Category Archives: Travel

Places I would like to be – Norfolk in the UK

Sunset at Hunstanton

Hi Everybody

This will be my last post of 2020 and it will be a year I am sure we will not look back on happily.

There have been many lows but some wonderful highs such as the achievement to create new vaccines so quickly and the care so many have shown to others in such troubled times.

My watercolours have been a wonderful visual journey to get me through these lockdown days and during the year I have painted well over one hundred watercolours of many places around the world as real travel has had to be replaced with fantasy journeys to places that we love or would like to go to.

To all of you who have taken the time to look at these posts, my grateful thanks,  and I hope that as 2021 arrives we can all look forward with more optimism to a better world.

And so it was that over the holidays I was talking to a friend about Norfolk and it spurred me into action to do one of these  “Places I would like to be” posts. I do plan to go there in 2021!!!

With travel a distant memory it would be good to be in Norfolk for it’s lovely countryside, coast, big skies and amazing sunsets. Not to mention the food and yes, Norfolk wine too!

So here are some watercolours painted over the past few years of Norfolk and they will help me and I hope you to reminisce  about or if you don’t know the area to get on to your list!

One of those big Norfolk Skies and  the shore

Let’s start on the coast where the lovely beaches meet the sky

On the North coast lies the picturesque town of Balakeney  famous as one the best places to try crab rolls and sandwiches. Blakeney is apopular harbour town with many boats and yachts moored there ready for the incoming tide.

Here is my watercolour of the harbour, a great place to sit and watch the world go by!

The quay at Blakeney

And one of some boats waiting for the tide

Waiting for the tide

To the east of Blakeney is the pretty little town of Cley Next The Sea, with is equally famous windmill which has been the subject of paintings for over two hundred years.

Here is one of my watercolour but in the style of the very famous watercolourist, Edward Seago whose paintings of the British coast and Europe too are all really wonderful. I really admire his work done in the 20th Century.

Cley windmill in the style of Edward Seago.

And here is another of the Cley Windmill but in my more usual style

Cley windmill pen and wash sketch painted on site.

In 2019 I was lucky to go to a watercolour workshop held at The White House Hotel at Sussex farm, with Herman Pekel, a fantastic Australian watercolour painter and we painted around the Burnham Market area , a very pretty town and with great places to eat and drink too!

These are some of the watercolours I produced during that week with his help and guidance.

Burnham Overy Staithes

Local houses near Burnham Overy Staithes, right opposite the Hero pub with it great food and drink!

The pond at Sussex farm Hotel, The White House, a great place to stay.

Across the Norfolk fields

A Tidal inlet near Thornham

Near Burnham Overy Staithes

Thornham Old Harbour

Boats moored at Wells next The Sea painted on a bench by the coast.

And lastly a dawn seascape at Sctby on the East coast of Norfolk

Dawn at Scratby beach

I am sorry this has been a long post but anyway I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse of Norfolk and that you have a Very Happy 2021.

Best wishes

Brian

My Virtual Travel Journal – Part 2 – Weeks 6 and on of the Lockdown.

“It would be nice to be back in Quebec”

Quebec. The Frontenac Hotel from the old town

As we enter Week 6 of the Lockdown I think I will have to get travelling even more.
With so many places already visited and new watercolours to produce over these next weeks I will start Part 2 and then add to it daily or whenever a new watercolour gets created.

We enjoyed a very nice cruise a few years ago from Quebec to Boston and visited many places on the way. But there wasn’t time to go everywhere and some places remain very firmly on our list for further visits to New England,Canadas and Nova Scotia.

Whilst on that trip we saw many lighthouses, there are a lot on the Atlantic coast, and so this watercolour painted yesterday is of the lighthouse on Curtis Island just off the Maine coast at Camden.

The Lighthouse on Curtis Island. Early evening glow. Watercolour 14 inches by 10.

We didn’t manage to visit Prince Edward Island on that cruise due to rough weather which was a very great disappointment, but we did pass this lighthouse  on that portion of the cruise.

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A Lighthouse on the eastern seaboard of Canada.

And one more for good measure, the Lighthouse on Mount Desert Island near Bar Harbour.

 Bar Harbour is a lovely town to visit and stay indefinitely a place not to miss.

 

The Lighthouse on Mount Desert Island near Bar Harbor

So this week my theme of  travelling around New England will continue but who knows where I will travel to next!

UPDATE

One place on the Eastern Seaboard of Canada I had hoped to visit this year, as well as Prince Edwards Island is Peggy’s Cove. This delightful small town and harbour is a photographer’s and artist’s haven and so that is why this virtual visit is stopping off there!

