A great painting day in Arlington Bluebell Woods in Sussex

The woodlands at Bates Green Farm at Arlington in Sussex are famous for the intensity and the vast amount of Bluebells there in the Spring.

I am most indebted to Alison Cotton , a local Sussex Artist and Watercolour tutor, for  arranging this lovely day there in what turned out to be  perfect sunny and warm weather!

Phillipa, from the Bluebell Farmhouse Kitchen prepared a really tasty lunch  of Asparagus Quiches, amazing salads and a Rhubarb crumble for the eight of us which was all really delicious.

Having the extensive woods all to ourselves was amazing and we all really enjoyed watching Alison’s demonstrations and trying hard to capture the colour and the masses of bluebells , with the trees and dappled shade of their surroundings.

I was pleased to have had time for three watercolours 14 inches by 10 and to have time to take many reference photos for the future.

So here are my efforts. Painting watercolours  “en plein air” is always tricky but in the warm dappled sun it was nevertheless a great experience.

“At the edge of the Woods”. Watercolour 14 inches by 10 on Arches 300 gsm paper

“A path through Arlington Woods”. Watercolour on Arches 300 gsm paper, 14 inches by 10

“A glimpse of the pond in Arlington woods”. Watercolour 14 inches by 10 on Arches 300gsm paper.

My thanks to Alison, Philippa and everyone that made the day so enjoyable. Maybe a return visit to paint the woods in the Autumn would be a good chance to sample more of the great food from the Bluebell Farmhouse Kitchen and enjoy more painting in Arlington Woods.

Happy Travelling

Brian

Larger and more impressionistic!

Hi Everybody

I have alway been interested in painting larger watercolours but only now have I really got round to giving it a go.

After the recently posted Salisbury Cathedral watercolour, shown again here,  I have been painting a few larger more impressionistic watercolours either at 78 cms width or 95 cms width.

Salisbury Cathedral 75 by 25 cms on Arches 300 gsm paper

Here are the two new wide paintings , the first one on Saunders 600gsm paper which is very heavy and takes lots of water very well.

A Wide watercolour,78 by 20cms on 600gsm warecolour paper

The second was painted on heavy wallpaper lining paper and although I was sceptical if it would take watercolour at all it has turned out fine and the paint dried nicely on this fairly smooth paper.

Even wider 95 by 20 cms on Commercial lining paper about 200 gms.

This paper is many times lower in cost than watercolour rolls of paper and so I will try it again.

Both are as you see semi abstract Fen like scenes and I have been pleased with the interest shown in this style which is for me a bit of a departure from the norm!

This week i hope to be away painting the Bluebell woods in Sussex and this may also give me an opportunity for a really wide watercolour too. If so I will post it here soon

Any comments gratefully received!

Happy Travelling

Brian

 

The 2023 US Masters Golf at Augusta

Patrons watch the tee shot at the 12th A new watercolour sketch of The 11th and 12greens at Augusta.


It is that time of year again and all golfer’s thoughts turn to the Master’s Championship at Augusta in Georgia.

For me it would not be the same without yet another post of some of my watercolours of this wonderful venue, maybe the loveliest Golf Course in the World.

Who will win this year? Will Rory McIlroy manage it and become one of those very rare winners of all the Grand Slams of golf? Will it be someone new or maybe another win for Scotty Scheffler. There are so many great golfers competing anyone could win, but whoever it is it will be great weekend of Golf!!!

We won’t know until Sunday but in the mean time have look ay these watercolours and imagine you are there!

I will be avidly watching it unfold on the TV but for many thousands they will be able to be there. If you are one of those patrons that is just great, let us know how much you enjoyed it.

The iconic 12th hole and Ray’s creek

The 16th Par 3 Hole across the water

The Hogan Bridge

Impressionist sketch of the 12th Hole

Looking back from the 12th towards the 11th and Hogan’s bridge

Over the weekend I have painted a new sketch watercolour whilst watching the TV, and trying not to spill paint on the furniture at the same time! Its the one at the top.

Happy Golfing and Travelling

Brian

Recent watercolours

 

Dawn at Leigh on Sea in Essex Watercolour 18 inches by 8

Hi Everybody

It is  raining again!

During this dreary winter in Kent there have been quite a lot of opportunities to paint in the warmth of my studio!

Here are some recent works including one larger than usual watercolour.

Of course we did manage a trip to Madeira which was in a recent post which we really did enjoy as well.

Wast Water and Scafell in the Lake District Watercolour 14 inches by 10.

This scene is one of my favourites and has also been popular on Artfinder.

