Author Archives: brianswatercolours

10 Days on Paradise Island!

Mount Bambous from The East Coast of Mauritius

Hi All

We have just returned from 10 days in Mauritius, we think of it as a paradise island, especially in January when the UK is cold and the weather is so fabulous in Mauritius.

We returned again to the Shangri-La Le Touessrok Resort , on the East coast at Trou D’Eau Douce, which we really like, and where as well as great facilities and beaches there is the very challenging Ile au Cerfs Golf Course to play.

I have never played golf anywhere except there that requires a lovely 15 minute boat trip to get to the course, it is really a great experience.

There is something very special about painting watercolours whilst sitting on a sun bed on the beach, but some of these watercolours were done like that from photos or memory as well as painting the scene right there on the beach.

They are all quick works, about 9 inches by 8, (they have to be with such hot sun!) and are in my Khadi Papers travel sketch book. They will provide the basis for larger watercolours to be painted here in the studio now that we are home.

Wherever you look in Mauritius there are little boats moored or sailing out fishing. They provide endless opportunities for sketches even if they were just a fleeting scene viewed as you drive by.

Anyway they were all fun to do and I hope you like them.

Mauritius is such a lovely island with delightful people who are all very friendly and helpful. They have a great multicultural population and although the locals all speak Creole to each other almost everybody speaks both French and English as they are the languages taught in the schools there.

With it’s large rainfall but beautiful sunny weather too it is a very green and lush island where the main crop is sugar cane, which you see everywhere you go and as well as exporting sugar  the rum made from it is very good too!

So here are the watercolours from this trip.

Grand Baie on the North Coast

 

Boats at the beach

 

Big Mauritian Skies!

A farm by the road

 

The Ilot Mangenie at Le Touessrok. Secluded and only a boat ride away!

Two boats on the beach

 

Fisherman on the jetty

Now we are back in the cold of the UK, but with great memories of yet another wonderful trip to Mauritius.

Happy travelling!

Brian

Places where I would like to go! Lake Bled in Slovenia

Hi Everybody

Some years ago some good friends visited Lake Bled in Slovenia. I have never been there but I really do hope to get there in the next year or two.

They sent me a nice photo taken from the south side of the lake showing the fabulous scenery of the area.

The  Island of Bled is in the Lake and it has a Pilgrimage Church, The Assumption of Mary with a 171 foot tower,  on it together with a baroque stairway of 99 steps leading up to the Church.

I decided that it would be good to try to paint a watercolour of the scene, so after some research and looking at the area on Google Earth and other sites I started the watercolour.

Then during the process some other friends saw the artwork and said how much they too had enjoyed visiting Lake Bled and could I paint another watercolour of the scene. Yes of course! It is such an enjoyable view that a second painting seemed a very good idea. They are never the same of course , which is just as well, as I never reproduce my watercolours as prints.

These are the two paintings.

Lake Bled . The first watercolour.

Lake Bled in Slovenia . The first watercolour.

Lake Bled Eileen and david

Lake Bled, the second watercolour painting

A year of two passed and then I had enquiry from the USA for the painting which of course were not available, but again I offered to paint the scene once more.

This I did and the recipient was pleased with the result.

Lake Bled1

The third version of the Lake Bled Watercolour

Amazingly not more than a few months later the same thing happened again but this time from a different State in the USA. And so a fourth watercolour of the scene was the result (this one was requested to have  darker tones to the lake) and another happy recipient too!

Lake Bled3

And the fourth version of the scene at Lake Bled

So you see I do think it is about time I actually went there, and painted the scene “en plein air” just for myself.

Just need to get on with the planning!

Happy travelling and painting, and a Happy New Year too!

Brian

PS, If you too would like a watercolour of Lake Bled, then just email me at brian@brianswatercolours.com

Season’s Greetings

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Winter at Horsmonden in Kent Watercolour 14 inches by 10 on Arches 300 gsm watercolour paper.

If you are regular viewer of this site then my thanks for your continued visits, comments and likes.

If you are new here then you are most welcome and I hope you will find some watercolours that interest you.

It has been a busy year with a fair amount of travel to many lovely places and I hope that the Posts that have resulted from these travels have been of interest to you all.

Our visits to South Africa, Tenerife, France, Portugal, Devon and around our lovely County of Kent have given me many opportunities to paint and sketch, and to meet other artists too.

We hope to travel quite widely in the New Year and especially our planned Rhine river cruise at the end of the summer will take us to many new places in Europe and the opportunity to paint some watercolours as I go.

To end the Year I have included above this winter scene of Horsmonden in Kent, which I have just finished painting today. Although we haven’t had any snow as yet, it seems seasonal to paint a winters scene and to use it to wish everyone my Best Wishes for the Christmas holidays and the New Year.

