousehole, tricky to park at though!

Recent watercolour from photos of Mousehole on the Cornish Coast

Lastly for this post about my Cornwall watercolours is a view of St Michael’s Mount, where today there is the choice of ferry or a walk across the Causeway at low tide.

This watercolour tries to capture the scene as people arrive from the last evening ferry.

“Arriving on the last ferry”.  St Michael’s Mount near Marazion on the South Cornwall Coast

 

I have only been able to give you a flavour of the “Delights of Cornwall “here but it is a great County of England to visit. In many ways it is unique and has the most stunning coastal scenery and lovely towns and villages to spend time in..

I hope you will be able to visit there and that we too will once more be able to go there again.

Happy travelling — when you can!

Stay safe and well

Brian

The joy of Pen and Wash watercolours!

 

San Gimignano in Tuscany from one of my sketchbooks

Hi Everybody

I love to paint watercolours, and I have always been fascinated by this medium.

Whilst I get great pleasure  trying to paint big and bold watercolours I often find myself returning to where I started , using a pen and wash technique.

The sheer pleasure of the pen marks casually laid on the paper which may or may not be important later on is such fun and then applying washes of watercolour over it in a not too rigorous edgy manner is very exhilarating.

Maybe I am easily pleased but this process, which has to be pretty speedy, has been the backbone of my watercolours for many years and I hope will continue to be so.

Pen and wash can be in my sketch books, or slightly more formally on  Watercolour paper, I particularly like Arches watercolour blocks which are so great for use when travelling!

Let’s hope we can travel again soon though!

So here are some older and more recent Pen and Wash watercolours which I hope you will enjoy.

These first three were painted just this week from photos of previous visits and that is often how they happen.  When I can in love to sketch on the spot but that is a luxury which I can’t do at present of course.

Two scenes for Yorkshire first

Staithes on the Yorkshire Coast

The village of Robin Hood’s Bay

And now a recent painting of Mousehole in Cornall and one of the River dart in Devon

Mosehole in Cornwall

Greenway Quay on the River Dart in Devon

A few on place in Provence

In St Paul de Vence

At The heart of Vence

Fayence

 

Seillans

And a quick trip into Spain and Portugal

 

Sintra

The Hotel Courtyard in Sevilla

Sevilla Cathedral

 

Salamanca

 

An finally , for now at least, a few of both Canterbury and York

 

Canterbury Cathedral from Mercery Lane

York Minster from the City Wall

The Shambles in York

I hope from these you can see the reason why I enjoy Pen and Wash so much. Immediate , Colourfull and fun to do!

Stay safe and well and maybe this year we may all get to travel again.

Brian

 

Mountains from our Travels. – Part 1

Hi Everybody

Happy New Year to Everyone, and thanks for reading my Blog!

Let us hope that 2021 turns out better for us all than 2020. I am keeping my fingers crossed!

Alas I doesn’t seem that we will be travelling soon so some virtual travel will have to be the way forward for now.

I painted 116 watercolours during 2020 and I am not planning on stopping this trend for this year.

For many years when I was working I travelled extensively on business and went to Seattle many, many times working with Boeing of various  airplanes programmes, most notably the 777.  I usually stayed at Bellevue but whenever there was some free weekends I took the opportunity to travel to the coast and the islands or into the Cascade Mountains. The scenery of the Cascades is amazing but the one site that dominates all is that of Mount Rainier. Although 60 miles from Seattle it looms large and is a spectacular site even from a distance.

And so painted from some of  the many photos that I took in those days ( I rarely had a sketch book with me) I have any last painted a view of Mount Rainier. This painting shows haw due to it height Mount Rainier keeps a snow covered top all year. It is possible to drive right up to 6000 feet there but this watercolour is from one of the approach roads.

 

Mount Rainier in the Spring. Watercolour 18 inches by 11 on Arches 300gsm paper.          I hope those little people give it some scale! Mount Rainer is 14411 feet tall and is a very large and active Volcano!

