Blog Archives

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.

I

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

 

       

The Master’s Golf at Augusta – Looking forward to 2021!

Hi Everybody

Sadly, due to the terrible impact of Covid 19 in the USA and around the World, this year’s Masters Golf Tournament at Augusta National Golf Course has been cancelled and won’t be played again till 2021. Like all sporting events for both players and spectators this is a very sad situation and all we can do is look forward to the resumption of sport as soon as is possible and the events that will follow.

Each year I like to post a few watercolours of Augusta National Golf Course as it is a place that I would really like to visit, and maybe even play the course! The Azaleas and the trees around the course make it one of the World’s most beautiful Golf Courses.

Maybe one day this will happen but until then I can only look at the phots of it and back videos of former competitions there.

So here a few watercolours painted over the past few years of the very beautiful Augusta course in Georgia.

All were painted from fleeting scenes on the television and a few screen shots.

I hope you will enjoy seeing them and join with me in wishing all golfers around the world “safe times” and of course everybody else too.

Stay safe and we can all look forward to exciting golf tournaments in 2021.

Brian

The 12th hole at Augusta National Golf Course

 

By the 12th hole at Augusta National Golf Course

The 16th Hole at Augusta National Golf Course

The 12th Hole at Augusta National Golf Course

The Sun is out – and we are in!

Hi Everybody

With a walk or sitting in the garden as the only outdoor options possible in these unprecedented times I am pleased to tell you that it has been is a really beautiful weekend here in the South Of England. Warm and sunny , a perfect April day.

Having done the walk, time to enjoy the garden and an opportunity to paint a small watercolour of one corner of it.

A Corner of the Garden. Watercolour 11 inches by 8 on Fabriano paper.

Our small Magnolia is flowering nicely this year, it must have liked the wet winter and the warm weather now,as we are too!

i also managed to paint another pen and was sketch of Portrush in Northern Ireland this weekend too. We had visited port rush last year, and it  has, over the years, become a very nice, if a it busy, seaside resort with fine beaches and many new restaurants. And of course it is on the fabulous North Antrim Coast which has featured in many posts on this blog before.

Portrush, the Inner Harbour. Watercolour 11 inches by 8 on Fabriano paper.

This watercolour is of the Inner harbour where many small boats moor and where the quaysides are lined with restaurants. A nice place to stop at after driving all the way up the Causeway Coastal Route.

Stay well and be safe

Brian

 

 

Evenings, stormy and calm

Hi Everyone

Just a quick post with some new and old watercolours of evening skies

Lets start with a very recent watercolour of Rye and one of a scene on the Rhine also painted recently.

Evening at Rye in East Sussex. Watercolour 14 inches by 10 on Arches Rough paper.

 

Evening on the Rhine in Germany.watercolour 14 by 10 inches on Arches Rough Paper.

And some stormier skies :-

 

A Evening storm brewing At Antibes

Fishing boat at Littlestone beach as the storm approaches.

 

Blustery evening at Kinderdijk.

And some calmer Evening to end this post

Evening in Provence

The sun setting on the Ile de la Cite in Paris

Sunset in Tuscany

 

Happy travelling Everybody!

Brian

Burnham Market

“In Burnham Market” A Watercolour 15 inches by 11.

Following on from the Workshop with Herman Pekel I have painted  this watercolour of a little row of shops and houses in Burnham Market in West Norfolk that caught my eye when I visited there.

It is a very pretty town with lots of shops and cafes and very nice to stroll about.

This watercolour attempts to incorporate some of the ideas that Herman showed us and is the first that I have done back here in my studio using only  hake brushes and some Chinese calighraphy brushes. They are fun to use and help with the dry brush techniques.

I plan to continue to paint in this somewhat bolder style and hope that you will like these results too.

The watercolour is painted on Saunders NOT paper and is 15 inches by 11.

if you are in West Norfolk do vist Burnham Market and Burnham Overy Staithes, and I would highly recommend a stay at the White House Hotel at Sussex Farm too.

Happy travelling

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.

A visit to Rye

We ar going to Rye this week to visit some good friends so I thought a quick post of two recent Rye watercolours would be a good idea.

Rye in East Sussex is a great little town, once a smugglers haunt and one of the most picturesque places of the south coast of England

Here are the watercolours

fullsizeoutput_118c4

The Landgate in Rye A Pena and wash watercolour 14 inches by 10

Rye Harbour A watercolour called “THe Catch is In” 10 inches by 14

 

 

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.

The Blue Danube, Update 2

Budapest

Budapest

Hi Everbody

Well, here we are at the end of September with Autumn fast approaching, at least it is here in the UK.

We have just returned from a river cruise with great friends along the Danube, starting in Budapest and finishing after a coach journey in Prague.