We love Provence and this bridge reminds me of so many great times there.

Pont de La Madame a la Martre in Provence. Watercolour sketch 10 inches by 9

And more locally –

 

Painted from a Victorian print this scene is of West Malling in Kent . Watercolour sketch 9 inches square, part of a Family History project.

 

 

A sketch of Mousehole in Cornwall from one of my photos of some years ago 12 inches by 10

 

Sunset in the Lake District. Watercolour15 inches by 10.

 

And lastly a recent watercolour,the largest that I have ever attempted.

This is of Salisbury Cathedral  when the Meadows by the River Avon are flooded, as they do twice a year.

With thanks to Rob of Robert Franklin Photography for his permission to use his excellent image.

The watercolour is 40 inches by 12 , by some way the largest I have painted. The watercolour is painted on 600 gsm Arches paper for stability. Very exciting to produce!

Salisbury Meadows and Cathedral.

I hope eventally to produce some high quality smaller prints from this original watercolour.

So pretty busy of late and now looking forward to spring, some sunshine, and some outdoor painting.

Happy Travelling

Brian

Don’t forget if any of these images catches your eye some are available for sale on http://www.artfinder.com/brianswatercolours.

Prices are reasonable and delivery fast!

 

Delightful Madeira

Hotel Quinta da Casa Branca in Funchal. Watercolour sketch 10 by 7 inches

With cold weather in England a week in Madeira sounded great and so we went for the second time to stay at the lovely hotel we stayed at last year, Quinta da Casa Branca. It is a really nice place to stay, with beautiful grounds and fine food and wine.

For me being in Madeira  it is a great opportunity to tour about a bit and then paint  watercolour sketches of Funchal , and  the island.

I only  take a  300 gsm sketch book, a small watercolour palette box and half a dozen favourite Escoda brushes. All easy and light to carry.

Some of these sketches are almost new versions of last years watercolours but there are quite a few new vistas and views of some of our favourite spots.

Whilst it wasn’t quite as sunny as last year we did manage to sit by the pool and read and paint, whilst sipping Portuguese wines, and some lovely Madeira wines too.

Largo do Corpo Santo in Old Town Funchal. Watercolour sketch 11 inches by 9.

The old town of Fuchal has a lot of interesting painted doors to see and a lovely  squares and a very yellow Fort  by the sea! We also enjoyed a tour around the Wine Lodge of Blandy’s Madeira Wine Company. A good tour and of course some tasting as well.

I have included a sketch of the Fort from last year’s visit as now the castle is shrouded in scaffolding and screens.

The Yellow tones of Forte de Sao Tiago in Old Funchal. Watercolour 9 inches by 7.

Along the coast from Funchal the towering cliffs sweep down to the Altantic ocean, this scene is very typical of many views as you travel along the roads near the coast on Madeira.

The South West coast of Madeira. Watercolour sketch 21 inches by 9.

Here is another coastal view with some of the red rocks that can be seen around the island on show as well.

 

Red rocks on the coast of madeira. Watercolour sketch 21 by 9 inches.

We didn’t take a trip up to the central mountains as the clouds seemed to covering them , but in  a brochure I found in the hotel there was a photo that I wished I had taken so here is my version of this cloudy mountain scene, and to whoever originally took it, my thanks.

The Cloudy mountains of Central Madeira. Watercolour 10 by 10 inches.

I make no apologies for more watercolours of the small town of Camara de Lobos, which is quite near to Funchal.

Sir Winston Churchill’s favourite Madeiran painting spot is such a terrific place to sketch  and paint that I have included a few new ones and a a studio watercolour painted after our previous visit.

Fishing Boats at Camara de Lobos. Watercolour sketch 11 inches by 9

Another view of the bats at Camara de Lobos. Watercolour sketch 11 inches by 9.

 

Studio Watercolour of Camara de Lobos 14 incase by 10 on Arches 300gsm watercolour paper.                       

This watercolour can be found in my shop  at http://www.artfinder.com/brianswatercolours and I hope to add some more based on the sketches in the next few weeks.

 

Madeira is delightful destination from the UK , with no time shift even. Great Portugeuse and Madeira wines, very tasty  food and really welcoming people wherever you go. Whats not to like!

We will be back!

Happy Travelling

Brian

Large and Small watercolours for sale on Artfinder

Watercolour sketch, Faversham Standard Quay, 25 by 22 cms

I love to paint watercolours and I am pleased to say that there are quite a lot of people that own my paintings around the World.

