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Return to the Cote d’Azur! Great!

                                         Mandelieu La Napoule on the Cote d’Azur

Hi Everybody

After what seems far to long, due to you know what, we have just returned from a lovely holiday in France with much of our time spent back on the fabulous Cote d’Azur.

Driving through France in June in very hot weather was very beautiful with the Flowers, Lavender fields, Countryside and Mountains all sparkling in the Summer Sun.


Watercolour sketch of the Pyramid in Vienne.

Overnight in Vienne , about 10 miles south of Lyon, was an opportunity to eat in a local Restaurant ,Le Bar a Vins des Saveurs which was very enjoyable and worth seeking out. It is near the Roman Pyramid , quite spectacular ,a Roman column in a  town of many Roman ruins.

Market day at a town in Isere. Watercolour sketch

From Vienne we set off for The Cote d’Azur and on the way passed many fields of lavender and the hills and farms of the Rhone Valley

Here are two larger watercolours of that route

Lavender Farm near Orange. Watercolour 15 inches by 10

Lavender Farm in Provence. Watercolour 15 inches by 10.

Our destination was Miramar, just outside Theoule on the Esterel coast and about 12 miles from Cannes.

This is the view from our terrace of the bay at Miramar, tranquil sea, and the red rocks so prominent on this part of the coast. And hot too, every day over 30 C!

We love to travel on this spectacular coast road and this next painting is of the beach at Agay, quite near to San Raphael. Hot again!

Enjoying the Beach at Agay

It would really not be a visit to the Cote d”Azur for us without wandering around Antibes. This lovely old, yet busy, coastal town is a great place to wander.

The view of Antibes from the nearby bay is a very famous one painted by me and many others over the years. This is a new version.

Antibes with the mountains to the North. Watercololour 15 inches by 10.

This little Antibes street caught my eye as we walked around.

A side street in old Antibes, sketch 7 inches by 9.

We moved for a few days to new accommodation near Mougins, another pretty hill village north of Cannes. From there the view of the mountains is great, here is quick sketch of the scene from the walls of Mougins.

toward the mountains from Mougins. sketch, 10 inches by 8

The centre of Mougins with it’s many restaurants, cafes and houses is a delight to wander around. Here is sketch from a welcome seat in the shade

The main square in Mougins. Watercolour sketch.

One of our favourite places in the area north of Mougins is the spectacular hill village of Gourdon. Small but always worth a visit. This is a watercolour from a few years ago which gives an impression of the position of this amazing perched village.

Gourdon, a watercolour sketch from 2018. 20 by 9 inches.

Up in the mountains this cottage farm gave me an idea for quick sketch of the typical Provence scene

Whilst at Mougins we played some golf , even though it was very hot!. From the Course the view of the houses and hills nearby, gives, I hope and idea of the local scenery.

The countryside and houses around Mouans – Sartoux.

Our return journey to the UK was via the lovely lake side town of Aix les Bains and there the beautiful Lac de Bourget. From a boat trip on the lake this watercolour seemed appropriate for the final watercolour for this post.

Lac de Bourget at Aix Les Bains. Watercolour 18 inches by 9. Abbaye de Hautcombe in the foreground.

Of course I have come home with many photos and ideas for more watercolours of France and our great holiday. I will post those when I have managed to do a few more.

We will never tire of the Cote d’Azur, one the world’s most wonderful holiday destinations. If you know it well I hope these will be a reminder  of it, if you haven’t been there, then GO!

Happy travelling

Brian

The joy of Pen and Wash watercolours!

 

San Gimignano in Tuscany from one of my sketchbooks

Hi Everybody

I love to paint watercolours, and I have always been fascinated by this medium.

Whilst I get great pleasure  trying to paint big and bold watercolours I often find myself returning to where I started , using a pen and wash technique.

The sheer pleasure of the pen marks casually laid on the paper which may or may not be important later on is such fun and then applying washes of watercolour over it in a not too rigorous edgy manner is very exhilarating.

Maybe I am easily pleased but this process, which has to be pretty speedy, has been the backbone of my watercolours for many years and I hope will continue to be so.

Pen and wash can be in my sketch books, or slightly more formally on  Watercolour paper, I particularly like Arches watercolour blocks which are so great for use when travelling!

Let’s hope we can travel again soon though!

So here are some older and more recent Pen and Wash watercolours which I hope you will enjoy.

These first three were painted just this week from photos of previous visits and that is often how they happen.  When I can in love to sketch on the spot but that is a luxury which I can’t do at present of course.

Two scenes for Yorkshire first

Staithes on the Yorkshire Coast

The village of Robin Hood’s Bay

And now a recent painting of Mousehole in Cornall and one of the River dart in Devon

Mosehole in Cornwall

Greenway Quay on the River Dart in Devon

A few on place in Provence

In St Paul de Vence

At The heart of Vence

Fayence

 

Seillans

And a quick trip into Spain and Portugal

 

Sintra

The Hotel Courtyard in Sevilla

Sevilla Cathedral

 

Salamanca

 

An finally , for now at least, a few of both Canterbury and York

 

Canterbury Cathedral from Mercery Lane

York Minster from the City Wall

The Shambles in York

I hope from these you can see the reason why I enjoy Pen and Wash so much. Immediate , Colourfull and fun to do!

Stay safe and well and maybe this year we may all get to travel again.

Brian

 

The Heat and Beauty of the Cote d’Azur

Fayence ,the view from Le Moulin de la Camandoule

When the sea sparkles on the Côte d’Azur you can tell somehow before you go out that it is HOT. And it certainly was on our recent visit to La Napoule, 37 Celsius in fact most days. Nice to be in a air conditioned hotel and have great air conditioned car too!