My plan is to start this blog off with some quick watercolours painted on the cruise and then add some more as updates later on. For those interested in the technical side of the watercolours, the originals are mostly are about 12  by 7 inches, and are painted on Arches 300lb cold pressed paper.

Alas, the weather wasn’t brilliant but the sights along the way and in the cities we visited were lovely. Of course the Danube is not at all blue but my watercolours do show the area with finer weather and a nice blue tinge to the water.  At least watercolours can improve the weather, unlike the photos!

Budapest is always a fine city,with Pest on side of the river and old Buda rising above on the other bank. Visit the market if you are there as well as the old parts on the towns. To get up to Buda always use the funicular railway from the end of the Chain bridge. It is great ride.

Budapest (2)

The view across to the Pest portion of Budapest from the Buda castle.

Old Buda and the Chain bridge (1)

Old Buda and the Chain bridge, viewed from the Pest side of the City.

This time we also spent a morning at a little riverside town about 12 miles away called Zentendre, (Saint Andrews). This is delightful spot well worth the visit with is incredible marzipan museum and lovely Churches and streets.Szentendre (1)

The Danube was quite high when were on it but thankfully not flooding as it had in June of this year.

From Budapest our first major City visited was Bratislava. Unlike Budapest we had not visited Bratislava before. It is a delightful, compact city with interesting buildings and palaces to visit. The city is dominated by a huge castle, very visible from the river as shown in this next painting. I regret I didn’t walk right up to the castle, as from there the views of the city must be great.

Bratislava (1)

Bratislava Castle viewed from the Danube

From Bratislave our next stop was at Vienna. Vienna is such a magnificent City. Everwhere you go there are tremendous houses, Palaces and Museums. My paintings of Vienna will be part of the update to this blog so I hope you will see them in while. However while in Vienna do eat the wonderful cakes and, as we did, find some great Wiener Schnitzel !

From Vienna the Danube passes many pleasant towns and villages and soon we were at Durnstein, a “Chocolate Box” town right on the bank of the river. It has a beautiful Church and Monastery and a ruined castle above the town where Richard I of England (Richard the Lionheart) was held captive in 1193.

Durnstein (1)After Durnstein the Danube passes through the beautiful Wachau valley with it’s Churches, towns and castles. Often these are  perched high above the river, where they have commanding views of the river. The Wachau valley is the Danube as one might imagine it and soon Melk Abbey comes into view. Regrettably we didn’t have time to stop and visit it on this cruise but I do believe it is magnificent. It is certainly huge and can be seen for some distance as you pass along the river.

From the large locks near Melk the journey to Linz is quite short. Linz, the town famous for the creation of Linzer torte, we took a side tour to Cesky krumlov in the Czech republic. An alternative would have been a trip to Salzburg, but as we had visited there before (painting done some time ago below)  we decided on Cesky Krumlov. We were not dissappointed. Cesky Krumlov turned out to be gem of a town, located on an ox bow bend of the river Vitava with huge and very original castle and delightful town around it. If you are in this area do visit Cesky, you will really enjoy it.Ceski Krumlov (1)

Salzburg at night  from the Salzach river

Salzburg at night from the Salzach river

From Linz we then departed Austria for Passua in Germany. Passau is at the confluence of three rivers, the Danube from the west, the Inn from the south and the Liz from the north.  As a result it has seen a number of severe floods with this year in June being the worst ever recorded. It is amazing how quickly the city has recovered, no doubt through much hard work.

In St Stephen’s Cathedral is the world’s largest cathedral organ with over 17000 pipes. Every day at 12 noon a 30 minute concert is played and is well worth going to,the sounds are amazing. Paintings of Passau too will be the subject of part 2 of this blog.

From Passau we travelled on to Regensburg, not all the way unfortunately on the Danube as water levels were too high, so the last part had to be by coach. Regensburg,  in Germany is lovely , and again compact city, with a great history. More paintings  to come later on.

From Regensburg we then travelled to Prague for a couple of days. Prague is nowadays a very busy City , and sadly the throngs of people limit the charm of the Old Town Square and the Charles bridge. However it does have great sights to see and the view of the Charles Bridge is always terrific, both in the day and at night.

The Charles bridge in Prague

The Charles bridge in Prague

 

Evening on the Charles Bridge in Prague

Evening on the Charles Bridge in Prague

I don’t think this quick sketch of Old Town Square does it justice but over the next few months I will have the chance to paint some more views of this fine city.

Old Town Square in Prague

Old Town Square in Prague

And so our holiday came to an end, great time with our great friends, roll on the next one!

I hope you have enjoyed these early watercolours of our trip. They gave me much pleasure painting them and they may recall your own memories of the beautiful river Danube  and the countries it passes through.

Happy travels

Brian

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

%d bloggers like this: