Category Archives: Seascapes
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.
Now we are back in the cold of the UK, but with great memories of yet another wonderful trip to Mauritius.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I hope you will enjoy these new paintings.
Another lovely week in this really beautiful part of France.
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Hi Everybody, — “Happy New Year”
After a lovely Christmas time in the UK with the family it was nice to spend the New Year on the Cote d’Azur with some good friends enjoying welcome sunshine and the lovely scenery of the area.
Of course it gave me some time to paint a few sketchbook watercolours of the area and the opportunity for us to enjoy the fine food and wine of the area.
I would like to especially mention our lunch at the Camandoule Hotel in Fayence. Just a great meal and very good value in this lovely hotel which was once a Mill. I would strongly recommend it as every time we have been there it has been great.
Anyway in the days there I was able to paint a few watercolours, quite quick ones in the sketch book which may become larger studio paintings in the future.
Here they are and I hope you like them.
All this and the Sun thing too!
Hastings in Sussex is a town steeped in history and a delightful place to visit.
The Fishing Industry was once a major activity in the Town and fishing boats still operate from there, and are still launched from the beach.
One historical feature of Hastings are the “Net Shops”, tall wooden buildings, now enjoying “Listed Status” on the Stade at Hastings.
To learn more about them try this web site ( hastingschronicles.net )which has lots of very interesting details about them, and photos too.
This first quick, 15 minute, sketch shows the Net Stores today with a typical Hastings fishing boat located next to them.
In the 1960’s and before the number of Fishing boats at Hastings was large and although there are a lot of boats there today they are fewer than once there were.
I particularly like the older style of boat which is ideal for my sort of watercolour. They had a particular hull design adapted to being launched from the beach. This painting is taken from a 1960’s photo and shows two fishing boats pulled up on the shingle beach from which they are launched.
RX73 was constructed in 1958 in Newhaven, named the ‘Young Flying Fish’ and is now retired as is RX77 named ‘Andina’ was constructed in Newhaven in 1957. Thanks to GH Clarke for this information, and also to Richard.O.Singleton for the original photograph upon which my watercolour is based.
Do visit Hastings, there is so much to see and do there.
This summer in the UK is proving to be hot and sunny which is great, but before this latest heat wave we were lucky enough to spend 10 days once again in the South of France on the Cote d’Azur.
There the weather too was hot and sunny and the food and wine up to all the usual great standards.
It gave me a chance for quite a lot of watercolour paintings of the area, almost one per day, some from my photos and some from memory too.
I was just trying to capture the light and the summer warmth in that wonderful part of France.
I hope you will enjoy them and of course if you can spend time there do try too one day, you won’t be disappointed.
In the hills not to far away from us is the unspoilt town of Seillans. These two sketches are of the little streets in this very hilly town.
Seillans in Provence . Watercolour 9 by 7
In the summer the Coast is beautiful and the view from the Esterel Coast road across the Iles de Lerin always fascinates me. Here is that view. This road is one of the finest scenic coastal drives in the world!
Occasionally you come across a bay with some fishing boats, an all too rare sight these days so here are a couple of interpretations of those scenes.
Sunsets can be amazing, here is quick watercolour of one.
When you drive around Provence the umbrella pine trees seem to pop up everywhere. This is a painting from memory of some not too far from the Coast.
During the past few weeks we have been back to the South of France, enjoying there some fabulous September weather and on returning to the UK finding that fine weather here too.
It has given me some time for a variety of subjects, some familiar, some new and some of scenes that I like to paint and hope one day to get it a bit more as I would like it to be.
So I thought I would share these with you , at least you know I have not been idle, even if the finished results aren’t quite as I had hoped!
In France, I found that I had what I thought was a nice pad of watercolour paper, but after finishing this painting I realised that it was not up to the quality I normally use, and so the paper effect isn’t too nice although the subject worked quite well in this format. The painting ,of the Iles de learn off the coast of Cannes, is about 20 inches by 8 so a bit larger than normal.
Whilst in France we were lucky enough to be in Cannes and St Tropez when some of the largest yachts were in harbour for their regattas.
I love the shape and lines of the huge “J” Class yachts and so this next painting of them preparing for races in St Tropez is the result. Not often are the St Tropez quay side buildings visible from across the harbour as large motor cruisers usually block the view, but not this time! Whilst in St Tropez we had lunch at Port de Peche and so here is that little harbour at the back of St Tropez, one of my favourite places in the South of France, and one that I have tried to paint on quite a few occasions!
Back in the UK I spent a day painting “en plain air” at the Seven Sisters cliffs in East Sussex.
More recently I have painted this smaller watercolour of Mermaid Street in Rye , also in East Sussex.
The Mermaid Inn, an old Smugglers Tavern, is on the right and whose sign you can see. It has the wonderful inscription outside which reads “Rebuilt in 1407”. Now there is history for you!
I hope you will enjoy these September variations.
Hi Everyone, thanks for reading this post.
We have just spent great 2 weeks meeting up with very good friends and together cruising down the St Lawrence Seaway and out into the Gulf and then on to New England.
