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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 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 days on the Cote d’Azur

The Town of Correns in Provence. Watercolour 14 inches by 10.

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

Seillans. Watercolour 9 by 7.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J Class yachts passing Ile St Honorat off the Cannes Coast. Watercolour 10 by 14.

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.

Fishing boats of the coast. Watercolours 14 inches by 10.

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.

Umbrella Pine trees ,Watercolour 14 inches by 10

 

Happy travelling 

Brian

 

Return to the Cote d’Azur – August 2016

Hi Everyone,

Summer on the Cote d’Azur, wonderful, hot, busy and just delightful!

The whole area of Provence is such a beautiful part of the world, with great food, excellent Rose wine and just terrific weather. The sea, the sand, the mountains just make me want to paint and this summer I have managed quite few. Not all totally successful but here they are , and I hope you will enjoy having a look at them.

Firstly St Paul de Vence, always busy with tourists but it is interesting to walk through the narrow streets and go into the art galleries.

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St Paul de Vence from Vence. Watercolour 16 inches by 12.

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The restaurants come to life!

 The second painting is a scene of cafe life in a Provence town as the restaurants come to life in the early evening.

Off the coast of Cannes is the Ile de Lerins, this painting, from a zoomed photo, shows the Abbey on the island where there is a lot of boating activity. It is about a 15 minute boat journey to the island. 

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I do like to paint yachts at sea and although the sea in watercolour is still a challenge for me here is a watercolour painted whilst in Provence.

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The mountains of Haut Provence are always an inspiration, here are two paintings from our holiday, although the scenes are not entirely factual!

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Lavender farm in Provence

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Evening at a Provence village

 For the first time in many years we went to Port Grimaud. This old style but 1960’s marina centred town is an interesting place with lots of Provencal inspired houses around the marina. Could resist a quick painting with our grandkids and family in the little green boat!

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Port Grimaud

Sometimes change of style is worth an experiment, so this last watercolour is a little different from the usual.

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The Old Farm

I hope that you have enjoyed this and the other paintings in this post. It was so great to be back on the Cote d’Azur!

Happy travelling

Brian

A few days in France

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Hi

We have just spent a few days in the South of France sorting out one or two things at our apartment. With some rainy as well as sunny weather there was just time for couple of watercolours, one from a photo in a newspaper which caught my eye as a basis for a painting and one from an earlier photo of the beach at Juan les Pins. I wish our few days had all been as sunny as the Juan les Pins painting but after all it is February!

I hope you like them both and maybe I will be able to post again soon.

Heres looking forward to Spring

Brian

Juan les Pins

Juan les Pins

A Day in ………. Villifranche sur Mer, on the Cote d’Azur

The Quai at Villefranche

The Quai at Villefranche. Watercolour 14 inches by 10 on Arches Rough paper.

A Very Happy New Year to you all. Thanks for visiting my site.

Sometimes in the winter it is nice to look back to days spent in a particular place.

Scanning through my paintings it struck me that this theme would make an interesting theme for a Post and so here is the first one of what I hope will grow into a series of Posts.

When we visit The South of France our home there is not far from Villefranche, about 40 minutes, so it makes a nice day out and a lovely place to sit on the Quai and have a delightful lunch.

The town has a nice harbour, a fine , and huge castle and is in sheltered bay on the Mediterranean.

It has become a very popular harbour for cruises too, but it is much nicer there when the cruise ships aren’t!

There is a lovely small Church  (Chapelle Saint Pierre) which dates from the 16th Century by the waterfront  The inside of the Church has been decorated by Jean Cocteau after it’s restoration in 1957. Definitely worth a visit  before or after lunch.

Villefranche has thus become quite a favourite spot for me to paint watercolours of and so here are some of the watercolours of some recent visits there.

VilleFranche

Villefranche, walking by the Castle. Watercolour 14 inches by 10 on Arches Rough paper.

From the harbour there is path around the outside, the sea side , of the castle which gives lovely views of the bay and of the Town and Castle.

Across the Bay is the very tiny Port Passable , above which stands the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild,  a beautiful House and Gardens open to the public. Nearby also is the Villa Grecque Kérylos. Both are very well worth the visit.