I really enjoy hearing that they enjoy the places depicted which may be their favourite places, or reminders of holidays or places that they would like to go to.

But not everybody has room on their walls for larger pieces and so I have started offering smaller versions of some of my larger watercolours, even some tht have been sold in the past.

They all wiil appear on http://www.Artfinder.com/brianswatercolours and are I hope will be very affordable.

Here are some recent ones for you to see

Boating on Lake Bitterer in the English Lake District Watercolour on Arches paper, 29 by 13.5 cos. £120 on Artfinder.

The Original Large watercolour of Autumn at Lake Buttermere, 46 by 26 cms £200 on Artfinder.

Dawn at Broadstairs in Kent. Watercolour on Arches paper, 35 by 25 cms. £135 on Artfinder

A Larger watercolour Of Broadstairs, 35 by 26 cms currently in an Exhibition at “The Drawing Room Gallery ” in West Malling in Kent.

 

“Stormy Skies at Fair Head” on the Antrim Coast of Northern Ireland. Watercolour 29 by 13.5 cms on Arches Paper. £120 on Artfinder

Larger Watercolour “Stormy Skies over Fair Head”. Watercolour . 40.5 by 30.5 cms .£220 on Artfinder.

And an even bigger one of this same scene, this time a Watercolour on a Primed Canvas which is good to use for really large watercolours

 

Watercolour on canvas ,60 cms by 30, ready ready to hang as no frame requred .£245 on Artfinder

So if you notice any more of my Watercolours that you think you would like to buy a smaller version of on Artfinder.com/brianswatercolours, just send me an email and I will endeavour to paint one and put it up for sale.

Happy travelling

Brian

A Place, a Painting ,a Drink and a Platter. No 9 South Africa

Sketch of Table Mountain and Capetown.

The joy of visiting South Africa is terrific and we long to return there as soon as we can!

It is a wonderful place to stay, with great friendly people, delicious food and some of the World’s finest wines. Now that is a recommendation!

Here are  a few specific spots here that we love, starting in Fransceok, about an hour and a half from Capetown.

FRANSCHOEK

The accommodations in and around Fransheok are very good, and it is a lovely town surrounded by mountains and Vineyards. We really enjoyed staying at the Franschoek Country House and Villas, where the rooms are delightful and the food and service is great. We took a great  half day wine tour that they organised for us taking in some really excellent local wineries all run by the nicest of people.

We really love Thelema red wines but there are so many great wines  to choose from all over the area. One small but brilliant vineyard was Stony Brook and a wine there called The Max, wow!

Restaurants in Franshoek are all good but we did enjoy an evening especially at The Restaurant at The Grand Provence Estate, but everywhere we ate was terrific. If it is special occasion I cannot recommend highly enough a great Jewellers Shop in Franschoek too. It is called Tracey’s Diamonds! Just the most helpful people.

Wherever you look the scenery is stunning ,so here are few of watercolours of the area and the distinctive houses..

Watercolours of the area around Franschoek

If you can drive over the the  Franshoek pass Route 45 , or take the road to Thelema Vineyard and visit Stellenbosch Town.

THE GARDEN ROUTE

Herolds bay on the Garden Route

Travel East from Capetown and head for Hermanus(enjoy lunch at “Burgundy” restaurant if you can), from there you will be beginning the beautiful and spectacular Garden Route. It is a long journey to George and beyond and there are many diversions to extend your journey but it is very worthwhile and from George the coast is beautiful with great places to stay and see.

We love staying at the Fancourt Hotel, but then we are golfers and it has three great courses and views to make them very spectacular to play.

Three watercolours of Fancourt

The Town of George boasts some great Restaurants too, two of our favourites are The Town House, and Fat Fish.

From George Herolds Bay and Knysna are not to far and Wilderness beach is amazing.

Wilderness Beach on the Garden Route

Sailing at Knysna Heads

We have eaten a few times at a fabulous restaurant at Wilderness called  “Serendipity”, one of my all time favourites, well worth a visit.

 

CAPETOWN AND THE CAPE

Table Mountain and Capetown.

There is so much to see and do in and around Capetown, including the must do visit to Robben Island and to find out more about the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela, the father of modern South Africa.

There are great restaurants too, at the Waterfront and all around the area. We especially liked “96 Winery Road” at Somerset West where the Kudu and Steaks were amazing and great value too.

A visit to the Cape area is well worthwhile , maybe to see the Penguins at Boulders Bay or to see the Twelve Apostles Mountains towering over Camps Bay

Penquins at Boulders Beach on the Cape.

