Hi Everybody wherever you may be.
All this extra time at home this year has made me realise how fortunate we are to live in the very beautiful County of Kent in the South East of England
So I thought maybe a few posts of some old and new Kentish scenes would hopefully be interesting to my readers.
It isn’t a tour exactly but a rather haphazard wandering of our very fine piece of England. Due to the large number of places(and watercolours!) I would like to include this post will come in Three parts and this is thus Part 1
I was born In Kent rather a long time ago and more by luck than judgement we can back to live in Kent in the 1970’s. It’s a decision that has worked out well for us as a family and it has given us all the benefits of this lovely part of the UK and it’s proximity to Europe too.
Historically Kent has had a big part to play in the development of the UK and this is very true of our first stopping place, Canterbury.
Canterbury is dominated by the magnificent Cathedral and it’s history, especially that of Thomas a Beckett and the Canterbury tales by Chaucer.
It can be seen from all around the City and here are two watercolour sketches, one of the Cathedral and one of St Augustines Abbey.
It is only a few miles to travel to the North Coast of Kent from Canterbury and from Whitstable there is a long range view toward Reculver,a ruin today but once Roman fort and then an Abbey.
Continuing round the Isle of Thanet brings you to Broadstairs and the white cliffs coast that stretches all to way to Sussex. Here the beaches are sand but as you travel further west the sand changes to shingle.
Toward Dover is the North Foreland Lighthouse on top of the cliffs and in Dover itself the view of the Castle from the Harbour spit is gréât.
From Dover travelling west now you come to Folkestone and Hythe and then Hastings. So here to finish Part 1 are few watercolours of Hythe and Hastings.
I have been asked a few times since my last Venice post where we stayed and from where I took the photos that formed the basis for the paintings.
In fact we stayed at the Locanda Vivaldi Hotel right on the Riva Schiavoni which is just a short walk from St Mark’s Square and the centre of Venice.
We really enjoyed staying there and it is a nice hotel with a lovely roof top terrace.
Many photos were taken from there, some with zoom lenses and they are the basis for a lot of my Venice watercolours.
Of course when visiting Venice there are great scenes on every corner and there is unlimited subjects for artists. I certainly hope to be back there painting in the future.
We arrived at the Locanda Vivaldi by water taxi from the airport. Although more expensive that the ferry boats this is such an exciting way to get to the heart of Venice from the airport. We had booked in advance.
This week, looking back again though my photos I found one taken as we arrived and so this is a new painting depicting that moment. A small traghetto was passing by as we approached too the hotel under the bridge.
So here it this watercolour and a couple of others painted some time ago ,but again from the Riva Schiavoni or nearby
i hope you will enjoy seeing them
stay safe and well
Views of Venice
Some few years ago we visited Venice with friends and stayed in the delightful Locanda Vivaldi Hotel, situated on the Riva Schiavoni.
It has a great location and the views from the roof terrace are really lovely both of the Riva Schiavoni and the Church of Santa Maria della Sallute and also across to the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore.
i have been revisiting my photos taken from there and in doing so have painted two new watercolours of the views from the terrace, plus I have added to this post some previous watercolours also inspired by the scenes from that Rooftop terrace.
I love Venice and the amazing scenes at every corner you turn, and so I hope you like these few watercolours too.
Most of these watercolours are currently for sale on Artfinder if you are interested in purchasing one.
Happy Travelling and stay safe and well
Tuscany abounds with wonderful sights and scenery and especially some amazing Cities and Towns.
Right up there is the fabulous town of Lucca.
Its narrow streets, and the marvellous Piazza dell’Anfiteatro where cafes and restaurants abound is only one of the many interesting sites of this very old Town.
To whet your appetite here are two recent watercolours of the places in Lucca,somehwere for coffee and then a stop for lunch
I hope you will enjoy this brief visit to the lovely place.
Enjoy your future travels
I thought for a change I would collect all the watercolours that I have done during the Lockdown and put them in a video slide show.
It only lasts a few minutes so if you can squeeze it in to you busy schedules have a look and relax!
Soon we may all be able to travel again and visit some of our favourite places, some of mine are in the short slideshow.
Stay well and look forward to future travel.
It is very nice to once again be able to get out and about and even spend time sketching in the June sunshine in Kent.
This week I was able to do some sketching at Oare, near Faversham in Kent.
The marshes at Oare are a great wildlife and bird sanctuary and there is a pathway called the Saxon Shore Way that goes all around the coastline.
Where the Oare Creek meets the Faversham Creek is for me a nice place to sit and paint the boats, building and long distance view across Kent towards Faversham and beyond. I wasn’t going to be there long so the sketchbook, brushes and paints and three legged stool were enough equipment to paint a couple of scenes which could then be used to do some larger studio watercolours.
So here are the two sketches, each about 10 by 9 inches , one a closer detail of the boast and boatyard at the junction of the two Creeks. It was low tide so rather a lot of mud and not much creek!
Back home I had started some larger paintings in watercolour of this scene from older photos but my sketches have now helped finish these paintings off for you to see.
The first is from across the creek toward the boatyard with the buildings and the pub there in the background. The second is the same view as the sketches with a glimpse of St Mary’s Church in the centre of Faversham able to be seen even though it must be about 2 miles away across the flat marshy land.
And this view you have seen before. A rather impressionistic view from Oare of the creek with some barges moored.
Out of interest the two sketches take about 20 minutes each to do so it is fast and furious, but the larger watercolours take me about 2 to 3 hours to complete , albeit with some drying time for the washes.
I hope you enjoy them all.
Where next I wonder?
Stay safe and well
After our whirlwind virtual visits to a load of places around the world here we are back in Kent and enjoying truly wonderful weather and some easing of lockdown.
We are back to golf and can travel about, but staying apart and being careful too!
So this past week I have been painting watercolours of Kent and one of Pinmill too.
It is nice to be painting locally again and enjoying our own lovely scenery and towns.
As readers will know I am very keen on Thames Barges and so here are four watercolours with Barges as their theme. Two of these are at Faversham and the third is near Oare in Kent.
Another favourite place to go and paint is of course Pin Mill in Suffolk where the barges and boats near to the Butt and Oyster Pub are a key part of the scene.
At this time of year, even a little earlier, if possible, a day at Scotney Castle in Kent with its wonderfull old ruined castle and stunning Azaleas and Rhododendrons is always enjoyable. We didn’t make it there this year so the watercolour is a reminder to us to visit there again when we can.
And lastly for now, two very quick sketches of our home town of West Malling. It will be nice to see the shops, cafes,pubs and restaurants reopen soon!
Enjoy any travel you can do!
As things appear to improve and Lockdown is easing very slightly it is time to think about travelling home from my virtual journeys.
But first we have to enjoy our few days in Mauritius having got here from Johanesburg.
Mauritius is a very nice holiday location, very friendly people and lovely hotels, good food and excellent local rum too.
Over the years we have enjoyed a good many trips there and never been disappointed, indeed quite the opposite.
These paintings were done earlier this year whilst there and be there will be a lovely way to end our journey, get on the plane and whizz back to England.
Mauritius has really lovely beaches and excellent golf courses, often adjacent to each other. This first painting was done sitting on a loiunger looking out to sea, oh I can feel the warmth even now!
There are fishermen everywhere and lots of great little boats to paint all over the island.
Often there are views from those beaches to the extraordinary mountains of Mauritius and boulders everywhere indicating it’s violent pre history when the whole large island must have been a continuous series of volcanic eruptions on a colossal scale leaving unusual large basalt mountains all over the island.
So now after a final dip in the sea we must fly home to London and hopefully get ready for a bit more easing of the lockdown!
I will be able to play Golf again!
Stay safe and well and who know maybe in a while we will be really travelling again
I am glad that you have been enjoying my virtual travel. It is certainly a lot less expensive than the real thing , but oh, how I yearn for the REAL thing!
Hopefully soon we will be able to travel about if only in the UK and once again meet friends and family.
Anyway you will recall on my previous virtual travel post I was in New England and Nova Scotia.
Now we are off to South Africa and then on to Mauritius.
It must take about 20 hours to fly from Boston to Capetown but hey ho, here we are in a couple of seconds!
First of all a watercolour painted during an early visit to the wonderful Capetown in South Africa. The warm welcomes, great food, stunning wine and amazing scenery make this a fabulous place to visit. Lets hope I can get there again soon.
And here are two paintings of Boulders bay near Capetown and the delightful penguins.
This week I painted this rather impressionistic painting of The Twelve Apostles Mountains at Camps Bay near Capetown. It hasn’t entirely come out as I had planned (like so many!) but Virtual travel was expecting it so here it is.
If we now drive 5 hours East of Capetown we find the lovely Knysna and the resort and golf courses of Fancourt, a really lovely place to stay, with superb restaurants in nearby George and my favourite restaurant in all of South Africa at Wildernesse called “Serendipity”. When in the area make sure you visit it ,you can even stay there too!
Now we are off over the mountains via Villiersdorp to Beautiful Franschhoek with it wonderful Wineries and scenery. The Franschhoek Pas on the last bit of this longish journey is spectacular.
The wine tours in the Franschhoek and Stellenbosch area, (get a driver don’t take your car!) are just great. Lets stay at The Franschhoek Country Hotel ,a lovely place and so good to be back!
Back in Capetown for the plane and then a long car journey car to get to the Limpopo Region almost 2 hours north of Pretoria and a visit to the marvellous Legends Resort, Safari Park and Golf Course with the highest Par 3 hole in the World. You have to get a helicopter to the top of this Mountain and the Tee! The green, in the shape of Africa is 400 metres below at the foot of the mountain.
Time to leave Africa and head for Mauritius via Johannesburg. A wonderful Island in the Indian ocean awaits.
But that will be in the next update!
Get ready for more virtual travel soon!