 We have visited many mountains over the years and way back in 2003 I painted this sketch of Table Mountain at Capetown in South Africa.

This mountain dominates Capetown even more that Mount Rainier does in Seattle but it is a very amazing site from across the bay.

Table Mountain in South Africa. Watercolour sketch.

Also near  Capetown are the 12 Apostles Mountain range and here is a painting again from some years ago of these spectacular  mountains above Camps Bay in the evening.

The Twelve Apostle Mountains at Camps Bay in South Africa. Watercolour 14 by 10

Even further away from the UK is New Zealand with some of the most amazing scenery we have ever

Here are just three watercolours, the first of Mount Tongaringo in the North Island and the others from the South Island.

Mount Tongagingo in New Zealand Noth island. A massive dormant Volcano. Sketch 9 inches by 8

Mount Cook, New Zealand’s highest mountain. Sketch 10 by 8 inches.

 

The Amazing Milford Sound at Dawn in New Zealand. Watercolour 18 inches by 12.

I hope that you have enjoyed this first part of my Mountain Travel Post. I will be adding more on Part 2 

Stay safe and well

Brian

Places I would like to be – Norfolk in the UK

Sunset at Hunstanton

Hi Everybody

This will be my last post of 2020 and it will be a year I am sure we will not look back on happily.

There have been many lows but some wonderful highs such as the achievement to create new vaccines so quickly and the care so many have shown to others in such troubled times.

My watercolours have been a wonderful visual journey to get me through these lockdown days and during the year I have painted well over one hundred watercolours of many places around the world as real travel has had to be replaced with fantasy journeys to places that we love or would like to go to.

To all of you who have taken the time to look at these posts, my grateful thanks,  and I hope that as 2021 arrives we can all look forward with more optimism to a better world.

And so it was that over the holidays I was talking to a friend about Norfolk and it spurred me into action to do one of these  “Places I would like to be” posts. I do plan to go there in 2021!!!

With travel a distant memory it would be good to be in Norfolk for it’s lovely countryside, coast, big skies and amazing sunsets. Not to mention the food and yes, Norfolk wine too!

So here are some watercolours painted over the past few years of Norfolk and they will help me and I hope you to reminisce  about or if you don’t know the area to get on to your list!

One of those big Norfolk Skies and  the shore

Let’s start on the coast where the lovely beaches meet the sky

On the North coast lies the picturesque town of Balakeney  famous as one the best places to try crab rolls and sandwiches. Blakeney is apopular harbour town with many boats and yachts moored there ready for the incoming tide.

Here is my watercolour of the harbour, a great place to sit and watch the world go by!

The quay at Blakeney

And one of some boats waiting for the tide

Waiting for the tide

To the east of Blakeney is the pretty little town of Cley Next The Sea, with is equally famous windmill which has been the subject of paintings for over two hundred years.

Here is one of my watercolour but in the style of the very famous watercolourist, Edward Seago whose paintings of the British coast and Europe too are all really wonderful. I really admire his work done in the 20th Century.

Cley windmill in the style of Edward Seago.

And here is another of the Cley Windmill but in my more usual style

Cley windmill pen and wash sketch painted on site.

In 2019 I was lucky to go to a watercolour workshop held at The White House Hotel at Sussex farm, with Herman Pekel, a fantastic Australian watercolour painter and we painted around the Burnham Market area , a very pretty town and with great places to eat and drink too!

These are some of the watercolours I produced during that week with his help and guidance.

Burnham Overy Staithes

Local houses near Burnham Overy Staithes, right opposite the Hero pub with it great food and drink!

The pond at Sussex farm Hotel, The White House, a great place to stay.

Across the Norfolk fields

A Tidal inlet near Thornham

Near Burnham Overy Staithes

Thornham Old Harbour

Boats moored at Wells next The Sea painted on a bench by the coast.

And lastly a dawn seascape at Sctby on the East coast of Norfolk

Dawn at Scratby beach

I am sorry this has been a long post but anyway I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse of Norfolk and that you have a Very Happy 2021.

Best wishes

Brian

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