I have a few ideas for posts in the New Year and so I hope before long to be posting again.

In the mean time, Happy Travelling!

Brian

 

 

Remember, Remember. Let us never forget.

This Sunday as we remember those who died in the First World War and all the conflicts around the world since I have decided to repost a number of my watercolours with poppies in them.

One hundred years ago the First World War ended leaving a lost generation of those who died in the conflict.

We have visited Ypres twice in recent years following the final days of my Wife’s great Uncle who was 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 are 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. 
He, and many hundreds of thousands also killed in the Ypres area, are commemorated on the magnificent Tyne Cot War Grave Memorial at Ypres.His battalion had only engaged that day and in one day the troop was reduced from 400 to 100 men.  The battalion landed in Boulogne in October 1915 and was disbanded in February 1918 in France. David’s brother also served in the War and was gassed, but returned home eventually. Alas many of their friends never did.

These watercolours hopefully highlight how beautiful poppies are in the countryside across Europe. They are of course an great visual aid to artists providing interesting foregrounds to the paintings.

Anyway I hope you will enjoy them and remember as we do the great sacrifices made by so many over 100 years ago that give us all the freedoms we enjoy today.

Brian

Poppies in Provence

Poppies in the corn at St Margaret’s Church , Barming in Kent

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September sun on the Cote d’Azur

It was a fairly quick trip this time but the weather was fantastic

Mid 30s so in between sorting out a few things we were able to relax and enjoy the sun,the wine and some great meals out with friends and ourselves

I can’t recommend The Camandoule and Table D’Yves highly enough if you are in the Fayence area, they are both great restaurants and always worth the visit.

As always when we are away there was some time for quick sketches in my sketch book, now at volume 3!

Here they are and I do hope you like them

This really quick painting of watercolours appeals to me a lot as I can travel light and paint quickly even in the hot sun.

Plenty of time in the studio for larger artworks for the web sites too, when we are back home.

Near Cannes is the little town of  Mandelieu La Napoule with it’s Castle reconstructed by Henry Clews a US philanthropist.. This 10 by 7 inch watercolour shows the lovely little beach next to the quay.

If you have flooded this blog for any time you will know we like St Tropez,not for it Glitz but the back streets and it history. This Port de apache only A short stroll from the busy Quay and still quite like it must have been many years ago.

Off the St Tropez Coast yachts are alway whizzing about with the backdrop of the town behind. This is my interpretation of that scene.

When we are in StTropez I am alway transported to the town as it was in the early part of the 20th Century. Here I have tried to recreate that scene,so different from today, but it must have been an amazing sight to early 20th Century painters when they went there for the first time.

St Tropez as it may have been in 1910.

Lastly a scene in;the heart of St Paul de Vence,  the little but very famous hill village on the Cote d’Azur. Full of art studios and galleries there is a lovely view at every corner,and this is just one of them.

Another one of those”At the heart of St Paul de Vence” watercolours

So a busy week but a few watercolours too.

Do go to the Cote d’Azur, it is one of the really special places in the world and always rewarding to visit.

Happy Travelling

Brian

if you have enjoyed seeing these sketches do go to my site on Artfinder

http://www.artfinder.com/brianswatercolours 

 

A Sketchbook weekend in South Devon

We have just spent a really nice long weekend in South Devon, based in Babbacombe where we stayed in the delightful Cary Arms Hotel, right down almost on the shore line at Babbacombe.

The Cary Arms Hotel in Babbacombe Bay

The view from our Balcony at The Cary Arms of a the Brixham Trawler “Pilgrim” built in 1895 and a  Crabber sailing boat.

Its a good and interesting hotel with very friendly staff and good reasonably priced food too. From our balcony and room we could watch a pair of seals entertaining people on the jetty and the boats coming and going from the bay.

So we had some time for touring around and sketching too. Maybe some of these paintings will become larger works in the studio but I increasingly like to paint these  little 9 by 7 inches watercolours that are so quick to do and which I hope capture the lovely places around South Devon.

We found two other very good restaurants too in Torquay and both are well worth a visit. They were The Orange Tree, and The Waddling Duck, where the dinner was really superb.

We used the ferry to go across to Brixham with it colourful houses and harbour.

Brixham.

A trip using the River Dart ferry to get into Dartmouth was great and sitting on the quay there was a great place for another sketch of the river and entrance to the Town.

Dartmouth Estuary and castle

Kingswear from Dartmouth

Straight across from Dartmouth in Kingswear there are more  lovely colourful houses so they became a sketch too.

Greenway Quay seen from Dittersham

Just down the river is the little town of Dittersham and across from it is the Landing Quay for Greenway, the home until her death of Agatha Christie. We went to see it and the grounds and that was very interesting too.