Two watercolours of The Twelve Apostles Mountains at Camps Bay

South Africa is vast and a superb holiday location,. I haven’t even mentioned the Safari opportunities, more of that some other time.

Happy Travelling

Brian

 

Pen and Wash sketches of Canterbury

Hi Everbody

It is hardly the weather for outdoor sketching at present here in Kent so here are three quick Pen and Wash watercolours in and around Canterbury in Kent, all done in a few idle moments over the Christmas holidays from photos in my library.

With  them come my Best Wishes for the New Year too!

Regards to all

Brian

Seasons Greetings

               To all my readers, thank you very much  for following this Blog over the past years.

With my Very Best Wishes

Brian


Horsmonden,in Kent, in the Snow. Watercolour 14 inches by 10 on arches 300 gsm paper

A Place, a Painting, a Drink and a Platter. No 5 –The Veneto and Southern Italy!

Hi Everbody

Continuing with this food drink and place theme this post covers my visits to Venice and the Veneto region, and the most  southerly part of Italy, the wonderful, Sicily.

As every region has such great specialities I just can’t cover them all but in these lovely places we have had such great times, drinks and food. And of course that special Italian hospitality and warmth of the people themselves.

 First lets stop off in the VENETO  and VENICE.

Miramare Castle near Trieste. Watercolour 15 inches by 10. The coast in the distance is actually Slovenia!

On the coast towards Trieste stands the lovely Miramare Castle. Commissioned by an Austrian Archduke it is resplendent with beutiful gardens and flowers. It is a truly delightful place to visit and then if you can, travel to Trieste and eat in one of the many restaurants or cafes there by the waterfront. There you can taste the local San Danielle Proscuito with some local Veneto wine. Trieste was the main port of the once Austro Hungarian Empire and didn’t become part of Italy until after the end of First World War in 1918.

VENICE

And so to Venice itself. Oh. what wonderful place, where every corner you turn is a great vista and the back streets and canals are a painters’ paradise.

It has been hard to choose which of my many Venice watercolours to include but the choice of food and drink was easier as one special Restaurant really stood out for me in Venice.

Just off the Riva Degli Schiavoni,  in a small side street called Calle del Pestrin, is the excellent Restaurant  “Corte Sconta” . Great fresh sea food and a very nice place to eat. The Vongole was superb, well worth the walk along the Riva with the spectacular view above and below. More local Veneto wine too, or Prosecco!

Riva deli Schiavoni. Watercolour 14 inches by 10

If you plan to stay on The Riva degli Schiavoni then try the “Locanda Vivaldi” with its traditional Venetian rooms and a great location.

Arriving at the Locanda Vivaldi Hotel by Water Taxi. 15 inches by 10.

This watercolour was painted from a photo taken as we arrived by water taxi to stay there!

In Venice the trip down the Grand Canal is amazing with fine views and if you can visit the Fish Market then do! From there walk back slowly down the side streets until reach the Academia Bridge. All just amazing!

Santa Maria della Salute from the Academia Bridge. Watercolour 12 inches by 9

The Fish Market on the Grand Canal. Watercolour 14 inches by 10

The Grand Canal near the Rialto Bridge. Watercolour 10 inches by 15

And so to finish this section on Venice here is St Mark’s Square from a Vaporetto, but don’t forget to buy your ticket before you board!

 

Down South to SICILY

Italy is a Country of so many regions, customs ,food and wine, and the wonderful scenery.

On the Mediterranean’s largest island all of these can be found in abundance.

We have enjoyed Sicily a lot and Taormina is a great place to stay and admire the views and the food and wine. I was first introduced to Pasta Norma there  which was and is great! But also the fresh Ocrobus grilled is superb and this I really did enjoy in Taormina. If you can try the wine  “La Segreta Nero d’Avola” from the Planeta Winery, very nice indeed and available in the UK

From Taormina the sight of Mount Etna steaming , or even erupting is amazing. Try to take trip up to the top if you can and feel the hot earth beneath your feet!

Sunset ,Mount Etna gently smoking from Taormina. Watercolour 14 inches by 8

Here are two more paintings of Sicily too.

The coast at Naxos near Taormina. Watercolour Sketch 9 by 7 inches

Fishing boats at Cefalu on the Northern Coast of Sicily. watercolour 15 by 7 inches

There is so much more to say about Italy but I will leave Rome,Puglia and the Amalfi coast till another time

Happy travelling

Brian

Some of these and many watercolours are for sale  or just to see on my site at 

http://www.Artfinder.com/brianswatercolours

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