It’s 2022 where shall we go?

Happy New Year!

Well lets hope it is  — for us all.

A return to travelling , meeting eveyone, ditching the mask and returning life to normal. It it too much to ask?

Alas it may be but we can only plan and dream, and we do have some plans to look forward to but I wont tempt fate by talking about them yet.

So today a couple of watercolours to welcome the New Year, painted this week between Christmas and New Year of the English Lake District, one of the few places we did manage to go to in 2021.

I was amazed to find that I have a ready painted 18 sketches and watercolours of the region since travelling there in June 2021. I guess that is because we really enjoyed the area, the people and the food there, and the scenery is stunning!

Although in June it was very busy with all of us Staycationers!

These two new watercolours are of Buttermere and the beautiful waterfalls at Aira Force near the shore of Ullswater at Glenridding.

The climb up to the top of the bridge shown in this watercolour is about  150 metres which was for us quite an achievement!
But the circular walk is really a lovely experience and well worth the climb.

The falls drop about 20 metres and the roar is terrific.

The second watercolour is a larger work of Buttermere Lake, still in the Lake Dirsict but a little futher west of Ullswater.

It is very famous for  Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks and the area has always been a popular place for painters and walkers with the mountains coming down to the lake.

This is a more traditional watercolour of Buttermere , this time in more Autumn hues and is 50 by 30 cms and is painted on Arches 300 gsm watercolour paper, my favourite watercolour medium.
It is for sale on Artfinder as are many of my watercolours.

Buttermere in the Lake District. Watercolour on Arches 300gsm paper , 50 by 30 cms. Fleetwith Pike to the left and Haystacks Fell to the right

 

I was prompted by our lack of recent travel to tally up the Countries that we have visited over many years, and I was surprised to find that it came to 57 different Countries. Mind you as there are over 190 Countries worldwide there is still plenty of scope for more to be added, let us hope we can!

Of those  57, I have painted watercolours and sketches of 45 and many are in this Blog’s archives.

In the mean time stay safe and well and enjoy wherever you are.

As we have found over the past two years there are many fabulous places in your own area and Country to see and explore.

Very Best Wishes for 2022

Brian

http://www.artfinder.com/brianswatercolours

or contact me at

brian@brianswatercolours.com and i will happily take on commissions for watercolours that are special to you!

It is what I really love to do!

Happy Christmas to you and Best Wishes for 2022

“Kentish Winter”. St Margarets Church and Oasts in Horsmonden. Watercolour 14 by 10 inches

Hi Everybody

This is probably my last post of 2021 and although it has been a pretty dreadful year over all my watercolour painting has been a great thing  to keep me busy and with many paintings finished and quite a lot sold, donated or given away I have had great pleasure from my hobby!

I hope for everyone that 2022 will be a better year and that we will all manage to learn to live with the remnants of Covid and once again be able to travel and meet up with Family and Friends.

I hope to continue painting lots of watercolours, in differing styles and sizes , including my venture into watercolours painted on to prepared canvases.

“Waves” Petts Level in East Sussex from Camber Sands. Watercolour on Canvas 16 inches by 12

We have few travel plans for 2022 so I hope these will enable me to visit some new places and paint so new scenes whilst there.

In the mean time my Best Wishes to you all and take care, stay well and look forward to a much nicer 2022.

Brian

 

Three Watercolours for sale of Scotney Castle in Kent

Hi Everybody

These 3 watercolours are still for sale and deliverable before Christmas and as I have had some enquiries I tnought I would quickly post them here.

Also there is one of the view from Horsmonden to Gaoudhurst in Kent ,one of my favourite views.

Contact me at brian@brianswatercolours.com for up to date pricing and delivery options or visit Artfinder or ETSY.

Each watercolour is an original, and they are unique and of one of the loveliest places to visit in Kent.

Summer at Scotney Castle Watercolour 36 cms by 25

Scotney Castle in Winter Watercolour 27 by 24 cms

The view from Horsmonden towards Goudhurst in Kent Watercolour 37 by 26 cms SOLD

Lest We Forget

It is now 103 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 and since, in too many conflicts.Their sacrifice gives us all the freedoms we enjoy today.

Brian

Watercolours on Canvas, something new for me

Hi Everyone

By using Daniel Smith Ground it is possible to paint watercolours on stretched canvases , which for me anyway is something new and quite exciting.

So far I have just painted two and I am fairly pleased with the results.

It is quite different to painting on paper and can give a modern approach to hanging watercolours.

I would welcome you feedback on this new approach.

Here is the first one, both are 24 inches by 12 in size so large by my normal standards.

“Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland in the glow of the evening” painted from sketches and photos taken there a few years ago.


And the second on is of Sunset at Blakeney in Norfolk, which is a scene I have painted and sold before.

Again 24 inches by 12

Cambridge and Ely sketches and large watercolours too!

Hi Everybody

We have just had a couple of days in Cambridge and a lovely afternoon in Ely.

Ely is a delightful City with a truly magnificent Cathedral and right next to it there it a great cafe called Julia’s Tea room, very nice soup and scones for lunch!

The whole city is very nice with walks and old houses, including Oliver Cromwell’s to see.

So just a couple of quick sketches to turn into larger watercolours back in the studio.

Ely Cathedral from outside the City. Pen and watercolour sketch 9 by 7 inches. Another view from the river. The Cathedral dominates the City from every angle!


It turned out to our surprise that it was Cambridge Half Marathon weekend , and no I wasn’t entered! It was a bit disruptive and due to COVID or just making life easy many Colleges were closed to visitors which was a great shame. However we were able to visit Kings College and King’s College Chapel which is fantastic with such amazing stained glass windows and a rich history. There are so many great sights outside of the Colleges too so we enjoyed outr time there.

Here are two sketches , one of King’s College and Chapel and a view along the River Cam with some inevitable punters gliding along.

Pen and watercolour sketch of King’s College from the river bank. And a view from one of the many bridges of Colleges’s and Punts.

 


We also has a superb dinner in a family run Italian restaurant right by the river edge called Mimosa. Really superb and they made us so welcome. A great find. Good Tapas lunch too in La Raza on Rose Crescent. The best meat balls bravas I have ever had!

Since returning I have painted two larger watercolours and so here they are. They don’t fit very well with the Cambridge and Ely theme but I have really enjoyed painting something a bit bigger and  bolder than normal.

Firstly a view of the Norfolk Broads called “Big sky over the Broads” Large, by my standards, at 21 inches by 9 and another of a view across the North Downs in Kent in the summer, bright fields and another big sky. Also large and bold!

I hope you like them

A large watercolour 21 inches by 9 on Arches paper. “Big sky over the Norfolk Broads”

Across the North Downs in Kent in high summer. Watercolour 21 inches by 9.

They are both on Artfinder (www.artfinder.com/Brianswatercolours)  if you think you would like to hang them in your home!

Now with a third jab received travel seems a bit nearer, let’s hope so!

Do stay safe and well

Brian

Faversham – A gem in Kent

Hi Everybody

Faversham in Kent is a very old, and historic town well worth a visit.

Mentioned in the Domesday Book and settled for many centuries Faversham was a favoured town as far back as King Stephen in the early 12th century. He  established Faversham Abbey and Faversham has for centuries been an important seaport and market town. Once a centre of the explosives industry and still the home of a major UK brewer , Shepherd Neame

Today Faversham has many charming old houses and a thriving market as well as a Quay where barges and other craft can be seen.

It is favourite place of mine to paint and enjoy the quaintness of the area, including the nearby marshes and the creeks leading out to the Thames Estuary.

It has a fine local Art centre in Creek Creative ( and a very nice cafe too!) and shortly Faversham will be hosting a exhibition called ” Home is a Feeling” at which some of my artworks will be on show along with many items created by local artists and crafts people.

Here is the flyer for it

So today I have included some of my watercolours of Faversham which I hope you will enjoy. If you get a chance do visit Faversham and enjoy the town , it’s Quay and the excellent hostelries and shops to be found there. 

Barges at Standard Quay in Faversham Watercolour 15 inches by 11 on Arches paper

Market day in Faversham. Sketch 11 by 8 inches

Oare Creek near Faversham

A Barge at Hollowshore near Faversham

Faversham Guildhall and Market. Sketch 11 inches by 9

Boatyard at Oare Creek near Faversham. Watercolour 14 by 10 inches

Evening at Standard Quay. Watercolour 14 inches by 10.

I hope you have enjoyed these watercolours of the Faversham area and that you will find the time to visit this very interesting town.

Happy travelling

Brian

 

Travelling again – Touring around Yorkshire

Hi Everybody

I haven’t posted for some weeks now as somehow now that our lockdowns are gone and life is returning to normal, albeit slowly, I have found that we have been quite busy which is great!

However recently we managed to spend  a few days in Yorkshire, based in nice Hotel called Sandburn Hall and from there were were able to make a few visits to various places in the East of the County.

Yorkshire scenery is lovely and the coast is great with various villages and larger towns to explore.

Days spent in York are rewarding too and although it is busy City there is so much to see.

In this post I have included some new watercolours and also some from previous visits to the County. I hope you like them and that they remind you of the area, or inspire you to visit Yorkshire too.

In the south east area of Yorkshire lies Flamborough head, with it’s lighthouse and cliffs. This view is of the bay there from the cliffs .

The Bay at Flamborough Head. Watercolour 46 by 23 cms.

 

Further north is Robin Hood’s Bay, This very pretty village is at the bottom of the cliffs and it  is a steep! walk down to get there. It seems even steeper on the way up.

Many years ago I went to a workshop by Charles Evans, a fine watercolour painter and this painting, more in his style was the result of a great day with him.

Watercolour of Robin Hood’s Bay , painted during a Charles Evans Workshop. 45 by 30 cms.

 

Here are two of my watercolour sketches of Robin Hood’s Bay.

Robin Hood’s Bay. Watercolour and ink sketch 31 by 23 cms.

A side street in Robin Hood’s Bay. Watercolour and ink sketch 23 by 26 cms.

 Even further up the coast is the fishing village of Staithes. This watercolour from last year tries to capture this pretty village, which is once again at the bottom of a very steep hill!

Staithes in North Yorkshire. Watercolour sketch with ink 26 by 23 cms.

Turning inland towards York reveals the varied scenery of Yorkshire, the Moors and then the softer farming countryside as we headed for York. 

No visit to Yorkshire is complete without visits to some of Yorkshire’s Stately homes and this time we were able to visit Castle Howard, Beningborough Hall and Nunnington Hall. 

Unfortunately Castle Howard interior was closed as a film was being shot there, but the garden and grounds are spectacular and so here are two quick sketches of the view across the lake and the gardens near the Castle.

Across the lake at Castle Howrd. Watercolour Sketch with ink. 26 by 23 cms

The view of Castle Howard from on of the flower gardens. Watercolour sketch 24 by 24 cms.

In York there is so much to see and it is a sketchers paradise, but also there are some great Restaurants and Cafes to enjoy. Two are our particular favourites. Rustique, a great French style bistro in Castlegate, and Little Italy in Goodramgate. Both really good and very welcoming. 

Here are a few sketches of York from our previous visit which try to capture the interesting scenes around the City.

York Minster from Low Petergate .

York Castle

“The Shambles” in York

Petergate in York

York Minster from the City Wall.

Finally a trip to Harrogate is always for us a must, with its elegant buildings , beautiful parks, great shopping and above all, Betty’s Tea Rooms!

We were lucky as the queue was only 25 minutes( it can be much  longer!) and as always it was a great coffee, scone and cake event. If you are there do visit this beautiful Tea Room in a very elegant building.

This quick sketch will serve to remind us of a great few days in Yorkshire. 

Betty’s Tea rooms in Harrogate. Sketch 26 by 23 cms.

Wherever you are stay safe and if you are now able to travel again do enjoy it!

Best regards

Brian

ps Don’t forget to post my shop on Artfinder (http://www.artfinder.com/brianswatercolours)for many watercolours that are for sale or contact name about any that you see here or elsewhere on this blog.

 

 

The Lake District – Studio Watercolours

Hi Everbody

Over the past while and both before and since our recent visit to the Lake District I have been painting fairly large watercolours in my studio of the area.

Some are based on the sketches in my previous post but others are from photos of the area.

One, of Scafell Pike has already been sold, but the others are all available, so do contact me if you think one would go well in your home.

Also recently I sold a painting of The Mourne Mountains with all four seasons on the one wide watercolour.

This has encouraged me to try another, This time of Derwentwater and so this is the first of the Studio Watercolours

Four seasons at Derwentwater, in the Lake District. Watercolour 45 by 20 cms on Arches 300gsm watercolour Paper.

This next watercolour is an impressionistic watercolour of Buttermere, a beautiful Lake in the area.

Buttermere. Watercolour on Arches paper . 33 by 23 cms.

Next the sold watercolour of Scafell Pike, quite impressionistic too.

Scafell Pike in the Lakes. Watercolour on Arches paper 34 by 23 cms.

In Ambleside the House on the Bridge is one of the famous sights of the Lake District.

Here as a studio watercolour.

The House on the Bridge in Ambleside. Watercolour 34 cms by 23.

Near Ambleside is the beautiful Langdale Valley and the Langdale Pikes. Here is a watercolour of the scene at dawn as the sun breaks into the valley.

The Langdale Pikes and Valley at Dawn. Watercolour 42 cms by 30 on Arches paper.

And now Ullswater as the evening sets in

Sunset in the Lakes. Watercolour 45 by 20 cms

This next watercolour is again of Derwentwater but now in full summer, just as we saw it.

Reflection at Derwentwater. Watercolour 54 by 25 cms.On Arches watercolour 300gsm paper. The largest of this series of watercolours.

And lastly Stockley Packhorse Bridge

Stockley Bridge in the Lake District. Watercolour 34 by 23 cms on Arches paper.

I will continue to paint more watercolours from my sketches in the Studio of the Lake District but this is the work so far.

I do hope you enjoy them , it is a wonderful area to visit and to paint!

Happy travelling!

Brian

 

Sketching in The Lake District


Hi Everbody

Well,it’s seems amazing but we have just had a nice 6 day holiday in the Lake District of England, and with really nice weather too, whilst our home county of Kent was suffering heavy rain and thunderstorms!

The area around Windermere was very busy and fortunately I had pre booked very nice restaurants some of which I have mentioned below.

The visit gave me an opportunity for some watercolour pen and wash sketches and due to the nice weather I was able to paint them “en plein air” which was very enjoyable.

In the next post I will include so more formal studio watercolour  paintings of the Lakes but here are the sketches that I have so far completed.
I hope you enjoy looking at them.

Firstly near to Windermere is Ambleside , although we didn’t realise that Ambleside at the lake is a mile or more from the town.

We went there on a Windermere lake cruise but having to wear a mask all the time on the boat was both unpleasant and in my opinion totally unnecessary as we were all distanced and out in the open air!

The House on the bridge in Ambleside.Sketch, pen and wash 10 inches by 9

In Ambleside I managed to sketch the famous House on the Bridge, which is quite extraordinary and dates back to collecting tolls , I believe mainly to do with the sheep trade.

The next day we went to Derwentwater where parking at the Lakeside is a very tricky thing to do, but on the way we spent some time at Ashness Bridge, a very old Packhorse bridge near to Derwentwater.

I was able to two quick sketches of this very picturesque scene one from the South side and one from the North.

Ashness packhorse Bridge looking South

The road there is very narrow but there is a National  Trust car park thank goodness!

Ashness Packhorse bridge looking North

Not far away from Asness bridge is Derwnetwater and there is a lovely walk along the South shore of the lake, with views across the lake to Skiddaw mountain.

I managed to capture this view in this sketch and of course there are many more photos for future paintings.

Derwentwater with Skiddaw Mountain in the distance. Sketch, pen and wash 10 inches by 9

Our next day was spent at Ullswater after a beautiful mountainous drive from Windermere across the fells.

Ullswater was much quieter and thus more enjoyable for a quiet time sitting and painting by the lake and watching the steamer gliding over the Lake. While at Ullswater we also visited The Airs Force waterfall and felt quite elated that we climbed the 220 feet to get to this marvellous waterfall.I will be doing a sketch of it shortly, as I didn’t carry anything up to the viewing point.

Ullswater. Sketch, pen and wash 20 inches by 9

On our final day we spent a few hours on the west shore of Coniston Water and i managed to paint this sketch with the very old Coniston Steamer on the lake.

Coniston Water. Sketch, pen and wash 20 inches by 9

I have arrived back with lots of ideas for future paintings which will appear on this blog in a while.

In th mean time should you venture to the Lake District I would strongly recommend these restaurants, but do book well ahead!

In Windermere – Francine’s (brilliant) and San Pietro.

In Bowness – Villa Positano (great food and atmosphere)

Beyond Ambleside The Drunken Duck (very good food but more expensive) 

I hope you will one day enjoy them.

Happy travelling once again!

Brian

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