It is a journey we have been looking forward to for some time and the places visited and the scenery were terrific.
It is our 15th year cruising with our four good friends and as always there is lots to talk about and to enjoy, both on and off the cruise ship.
Naturally it is great opportunity for photography, and for me, a time to paint some watercolours of the places we have visited on the Cruise, and afterwards in a short stay in Kennebunkport in Maine.
This year the vivid autumn colours are little later than usual but we did still manage to catch some views of the trees turning to gold, bronze, and red as we travelled.
Vainly we watched for whales which do frequent this region, but alas 3 spouts was the only glimpse we got, and a potential whale watching trip in Bar Harbor was sabotaged by bad weather.
Anyway I have lots of photos to turn into watercolours but here are the paintings that I managed to complete on the cruise.
More updates to this blog in the future as I sift through the photos and turn some into watercolours.
I have included a couple of extra paintings from previous trips to New England for you to see until I can get round to some new watercolours of New England.
We started the cruise in Montreal and this evening skyline painting didn’t work too well but it gives glimpse of this interesting and large city. Montreal is I am told the second largest French speaking City in the world, second only to Paris!
On leaving Montreal we were treated to a spectacular sunset which gave me an interesting challenge as a watercolour.
Overnight we sailed to Quebec where even though it was our second visit there we enjoyed walking around this lovely City. On our second day we took a “Foodie Tour”, which was really good. Local food and wine and stops many tasting places and restaurant finished up by beer and Cheese tasting in the Frontenac Hotel. Our guide was excellent and the combination of Food and history of the City was very interesting.
I strongly recommend this if you are planning some time in Quebec. Have look at http://www.toursvoirquebec.com, our guide was Jocelyn Belle.
On the tour the view of the Frontenac Hotel from the older and beautifully restored lower town inspired this watercolour.
Our cruise took us past the pretty Ile d’Orleans and Montmorency Falls ( paintings at a later date!)
Our next port of call was Saguenay, a town at the end of a 32 mile Canadian Fjiord. Despite watching for whales at the entrance to the fjord we didn’t manage any sightings.
From Saguenay we sailed over night to Baie Commeau, a small but interesting town on the North bank of the St Lawrence. A highlight there was our time spent at the Glacier visitor centre with amazing information about, and photos of Glaciers around the World.
From here we went on to Gaspe where we took to opportunity to visit Perce and its famous Rock. This vast rocky island lies just offshore and dominates the town. Here is my painting from a photo taken just out of the town at the lighthouse.
From Gaspe we sailed to Prince Edward Island , but alas due to strong winds we were unable to dock there. However these two lighthouses passed by the ship as we sailed and approached the island and so on the extra day at sea I painted these two watercolours.
After the dissapointmetnof not landing at Prince Edward Island we sailed on for 2 days to Halifax, Nova Scotia. They have made the board walk a real feature of Halifax and it is very pleasant stroll along it into the town and up to the Citadel if you have the energy for the climb!
There are some lovely old yachts and small ships in the port at Halifax and fine views across to Fort George.
Here is a painting of vintage yacht sailing past Fort George, just a little bit of artistic licence here to bring them together at the island!
From Halifax we sailed overnight to Bar Harbor. Bar Harbor is lovely town with nice shops, and galleries, as well as being on the beautiful Mount Desert Island. Alas, it was pouring and windy when we were there, but luckily we had been there is good weather some years ago so we could imagine it in the sun. Our plan of a whale watching trip was impossible in such rough weather too.
Thus my painting of the Mount Desert Lighthouse is from an archive photo and is on sunny day!
It was really rough weather leaving Bar Harbor and the night to Boston was the roughest cruise night we have encountered, not bad after so many cruises, we have been lucky!
We didn’t stop in Boston but picked up a car and drove with our friends to Kennebunkport where we stayed in the very nice “Captain Lord Mansion”. We really like Kennebunkport and the whole area.
In the centre of the town by the bridge you can see these 3 Dories slowly swinging together with the tide. Thought they made good subject for a watercolour.
We took a trip the next day to Ogunquit and Perkins Cove and the Nubble light house near York. I have many more paintings of New England to do now but here is one I did 10 years ago of The Nubble which will do until I can paint a few new ones.
So from Kennebunkport it was back home, farewells to our friends till next time and a flight back to the UK.
A great holiday with such good friends, lots of food, wine and great times.
What’s not to like!
At last I have decided to open a personal website where my paintings can be viewed and purchased. I have been thinking about it for some time but only now have I got organised enough to have the site set up.
This past year I have sold a few paintings and received a few commissions for paintings of customer’s favourite scenes.
So the new site brings together these two aims, one to paint watercolours for people of places they have visited, and secondly to display a number of artworks that can be purchased from me of places that I have visited and painted watercolours of.
The new site can be found at
I hope you will enjoy looking at it as well as continuing to look at this blog which of course will continue!
I really do appreciate all the support from friends,followers and readers alike and I hope you will enjoy both sites in the future.
Happy travelling, photographing and painting!