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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

Another watercolour of Tuscany – The wonderful San Gimignano

The City of Towers

In my last post I featured a watercolour from San Gimignano, so today I have painted a watercolour sketch of the Piazza del Cisterna, right  in the centre of San Gimignano. This Cisterna in the Piazza was originally built in 1273 was enlarged in 1346 and painted by me in 2020!

This watercolour pen and wash sketch is painted across two pages of my Sketch book and measures 24 inches by 8.

Piazza del Cisterna in San Gimignano. Watercolour pen and wash sketch 24 inches by 8, on Fabriano paper.

 

I was a little surprised that I had not painted this scene before but by making it a large panorama I have been able to include a lot of this lovely Piazza.  The Towers of San Gimignano are so unique and amazing ,”Manhattan of the 13th Century”.

Originally there were over 70 towers but today only 14 of them still exist. Only 6 are in this painting. Some of the Towers are over 150 feet tall.

In this painting I have included an artist, maybe we will be able to get back there before too long to soak up the amazing atmosphere, not to mention the great food, warm welcome and really super wine!

Also I have included a couple of previous paintings of San Gimignano produced whilst visiting there in 2013.

I hope you like them.

San Gimignano , The City of Towers from the nearby countryside Watercolour 12 inches by 9.(2013)

 

A styrene in San Gimignano. Watercolour 10 by 9 inches (2013)

I am trying to post much more often that I normally do so that there are frequent new paintings for everyone to look at, and as I am painting a lot more than normal it lets me have an outlet for all my artwork!

Anyway stay safe, and thanks for looking at my blog posts.

All the best.

Brian

Tuscany, Wonderful memories – We will be back!

Hi Everybody

With travel now not possible for the time being anyway,  Tuscany will be very quiet, and we all feel for the awful situation in Italy and well as here in the UK and around the World.

But we will all return to Tuscany with its wonderful Cities and Towns, the Countryside, very friendly  people, and the great food and delicious wine.

Just as soon as we all can, because it is such a magical place to visit and enjoy.

With that in mind I decided yesterday to paint a large watercolour (well for me ) of the sun rising across the Tuscan countryside. Derived partly from photos taken from San Gimignano looking East and other photos taken on our last visit to the area.

Tuscany. Early morning from San Gimignano. Watercolour on Arches Cold pressed paper 19 inches by 8.

Larger watercolours are exciting and challenging and this one has come out fairly well. It is 19 inches by 8 and will look nice mounted and framed I think. Something else to do!

Also here are a couple of very quick sketches, also from photos taken on that last visit to Sienna in Tuscany. These are both of the area away from the Campo in Sienna. There are so many wonderful sights there to paint but these two smaller sketches were also painted very recently whilst at home, sitting in the garden in the sun thinking of Sienna!

Early Lunch in Sienna. Watercolour 11 inches by 8 on Fabriano paper.

The Torre del Mangia Tower in Sienna sennets for the side streets. Watercolour sketch 9 by 6 inches.

In these days of isolation I am very lucky to have such an absorbing pastime of watercolour painting to while away the hours.

Maybe soon we will be able to get back to some golf!

Stay safe wherever you may be and lets all look forward to travel in the future.

All the best

Brian

Sketches in The Dordogne and Tuscany

Hi Everybody
Thanks for following my posts, your comments are always most welcome.
 
We recently drove through France, visiting friends and eventually driving to Tuscany for few days.
In a few quiet moments I managed to paint some quick sketches of The Dordogne, Lot et Garonne and the area around San Gimignano in Tuscany.
We found a lovely Agriturismo to stay at, within sight of San Gimignano, call La Lucciolaia, which we would highly recommend if you are staying in that area.
I hope these will form the basis for more studio paintings later in the year, but in the meantime I hope you enjoy looking at them.
Tuscany is beautiful place for painting with blue skies,warm weather and lovely old towns and cities.
Enjoy your travels wherever you may be.
Brian
Beynac on The Dordogne river

Beynac on The Dordogne river

Castelnaud

Castelnaud on the banks of the Dordogne River

Evening at Dome from Vitrac

Evening at Dome from Vitrac
Recently a friend and very talented artist, Peter Robson, gave a workshop which included ideas for silhouette paintings. I have tried it here with the view of Dome in the Dordogne from our hotel. Thanks Peter!

Monpazier

Monpazier is a Bastide town in the Lot and Garonne region of France, well worth a visit.

San Gimignano (1)

A street in San Gimignano in Tuscany. San Gimignano is famous for its 14th century towers.

San Gimignano

The view of San Gimignano from La Lucciolaia Agriturismo, just 3 Kms away.

Sunflowers in Tuscany

Tuscan farm with sunflowers near Volterra

Tuscan field of poppies

A field of poppies in Tuscany

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