However it was a lovely as ever and although just a short trip, there was time in the late afternoons for a few quick Pen and Wash watercolours.

This style works for me on travel and provides some ideas for large watercolours when home in the studio. In fact the next post will be one of these as a larger artwork.

La Napoule is a very nice place to stay and the large Pullman Hotel was very comfortable with a delightful beach to cool off at with a dip in the warm Mediterranean waters.

During our stay there we visited our two most favourite restaurants, both in Fayence; “Le Moulin de la Camandoule” and “Le Table d’Yves”. These are exceptional places to eat at, and both have lovely views of Fayence. Great dinner too with friends at “Freres de la Baie” in Theoule and “Le Brocherie” in La Napoule

So here are the Pen and Ink watercolours, all about 11 by 8 inches but this time painted on Fabriano 300gsm Hot Pressed watercolour paper, as this paper is very nice to use for pen and wash.

I hope you will enjoy them and also that you will be able to spend some time one day on the beautiful Esterel Coast and around the Côte d’Azur

Happy Travelling

Brian

The Castle at La Napoule

The Market in the Centre of old Antibes

 

Iles St Marguerite. Yachts sailing ,seen through the zoom lens!

 

A beach at La Napoule.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Venture!

Travels with a Brush Volume 1

Hi Everybody

Happy New Year to you all!

To start this year I  have decided to try out a new idea based on my paintings.

It began when I created to blog dedicated to my mother in law, Sadie back in 2013. That blog was about the Antrim Coast Road in Northern Ireland and it struck me that I might be able to produce a few Travel Guides of various places we know quite well, illustrated with my watercolours. I always photograph my work so they all reside in my Mac.

 

Apple have produced a great App for Macs that is called iAuthor which allows you to produce books for publishing on the iBook store (for Apple users on iPads and computers etc) or as a pdf that is viewable by all.

 

The first of these book which is titled Travels with a Brush, Volume 1 – The Cote d’Azur  is now available on the ibook store ( search for Cote d’Azur) but is also attached here as a pdf file for anyone to download. (Click on the link at the top of this post).

 

The books are free, I didn’t think anyone would be inclined to pay for my ramblings but nevertheless I hope you might find the books interesting. The second one, on Ulster in Ireland will be published in month or so.

 

I will be back to more normal painting posts soon but in the meantime any feedback is always welcome

 

Happy travelling

 

Brian

Front cover of The Cote d'Azur
Front cover of The Cote d’Azur

Perched Villages of Provence

Hello everybody

First of all thanks for looking at this blog, I really enjoy putting some of my paintings here and hope they will encourage you to visit some of these places, or if you already know them to remember them.

I have blogged many times about Provence and the Cote d’Azur.  It is a truly beautiful part of the world with sun, sea and mountains, not to mention it’s great food and wine!

One feature of the area, and of course many other areas around the Mediterranean, are the “perched’ villages and towns. They are always very interesting.   Some of course are much better known than others.   Over the years we have visited quite a lot and they always provide an interesting subject for my watercolours. 

I thought therefore that it was about time to collect a number of my watercolours together under this title.

I hope you will like them as a collection and feel the warmth of the Mediterranean sun!

Enjoy your travels wherever you may be.

Brian

St Paul de Vence

St Paul de Vence

The Grand Fountaine in St Paul de Vence

The Grand Fountaine in St Paul de Vence

A street in St Paul de Vence

Rue de Bresc in St Paul de Vence

St Paul de VenceSt Paul de Vence

Bourgainvillia in St Paul

Bourgainvillia in St Paul

Gourdon commands fabulous position high above the Cot dAzur

Gourdon commands fabulous position high above the Cot dAzur

Gourdon, Farmhouse on the hill above the town.

Gourdon, Farmhouse on the hill above the town.

Gourdon in the Snow

Gourdon in the Snow

the route into Gourdon in Winter

the route into Gourdon in Winter

Near Lac St Croix is the beautiful Moustiers St Marie

Near Lac St Croix is the beautiful Moustiers St Marie

Inside Moustiers St Marie

Inside Moustiers St Marie

The Chpel at Moustiers St Marie from the town

The Chapel at Moustiers St Marie from the town

Looking up towards Fayence
Looking up towards Fayence

In the heart of Fayence the Hotel de Ville is amn impressive sight.

In the heart of Fayence the Hotel de Ville is an impressive sight.

Just past Fayence is the little town of Seillans

Just past Fayence is the little town of Seillans

High op in the mountains is the town of Mons en Provence

High up in the mountains is the town of Mons en Provence

The fountain in Mons freezes in the winter

The fountain in Mons freezes in the winter

By the coast but high above it is the delightful town of Eze.

By the coast but high above it is the delightful town of Eze.

On the ridge from Vence towards Fayence lies Callian and it's castle

On the ridge from Vence towards Fayence lies Callian and it’s castle

 Callian can be seen clearly from  the Terre Blanche Golf course

Callian can be seen clearly from the Terre Blanche Golf course

Anoth view of Callian

Anoth view of Callian

A little street in Biot. Biot is famous for its Glass making.

A little street in Biot. Biot is famous for its Glass making.

A sunny day in Mougins
A sunny day in Mougins

Tourrettes sur Loup

Tourrettes sur Loup

The small streets of Tourrettes Sur loupe

The small streets of Tourrettes Sur loupe

One of my first painting,taken from a postcard photo, of Vence

One of my first painting,taken from a postcard photo, of Vence

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