We also visited Coleton Fishacre, a beautiful Art Deco period house on the coast near Kingswear. No sketches yet but a really lovely place to visit., and we spent a lovely few hours up in Dartmoor with its wild and beautiful scenery, so different for the Devon coast.

So now we are back in Kent with lots of good memories and photos of our time in Devon.

With so many great places to visit in the UK we hope to get to more in the near future

Thanks for looking at this blog post

Happy Travelling

Brian

PS There are many more of my paintings for sale at  

http://www.artfinder.com/brianswatercolours

Lisbon and a Cruise on the Duoro River

Hi Everybody

We have just returned from a very enjoyable cruise on the Duoro River in Portugal.

Just before the Cruise we spent a fcouple of days in Lisboa and then travelled to Porto to get on the Viking River Cruise.

Alas the weather wasn’t always as good as we would have expected in Portugal in June but slowly it improved and luckily it didn’t stop us enjoying the towns, cities and scenery. Of course we also enjoyed the Port and the Douro wine too and our trips to various places were all very interesting.

Last year we spent time in Lisboa so I am using one painting from that trip to introduce this Post.

What better than one of their iconic trams in the old town area of Lisboa.

 

A Tram in Old Lisboa

While we were in Lisboa we took a day trip to Sintra and its amazing Pena Palace. Then a lovely journey along the coast to see the most westerly point of mainland Europe and the cliffs and bays of the Atlantic. I have some paintings of the coast planned for the future.

Here is a quick sketch of Pena Palace. If you visit do go inside it is a very interesting visit.

Pena Palace at Sintra

Our transfer to Porto took us to Coimbra, an ancient University town about halfway from Lisboa to Porto.

Our arrival in Porto was rather wet but luckily the sun broke through the following day and so I was able to paint this double spread sketch of Porto. It is a lovely City with much to see and do and especially taste the Port. The history of Port production is fascinating and we learnt a lot from a great visit to the Sandeman cellars.

Porto from the South bank of the Douro River. Sketch book watercolour 18 inches by 8.

From Porto we sailed up the Douro through it’s amazing locks and visited a number of places along the way , stopping each night, before heading off the next day. The scenery is spectacular and the number of Vineyards and Wine producers quite amazing.

Here are a couple of Douro river scenes

Vineyard and the Douro. Watercolour 14 inches by 10.

By the bank of the Douro. ketch 9 by 8 inches.

One visit took us to Mateus Palace, this is the Palace used to name the Mateus Rose wine which I am sure you have come across. Probably a scene for a future painting but I was stuck that day by the Church and Vineyards, just next door and here is a quick sketch I made of the scene.

Igreja de Mateus Church near Mateus Palace.

 

One day we visited the very old Town of Castelo Rodrigo. The Castle is now mainly a ruin but once this was a dominant Castle town on the Portuguese /Spanish Border. It has a very old and has a quite magnificent Church to visit too. It is the Ingreja Matriz de Castelo Rodrigo.

Castelo Rodrigo . Watercolour Sketch,9 by 8 inches.

Our final trip before retuning down the Douro river with its wonderful scenery was into Spain to see Salamanca. Salamanca is an imposing and interesting city with a great history and a very old University. There are many stork nests in the City too, all in precarious places and all inhabited by the many storks there.

I hope to produce quite a few paintings of Salamanca in the future but here is the one sketch and one larger watercolour that I have so far painted.

In Salamanca. A watercolour sketch, 9 inches by 8

The Gold hues of Salamanca. Watercolour 14 inches by 10

We have come back with many wonderful photos of the Douro Valley and River and the fine memories of very nice people that we met with on the cruise and in Portugal. Always a warm welcome and wonderful wine and Port. I will be searching out more Portugeuse, especially Douro, Wine here in the UK. If you find some buy it and drink it, you will not be disappointed.

Happy Travelling

Brian

A Workshop with Viktoria Prischedko

Last weekend I was privileged to be on a watercolour workshop with Viktoria Pridshenko.

Viktoria is one of an elite group of exceptional watercolour painters and to be able to spend 4 days learning her techniques and approaches to watercolour painting was absolutely amazing.

The course was held in the East Devon Art Academy in Sidmouth, and very well organised and arranged by Cathy Osbond. Do look the Academy up as it does lay on many varied and interesting courses throughout the year

Sidmouth is a lovely seaside town that transports you back to childhood days at the seaside and is a lovely place to be for a few days anyway. Great fish and chips and great ice cream too. For lunch go to “The Filling Station” you will not be disappointed!

Over the four days of the course Viktoria painted watercolours and explained her approach and then we all tried to emulate using the techniques and ideas that she gave us. It was quite inspiring!

