Blog Archives

Sun, Sea and Sand!

Cefalu, Sicily

Cefalu in Sicily

Hi Everyone,

Spring is just starting to make an appearance here in Kent in England.

As regular readers of this blog will know I like to paint watercolours from my photos of  seascapes and so I thought a post bringing a few of my Seascapes together might help me look forward to the warmer and  sunnier days to come.

Going through my paintings archive I discovered that there are many such paintings, too many to put here so I have just chosen some that I painted over the past few years. Most of the painting are 14 inches by 10 and painted on Arches 300gsm watercolour paper.

Mostly they are places I am familiar with but one or two fit into the category of place I would like to visit as they were gifts or commissions.

I hope you like them!

Brian

Orfordness Lighthouse (Pope)

Fishing Boats at Orfordness Lighthouse

 

Bude in Cornwall

Bude in Cornwall

Balnakeil, Durness(Sleight)

Balnakeil Strand at Durness in Scotland

Paphos Cyprus - Version 2

A beach near Paphos in Cyprus

IMG_1794

The beach at Ballycastle in Northern Ireland.

Sandwood Bay(Sleight)

Sandalwood Bay in the North of Scotland

Vias plage

Vias Plage in the South of France

The 6th Hole at Pine Cliffs

The Golf Course and Beach at Pine Cliffs in the Algarve in Portugal.

The Mourne mountains

The Beach at Murlough Bay and the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland

Maybe I will do second post on the same theme soon but wherever you are enjoy your travels and the coming of Spring

Brian

 

Enhance your Family History Project with Paintings!!

The Black Arch on the Causeway Coastal Route.

                 The Black Arch on the Causeway Coastal Route.

By way of a diversion I thought I might introduce you to an idea I had some years ago which can add some extra interest to the documenting of your Family History project.

Researching the historical background of your family is fascinating but can produce a lot of data and alas that data, whilst interesting to the researcher, does not  make interesting reading for the younger members of your family who may  (??)  one day, show some interest in all that research. I guess it is not till we all advance in years that the history of our families becomes a bit more interesting anyway!

Just leaving the succeeding generations all the data is unlikely to be a successful strategy so producing some form of booklet or document is most likely to be a more useful hand me down for the future. Paper is not  much in fashion these days but a paper book or document, maybe also produced as an eBook as well, is still very likely to stand the test of time.

Even for bloggers like us paper is a good solution for long term storage of all that hard work documenting the past few hundred years.

The heart of your project will probably be the Family Tree but adding narrative to each of the families covered by your research will add some insight of the people in the Tree and their way of life.

I decided that to bring the project even more to life I would include as many photos of the people as I could find but that won’t take you back before the mid or late 1800’s. So to illustrate the histories of the families I decided to add some watercolours of the places they came from, sometimes as they might have been at the time, or just places that they liked to visit. Paintings of the Churches they were married in seemed an obvious choice and where possible the houses they once lived in. Even if these have long been demolished you can sometimes find data to reconstruct the scene, at least to give some context to the narrative. If your narrative can give some insight as to how they lived in years gone by this can be very interesting too. 

You will be pleased to know I am not going to bore you with my research data, but here are a few paintings that I have used to illustrate the Family History Book of the 6 major families that it covers.

First of all a couple of Churches painted as near as possible to the way they looked at the time. An earlier generation of my family were married in Minster Abbey on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent during the exceptionally cold winter of 1911. This was the year I believe that Niagara Falls froze over too!

Kent, Minster Abbey as it would have looked in 1911

Kent, Minster Abbey as it would have looked in 1911

In the early 19th Cenury other family members were married in The Churches of Detling (then spelt

Debtling) in Kent and at Boxley Church, also in Kent

Kent, Debtling Church in 1809

Debtling Church in Kent as it looked in 1809

Boxley Church, Kent

Boxley Church, Kent

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the late 19th century some of my ancestors lived in the middle house below West Malling in Kent.  Here I have tried to reconstruct the scene in 1891. He was the local Weights and Measures Inspector, an inserting job, which invloved testing the beer in the local breweries almost every day!

West Malling in Kent in 1891

West Malling in Kent in 1891

The earliest record that I have so far managed to find is of a wedding in Lenham Church in 1628. I don’t think they had Linseed growing in the fields then but my painting tries to show it anyway!

Lenham Church

Lenham Church

Lastly some branches of my family and my wife’s family hail from Northern Ireland.

So here is the Church of St Anne in Belfast where a marriage took place in 1869. The Church was demolished in the 1890’s and the fine (and still standing) St Anne’s Cathedral was built on the site.

St Anne's Church in Belfast in 1869

St Anne’s Church in Belfast in 1869

Northern Ireland,Carrickfergus - Version 2 (Mandy and Drew)

                                                                          Carrickfergus

And lastly we had, and have, close associations with the whole beautiful Antrim Coast in Northern Ireland. This spectacular coastal route has featured in a number of my previous posts. So here is a watercolour of Carrickfergus, the beginning of the Causeway Coastal route and a town with many associations with our families.