Port Passable at Villefranche

Port Passable at Villefranche.

There is so much to do in and around Villefranche. Access is easy by car or train and I am sure you will enjoy it just as we do.

Happy travelling!

More Painting in The South of France

Hi Everybody

Painting in the South of France is such a delight!

We had been in Normandy recently but last week we were back in Provence staying on the Cote d’Azur.

The weather was spectacular, hot as the middle of summer, the skies blue, and the sea a shimmering Azur.

So time for some painting!

I wanted to finish a sketch of Honfleur I had started in Normandy but with a Regatta theme. 

Painting watercolours in the lovely heat of Provence means working very quickly as the watercolours dry so quickly! 

Honfeur, the Barge Regatta Watercolour 14 inches by 10.

Honfleur, the Barge Regatta.
Watercolour 14 inches by 10.

 

If you are on the Cote d’Azur then lunch on the Quai at Villefranche is a great way to start a holiday.

Sitting in the sun at one of the restaurants by the quay is such a lovely experience. We really like “TRASTEVERE”, where the staff are great and the food excellent.

This painting, from a photo taken that day serves as reminder of that lunch! By the Quai is the little Church decorated inside by Jean Cocteau, do spend some time there as it is a quite remarkable.

The Quai at Villefranche. Watercolour 14 by 10.

The Quai at Villefranche.
Watercolour 14 by 10.

In quiet moments I can sit and paint from reference photos and memories of other visits. This time was no exception and these three paintings come under that category.

The little farm houses and the hills and fields of Provence are a constant inspiration in the bright and clear light of the landscape.

Here are two paintings of the Lavender and Vines of Haut Provence and one of the Iles d’Or, a tiny island with castle tower between Agay and St Raphael on the Esterel peninsula.

Vines and Poppies in haut Provence. Watercolour 14 by 10 inches

Vines and Poppies in Haut Provence.
Watercolour 14 by 10 inches

The Lavender Farm. Watercolour 14 by 10 inches.

The Lavender Farm.
Watercolour 14 by 10 inches.

Ile d'Or near St Raphael

Ile d’Or near St Raphael. Watercolour 14 by 10 inches.

This week we had some friends staying with us and so we all took the ferry from St Maxime to St Tropez. The bustle of the main port and the huge yachts and boats is so contrasted by the calm as you walk round the corner to Porte de Peche and the view from the Tour Portalet, which is just at the Harbour.

 

The view from the Tour Portalet at St Tropez. Watercolour 14 by 10 inches

The view from the Tour Portalet at St Tropez. Watercolour 14 by 10 inches

There are some good places to eat at “Le Ponche”, just 100 yards from the main harbour and the little port is delightful. Try the omelettes at “Le PeS Quiere”, really good!

I love to paint this scene, so as well as the view from Tour Portalet I have included a previous painting of The Porte de Peche too. I hope you enjoy them and visit this quieter part of St. Tropez. 

Porte de Peche at St Tropez. Watercolour 14 by 10 inches.

Porte de Peche at St Tropez.
Watercolour 14 by 10 inches.

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

New Year on the Cote d’Azur

Hi Everybody,

Digging in the sand at Mandelieu La Napoule

Digging in the sand at Mandelieu La Napoule

We were very fortunate this year to spend New Year in Mandelieu, on the Cote d’Azur. As you all know we really enjoy this lovely part of France.

The weather was really lovely, sunny enough to eat lunch on the terrace and play golf and paint in the sun.

Especially nice too, as our Grandaughter, aged 2,  and her parents were with us which inspired one of the paintings. A quick dig on a lovely sandy beach is something for any time on the year!

We didn’t actually visit Haut Provence this time but I managed to paint a couple of watercolours from older reference photos.

I hope you enjoy these new paintings and that if you know this part of the world it will remind you of it’s beauty ,or if you haven’t yet visited this lovely coast and mountain region get it on your list!

Happy painting, and travelling to you all and may 2015 be a good year!

Brian

 

“Have look at my other site too.”

http://www.brianswatercolours.com

Lavender at the village in Provence

Lavender at the village in Provence

Winter in the mountains of Provence

Winter in the mountains of Provence

Cottage in Haut Provence

Cottage in Haut Provence

 

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.

 

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