I am indebted to Jeffrey Newcomer and his web site http://www.partridgebrookreflections.com for his permission to use one of his images of Peggy’s Cove as the basis of this watercolour. Thanks Jeffrey!

I hope you like this attempt to capture the scene and maybe i can get there in reality one day soon.

 

Peggy’s Cove Nova Scotia

Whilst in the are here are two images form previous actual visits to this area.

Firstly a sunset on the St lawrence Estuary. We did see some really spectular sunsets there!  and a watercolour of a really fine schooner off the harbour of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Sailing off Halifax

 

 

Sunset on the St lawrence

I would really be happy to be there again too!

More updates in a few more Lockdown days.

Happy virtual travelling!

Stay safe and well

Brian

 

       

My Virtual Travel Journal – Part 1 -“The first 5 weeks in Lockdown”

I expect like me you are just wishing you could go somewhere, ANYWHERE I hear you say!

Well those days will return, but I have been travelling around the Globe quite a bit since the lockdown started.

It is of course Virtual, but by painting watercolours of various place I can almost escape there for a while. By the time I have trawled through old photos to find the one I want to paint the memories of these places come flooding back and the concentration of painting soon transports me to those far away places.

I have been posting these paintings recently so not many new ones but I thought I could put them together as a sort of Journal if only for my own amusement, and I hope yours too!

It all stared sitting in the garden in the lovely April sunshine thinking of all the gardening I should be doing, not to mention sorting out the shed, garage,study etc etc.

A corner of the garden

But soon the travel bug took over.

I had been worrying about a delivery of a variant of this watercolour of Porto in Portugal

to a customer in Toronto when I realised that I had not been to Toronto for a very long time and so the idea of a Skyline painting seemed the thing to do. Don’t ask why, even I don’t know!

Toronto Skyline

One thing leads to another and so suddenly I found myself seeing once again the Skyline of Singapore.

Singapore

We had stayed in the Ritz Carlton there the last time we were there and this is the skyline from near there. What a City Singapore is!  I can even taste a spectacular meal we ate one evening there, in very authentic restaurant, of Beef in Black Bean sauce and Beef Rendang!

The trip back to the UK included a quick diversion to Chateau Chalon in the Jura in France. (That thanks to watching Rick Stein on TV). A wonderful area of that equally wonderful country with stunning ,and rather special Wine!

Chateau Chalon in the Jura region of France

And just to make sure the days were fully filled up, a  return visit to Amsterdam, another great place to be.

 

But soon I was back in the UK with view of the Countryside in Kent that I can’t now visit and another view across the Oxfordshire countryside as the sun bursts through.

The Kentish Countryside

The sun breaking through the clouds

Being back in the UK brought on another attack of the travel bug and a long weekend in Tuscany seemed just the right thing to do. So after a brief stop in Florence to look at the the house located on the Ponte Vecchio —

—I drove into the heart of Tuscany. It has been warm here in Kent and so the warmth of Tuscany seemed just so good.

Basing ourselves near to San Gimignano, as we have done before, gave me some time to enjoy painting some watercolours, first of Piazza della Cisterna in the heart of San Gimignano and then the view from San Gimignano across the wonderful Tuscan landscape.

Piazza dell Cisterna in San Gimignano.

Tuscany

Luckily there was time to return to Lucca. A real gem of a City in Tuscany and a painters paradise!

In the Heart of Lucca in Tuscany

And so the first 5 weeks of Lockdown have let me cover a lot of miles without even stepping outside!

I hope that this Lockdown won’t go on too much longer but if it does my Virtual bags will have to be repacked and put into us again.

Happy Virtual Travelling Everybody!

Stay safe and well too.

Brian

Places where I would like to be – Yosemite and the Canadian Rockies!

Some friends’ recent holiday to the Canadian Rockies and our trip a few years ago to Yosemite have inspired me to try to paint a few mountain scenes.

Using their, and my own photos, from these trips here are just 3 watercolours of those places.

Our trip to Yosemite was amazing, such scale and grandeur is hard to beat. and our friends photos of their Canadian trip reminds me that the West of Canada is still on our “bucket list”

I hope you enjoy this short post , I found producing these paintings a lot of fun, and maybe a visit one day? Lets hope so.

Happy travelling

Brian

 

El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. Watercolour 14 inches by 10.

Sunset at Lake Moraine in the Canadian Rockies. Watercolour 16 by 12 inches.

Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies. Watercolour 13 inches by 9.

Breakfast in the Sun!

Hi Everbody

Readers of this blog will know how much we like to spend time  in Mandelieu, near Cannes on the Cote d’Azur

The past couple of weeks there have, as always, been great and warm enough to sit outside on our terrace and eat our breakfasts and lunches. How nice to do this in April!

Visits there always give me some time for painting watercolours, either on the spot,or from new photos from our daily jaunts or from reference photos from the past few years.

This holiday was no exception and so here are the paintings that I managed to do on this trip.

Nearby to us is the hill top town of Cagnes and close by is the former home of Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Renoir lived and worked there in the 19th and 20th centuries until his death in 1919.  It is lovely place to visit and there is real sense of his love of the house and it’s gardens and views. There are number of his paintings and sculptures on display and many photos too.

This painting is the view from the bedroom of Alice Renoir, his wife, looking across to Cagnes.

 

Cagnes from Renoir's former Home

Cagnes from Renoir’s former Home

This watercolour is 14″ by 10″ on Arches rough paper. All these paintings are this size as I use an Arches glued edge pad when travelling mostly.

As we travel into the hills and mountains of Provence there are many rural scenes that I love to paint. Usually they are a mixture of reality and composites of several photos and these two watercolours fall into that category.

Spring in Provence

Spring in Provence

The Vineyard, Haut Provence

The Vineyard, Haut Provence

Really nearby us is the seaside town of Mandelieu – La Napoule. It has large marina with many yachts and boats moored there of all sizes. From the marina there is a good view of The Castle, which today is an art gallery and a nice place to visit.

The Castle at La Napoule

The Castle at La Napoule

From nearby Theoule there are fine views across to Cannes and the Iles de Lerin. The second of these, St Honorat is seen in this painting , painted  from a zoomed photo of the island, taken from Theoule.

Ile St Honorat

Ile St Honorat

Further East of Cannes is Antibes. I love to paint at Antibes and this particular painting is of the large Fortress which guards the harbour, Fort Carré,  with some of the many moored yachts in the harbour.

Fort Carre at Antibes

Fort Carre at Antibes

Its seems that we often take the ferry from St Maxime to St Tropez for lunch, and a  wander round the old part of the town. I love to paint the small unspoilt harbour at le Ponche, Port de Pêche, and our recent trip was no exception to this. So here is another view of Port de Pêche, just a few minutes walk from the bustling and glitzy harbour on the main front at St Tropez.Porte de peche, St Tropez

I hope you enjoy these paintings from the land of warm sun and beautiful scenery, it is such a nice place to be!

Happy travelling and Painting!

Brian

A Few Days in The Sun!

Hi Everyone

I think by now everyone must know how much we like the South of France, especially the Cote d’Azur.

At the end of November we were able to spend  some time there and for the most part the weather was really lovely, warm enough to eat breakfast and lunch outside on the terrace and at the harbour at Villefranche.

Now back in England the weather is cold and wet and so a little reminder seems in order.

I wasn’t too happy with my quick watercolours but as the sun was out I thought I would share them with you.

If it is sunny where you are then that is very nice but if it is wet, cold or snowy then imagine the warm sun and look forward to next summer.

Happy travelling!

 

Brian

http://www.brianswatercolours.com

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Agay on the Esterel Coast in November afternoon sun.

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St Tropez

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Antibes in November, blue sky and snow on the mountains.

 

My new website!

Ile de la Cite from a river cruise in Paris

Ile de la Cite from a river cruise in Paris. Now for sale on http://www.brianswatercolours.com

 

Hi Everybody.

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

http://www.brianswatercolours.com.

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!

Brian Tucker

brian@brianswatercolours.com

 

Saint Paul de Vence

Hi Everybody,

There are some places that we never tire of visiting. For us Saint Paul de Vence is one of them.

St Paul de Vence

St Paul de Vence viewed from the North

Alas it is so popular that it is often teeming with visitors, but at the right time of day the lovely little streets and the town can be enjoyed to it’s full.

The views of the town as you approach it are lovely too and and each time I visit there seems a new aspect to paint a watercolour of.

This visit was no exception so I thought I would look back through previous paintings and gather them together in the blog post dedicated to the town.

Recently a new creperie has opened near to the Church in the town and I can really recommend it. The best crepes that I have ever eaten, prepared in the Normandy way. If you are there, try one, they are delicious!

St Paul is also full of art galleries and shops with items to tempt the tourist as you would expect but somehow they  add something to the town and  a extra dimension to the lovely architecture and the narrow streets.

Nearby  too is the bigger town of Vence , which has a very nice old town to discover too.

There are so many lovely places in this beautiful, and our favourite, part of France.

I hope you will enjoy these paintings of the town and if you haven’t visited  St Paul then do so one day. Crowds or not you will enjoy it.

Happy travelling

Brian

Bourgainvillia in St Paul

In St Paul de Vence

One of the little streets in St Paul de Vence

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St Paul viewed from the Vence road

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At the heart of the town

St Paul de Vence

Boule players in St Paul de Vence

St Paul de Vence

St Paul de Vence, another day, another painting!

A Week in Northern Ireland-Visits to the “Game of Thrones” Locations

 

Fair Head from the West

Fair Head from the West

Hi Everyone,

We always seem to be on the go and last week we enjoyed a lovely visit to Northern Ireland, for many reasons one of our favourite places in the World.

It wouldn’t have been authentic if the sun had shone every day , but in mixed weather the countywide was beautiful and we managed to tour around, visit friends and family and also visit both familiar and  new destinations.

Some of these were the locations of scenes from the very popular TV series  Game of Thrones.

We have not been devotees of the series but seeing locations known to us in dramas is always fascinating, especially when they have been “catapulted” back , many hundreds of years, to become the land of Westeros

So this post features some places that can be seen in the series. These are my interpretations of the scenes, and of course are not as accurate as photos but they are all original!

We stayed in delightful new cottage/apartment in Holywood (http://www.holywoodhill.com), which we would also strongly recommend if you are planning visit to Northern Ireland. Holywood is a nice small town only a few miles from Belfast with galleries,cafes,restaurants and shops and makes a good base to get around the Province.

Whitehead seen from Holywood Hills Cottages. Co Down.

Whitehead seen from Holywood Hills Cottages. Co Down.

 

Eventually I will update my guide book to Ulster with these destinations but for now I hope you enjoy seeing them in the blog, together with one or two other places that we visited .

Happy travelling and enjoy the Summer, if  it ever reappears!

Brian

 

The Church and Cliffs at Ballintoy. Co Antrim

The Church and Cliffs at Ballintoy. Co Antrim

 

 

 

 

 

The Dark Hedges near Armoy. Co Antrim. The King's Highway in Game of Thrones

The Dark Hedges near Armoy. Co Antrim.
The King’s Highway in Game of Thrones

Strangford Lough and the Mourne Mountains from Greyabbey. Co Down.

Strangford Lough and the Mourne Mountains from Greyabbey. Co Down.

Fair Head from Murlough Bay. Co Antrim. Features as the Iron Islands in Game of Thrones

Fair Head from Murlough Bay. Co Antrim. Features as the Iron Islands in Game of Thrones

Fair Head seen from Ballycastle. Co Antrim.

Fair Head seen from Ballycastle. Co Antrim.

Back to the Sun, a week on the Cote d’Azur

Hi Everybody

How nice it is to see the sun on daily basis.   That was how our week this May was back at our favourite haunt of the Cote d’Azur!

Not very hot but lovely and dry with the sun breaking through nearly all day.

The combination of scenery, the beautiful Esterel Coast, and the mountains of Provence make this a wonderful part of the world.

We even ventured into Cannes where the mayhem of the preparations for the Cannes Film Festival were well underway, but nobody asked for our autogragh!

We weren’t sorry to be leaving before the Festival started but just a short way from Cannes calm reigns and the roads are peacefulful and beautiful in all directions.

Even time for some quick sketches for future, hopefully larger, paintings.

These watercolours are all just 8 by 5 inches in size and quickly painted after taking some photos, or recalling previous Provence scenery.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I have in painting them.

If you have read the guide books on another page of this blog you will know that we are very familiar with this enchanting part of France.  The local wines, predominantly Rose but also some light and fruity Reds are a great complement to some really good restaurants, some of which we visited again on this trip. If you are ever in Fayence do go to Table d’Yves , one of the finest restaurants we have found in this part of the region.

Happy travelling and if the sun is out where you are enjoy that too!

Brian

Sunset over the Vineyard

Sunset over the Vineyard

Antibes

Antibes

House in Provence

House in Provence

The Esterel Mountains near Agay

The Esterel Mountains near Agay

Lavender fields in Haut Provence

Lavender fields in Haut Provence

Farm and Vineyard

Farm and Vineyard

The Castle at La Napoule

The Castle at La Napoule

Sailing boats off the Esterel Coast

Sailing boats off the Esterel Coast

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