 

I hope you have enjoyed this diversion. Back to more recent travels soon!

Brian

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.

When you are on a roll!

Travels with a Brush – Ulster

Hi Everyone,

I had such nice comments about my last post, “A New Venture” and the guide book to the Cote d’Azur that I thought that I should follow this up quickly with the second book in the series.

This new book is about Ulster, the most northerly Province of Ireland and becomes number 2 in the series “Travels with a Brush”. I hope you will like this one too. It is dedicated to my Mother in Law, Sadie, who died last year and who loved this beautiful part of Ireland, especially the Antrim Coast which is the first Chapter of the book.

I am waiting for the book to appear on the Apple iBook store but for non iPad users there is a PDF version at the top of this post which can be viewed and downloaded.

Once again all comments would be most welcome as that will help me with updates and subsequent volumes in the series. 

I hope you enjoy looking through it and if you haven’t been to this part of the world, put it into your future itineraries!

Happy travelling  and painting

Brian Tucker

Travels with a Brush - Volume 2 - Ulster

The Causeway Coastal Route – The Antrim Coast

For family reasons we have been spending  time in Northern Ireland recently.   Sadly this time has seen the recent death of my Mother in Law, Sadie, who was a lovely lady of 85 years.  Sadie  always had great love for the Antrim Coast as it had very special memories for her, especially the area around Drains Bay and The Black Arch.

We will all miss her a great deal, and so this blog is dedicated to Sadie, a very special lady indeed.

These places are special to us too and I hope this blog will encourage you to visit, or if you know the area to enjoy once again the wonderful scenery that is found there.

                                                                          ——————————————————-

The Giants Causeway is world heritage site and a route has been carefully signposted to it from Belfast. This striking rock formation is a magnificent sight , and with the new visitor centre a good place to visit in Northern Ireland

If you start in Belfast the Causeway Coastal route is well signposted and over a day, or two, if you have the time this route takes you along some of Northern Ireland’s fine scenery and one or the World’s great coastal drives.

This series of paintings, some of which go back a few years picks out just few spots on the Coastal journey.

As a starting point Belfast is a fine city but these days one of it’s not to be missed highlights is the new Titanic centre, located in the area once occupied by the huge Harland and Wolff shipyard.

A few hours spent there will be rewarding with its visions of Belfast of old and the history of the ill fated Titanic.

On leaving Belfast via the Causeway Coastal Route the road hugs Belfast Lough and the first major town you will arrive at is Carrickfergus.

Carrickfergus has one of the best preserved Norman castles in the British Isles. It is located next to the harbour. Built by Robert De Courcy in the 12th century it dominates the town.

Carrickfergus Castle

Carrickfergus Castle

After leaving Carrickfergus the roads turns inland but soon arrives near Whitehead.  Turn off into Whithead and enjoy it painted seafront houses and hotels.

At the northern end of the town there is good coastal path that leads towards Whitehead lighthouse located on the cliff top.

Whitehead lighthouse

Whitehead lighthouse

after leaving Whitehead the roads lads towards Larne,today cross channel port to Scotland. ferries have been going from here for many years.

Follow the Causeway Coastal route signs and the road soon rejoins the sea, and before arriving in Drains Bay you pass through the natural archway across the road known as The Black Arch. Just one of many aptly named landmarks on the coast.

The Black Arch, near Drains Bay

The Black Arch, near Drains Bay

From Drains Bay the road hugs the coast and eventually brings you into Ballygally. The old castle is nowadays a good hotel  and if you park at it and look back at the hill that you have just passed you will see the distinctive features of face profile that the shape of the hill makes. (Zoom into the painting below to see it).  This area of the coast has been inhabited for Neolithic times apparently. You are certainly treading in the steps of history!

Ballygally

Ballygally

Sunset at Ballygally

Sunset at Ballygally

From Ballygally the road continues to be close to the sea, passing through very nice small towns of Carnlough, Glenarm, Glenarriff and on to Cushendall. If time permits turn off at Glenarriff and turn into the beautiful glacial valley you will see there.  Back at the coast you will see that sailing around this whole coast is favourite pastime, almost anywhere you will find yachts off the shore. IMG_1553

As you now head on take the diversion that passes Cushendun and Tor head, stop off whenever you can to admire the cliffs, views and scenery. It is really good at many places. Further along the cost the cliffs are at their highest at Fair Head. If you can go there and walk along the cliffs. If not then from Ballycastle Fair Head can be seen well. Its prominent shape is shown in these paintings

The beach at Ballycastle

The beach at Ballycastle

Fair Head

Fair Head

Ballycastle has great beach and golf course too.   From Ballycastle the road  rises over the hills, but divert off it to Ballintoy and do stop at the headland at Whitepark Bay where the view is really spectacular. If you feel brave stop to at the Carrick a Rede rope bridge, and there walk across to and island above the pounding sea!