In the evenings I managed to paint a few little sketches of the area too in my traditional sketchbook style too, but I will be trying to incorporate her ideas into my future watercolours.

These are the watercolours that I managed to produce. They are much larger than I usually paint at 26 by 18 inches and are painted on Hahnemulle 600 gsm paper which works so well for this strongly wet into wet technique which Viktoria is so brilliant at.

Of course my watercolours were not in the same league as Viktoria’s but it was fantastic learning weekend. I hope you enjoy seeing them.

Watercolour 27 inches by 18. In the style of Viktoria Prischedko

Cherry trees. Watercolour 27 by 18 inches. In the style of Viktoria Prischedko

Sarlat en Caneda. Watercolour 27 by 18 inches. In the style of Viktoria Prischedko

Annecy in France. Watercolour 27 by 18 inches. In the style of Viktoria Prischedko

And here are the sketches of the area.

Sidmouth in Devon. Sketch book watercolour 10 inches by 8.

 

Sidmouth looking East. Sketch book watercolour 10 inches by 8

 

Fishing boats at Beer. Sketchbook watercolour 10 inches by 8

We didn’t just go there to eat! – A week on the Cote d’Azur

You know that you have chosen the right restaurant when the food is delicious and the view terrific.

So it was last Sunday at the Restaurant of Le Moulin de la Camandoule , L’Escourtin.

The weather was lovely and our table on their beautiful patio had a stunning view of the old town of Fayence high above us.

A great meal in a restaurant that I would highly recommend if you are in that area of Provence. So naturally I took some photos and here is the watercolour painted later that afternoon of the view of Fayence.

Fayence from Le Moulin de la Canandoule. Watercolour 12 inches by 9.

Our week, based in Mandelieu, gave us other opportunities for some good meals in restaurants, especially also La Table D’Yves, also near Fayence, and some time to meet friends and enjoy the beautiful coast to Agay along the Esterel coastal road. It is a really spectacular drive and in Agay lunch at La Belle Vie is always good. The now disused lighthouse at Agay can be seen for the beach there and this watercolour is from a close up taken with the camera of the little harbour near the lighthouse.

The little harbour near the old Agay lighthouse. Watercolour sketch 9.5 inches by 7.5

We didn’t visit St Paul de Vence on this holiday but the scene from the approach to the town is one I love to paint. So here is a new version painted this week.

St paul de pence as you approach it from Cagnes. A watercolour 12 inches by 9.

Some years ago we bought some lovely watercolour prints by an artist called Padia. Here is my interpretation of one of those watercolours. With another painter called Cybele they had a shop called Les Deux Ateliers in St Paul. Cybele still sells mainly beautiful oil paintings from her Gallery there today and  it is well with a visit.

Here is my interpretation, painting  this small watercolour has also helped me learn some new techniques too.

My version of a “Padia” watercolour of Provence

 

The hills of Provence and the back streets of St Tropez are always favourite themes for me and so here two more watercolours painted during this visit.

Lastly we nearly always visit Antibes. With a lovely Old Town and a big busting port there is always lots to see.

Here is a watercolour of the view from the walls of the old Town  across the bay toward the mountains.

 

“The Clouds roll in”. – . A watercolour of the view from the Walls of Old Antibes.  12 inches by 9.

I hope you will enjoy these new paintings.

Another lovely week in this really beautiful part of France.

Happy travelling

Brian

To contact me send an email to

brian@brianswatercolours.com

NB   Some other watercolours can be seen on my shop sites at

http://www.artfinder.com/brianswatercolours

and at

https://www.artgallery.co.uk/artist/brian_tucker_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bluebells in Kent – Spring is here!

The sun is shining ,the warmth of the Spring has suddenly brought on the Bluebells in the woods in Kent.

Some years the cow parsley masks the Bluebells but not this year, this is a great year for them.

Recently we visited a friend’s beautiful garden near Hawkhurst in Kent and by the pond in their garden was a lovely wood full of bluebells

i couldn’t resist having a go a painting them and here is the result. Bluebells have unique colours ranging from Blue to Violet which is quite a challenge, but no matter the accuracy the memory will remain of that beautiful scene.

Bluebells in Kent

As many of you know we also live to play golf and we are lucky that our golf course has woods with bluebells too.

So here is another painting from a year or two back with a scene on the course with bluebells in the woods.

Bluebells by the 12th green

If you do have a chance to get out into the countryside to see the bluebells then do try to go at this time, if not I hope you will enjoy my attempts to capture their beauty.

Happy travelling

Brian

brian@brianswatercolours.com

NB   Some other watercolours can be seen on my shop sites at

http://www.artfinder.com/brianswatercolours

and at

https://www.artgallery.co.uk/artist/brian_tucker_2

 

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