Tor Head and Whitepark Bay

Tor Head and Whitepark Bay

From there you will shortly arrive at the Giants Causeway. The new visitor centre is well organised and you can even get a bus to the actual stone formations by the sea. These hexagonal rocks, formed millions of years ago are quite extraordinary. It is rarely calm there so the pounding sea  adds to the drama of the place.

Here are two paintings of the Causeway.

The Giant's Causeway

The Giant’s Causeway

Sunset at the Giant's causeway

Sunset at the Giant’s causeway

The causeway coastal route continue further on to Portrush and beyond, but before setting off further do visit the nice little town of Bushmills. Here are good restaurants and cafes and most importantly the famous Bushmills Distillery. This, the earliest Distillery in the British Isles to be licenced is the home of Bushmills Irish Whiskey. It has a different taste and aroma to Scottish whisky so a tour of the Distillery is a must and a sample at the end of the tour will encourage you to take a bottle or two home!

Before heading to Portrush turn off to Portballintrae. A small seaside resort with a nice harbour. After leaving Portballintrae the road will take you past Dunluce Castle. This ruined castle is perched on the cliff edge and is interesing to explore, but it can be seen well from parking area just past the castle on the Causeway Route, that view is shown below.

Dunluce castle

 At Portrush you will find golden sandy beaches, dunes and a very famous golf course, Royal Portrush, a terrific challenge for any golfer. This seaside resort used to be the summer destination of Belfast folk, although much quieter now it is still a holiday destination. Nearby is Portstewart where you can drive on to the beach and not far inland  is the bustling town of Coleraine . There you can cruise on the River Bann which flows from Lough Neagh, the largest inland lake in the British Isles.

This blog is only a little snapshot of this great coastal drive. If, like us, you are attracted to areas where mountains meet the sea you will really enjoy travelling there. For me there is the benefit of scenes to paint too!

Enjoy your travels

Brian

Happy New Year

The Legion of Door Whores

...for those who appreciate doors...

Hilda Rogers ~ Artist

As long as you do your best, that's good enough.

Maison Travers

Living & Cooking in the Dordogne

Serendipitous Cookery

Just another WordPress.com site

leaf and twig

where observation and imagination meet nature in poetry

O' Canada

Reflections on Canadian Culture From Below the Border

Aquarelles de France

Watercolours of my travels in France

Salt of Portugal

all that is glorious about Portugal

Travelling with Lyn

My experiences in Italy and the world

Rationalising The Universe

one post at a time

Fred Kodjayan

Do what you love, and do it often.

My Botanical Garden

Tamara Jare contemporary painting blog

The Homemaker's Life - A Creative Lifestyle Blog

''Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies'' -Proverbs 31:10 KJV

Italophilia

Stories of my Italian Journey & More...!

Artistcoveries

Discovering the joy of art.

L'OCCASION

a reason for wine

Travellers Anonymous

A travel addict's blog

jill millward artwork

blogging and oil painting about my daily adventures in art & life...come follow along!

The Cornish Bird

Cornwall's Hidden Stories

debi riley

The Creative Zone for Making Art

Travels and Tomes: One Expat's Amblings and Ramblings

About travel, food, family, and the quirks of living abroad in Germany, England, and Turkey.

kestrelart

Welcome to my online sketchbook

petersouthlandphotography

Photography reviews, ramblings, and other things you need to know

Jo Dunn

painter | animator

Julie Podstolski - Abstract Realism

A site to share my drawings, paintings, photographs and thoughts.

Pride in Photos

Beauty.Inspiration.Lifestyle.

anna warren portfolio

looking for beauty in the small things

Brian's Watercolours

Watercolour paintings of our World Wide travel and free Travel Guides

Salal Studio

Photography from Pender Island and the Gulf Islands, British Columbia

mariartistblog

My OCA student blog

Rebekah Kathleen Jackson

Glass + Ceramics Graduate.

Joe Cibere Watercolor Blog

Drawing is a given. Design is everything. Failure is your friend.

Wunderscapes Travel

New travel brand by former au pair that focuses on experiencing and photographing the most beautiful places around the world. All photos are my own ©

LEANNE COLE - The Photographer's Mentor

Fine Art Photographer ~ Daring to be Different

Maurice Sapiro

TONALIST AND REPRESENTATIONAL FINE ART

Just Visit Siena !

My Siena Guide

Places Unknown

Dmitrii Lezine's Places Unknown is fine art and travel photography from around the world. Enjoy!

Awapara Art

A Place to share My Love for Painting, Life, and my Wandering Mind

making it up as i go

amy begun saab ~life as i see it. a Vermonter deeply entrenched in Alabama dirt...so i plant flowers.

The Domestic Man

Gluten-free & Paleo-friendly recipes, inspired by traditional & international cuisines.

BUSY BRUSH CAFE

a self-taught artist discusses acrylic painting, photoshop and the creative process.

le blog du pigeon voyageur

When I grow up I wanna be a tourist

%d bloggers like this: