Blog Archives

The Open Golf at Royal Portrush

Hi Everybody

Readers of this post will have seen images of my watercolours of the North Antrim Coast of Northern Ireland before.

Tomorrow sees the start of the Open Golf on the  Dunluce Links of Royal Portrush Golf Course on that beautiful coast.

The Open was last held there in 1951 and for it to be there  once again is a great achievement of many people over many years.

I could not  help wanting to post some watercolours of the coast of Antrim and to start with a new painting of the 5th Green on the Dunluce links which is right next to the shore. This hole is  next to White Rocks bay and is often called that. It is challenging like the whole course and this weekend I am sure we will all see much excitement on the course from all the world class golfers assembled there.

The 5th Hole on the Dunluce Course at Royal Portrush Golf Club. Watercolour 16 inches by 11.

 

But Portrush is only a part of the wonderful coast line that starts in Carrickfergus and stretches all the way to Donegal. Here are selection from the many watercolours that I have painted over the past years. The whole coast is such a delight to visit due to it’s proximity to the sea, the wonder of the Antrim Glens and amazing places like the Giants Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, and its many excellent golf courses.

Carrickfergus Castle

Sailing off the Antrim Coast near Ballygally

The Antrim Coast near Carnlough

The Antrim Coast at Ballintoy

Fair Head near Ballycastle on the Antrim Coast

The coast from above Cushendun

The Giant’s Causeway at sunset

The Bushmill’s Inn

And when you have seen all the sights you can happily retreat to the Bushmills Inn for great food and drink and good company.

Enjoy watching The Open, I will!

Happy travelling

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.

Return to the Antrim Coast

This summer we will be back in Northern Ireland for a short holiday and a family wedding. We are very much looking forward to it.

It will be great to be back to a place where so much of my early life was spent and where such great memories abound of people and places.

We will spend some time on the wonderful Antrim Coast and it’s splendid scenery.

Fair Head from Ballycastle Watercolour 16 inches by 12 on 600 gsm watercolour paper.

Recently I painted yet another watercolour of the scene from Ballycastle Strand across to Fair Head and so that triggered me into doing this post which unashamedly uses watercolours painted over the years of this stunning and very scenic part of the world.

If you haven’t downloaded my free guide with watercolours for Ulster then please do so either using the link above or via the iBook store.

This is a much shorter version of some of the paintings from that book.

The Antrim Coast road starts in Belfast but very soon you arrive in Carrickfergus with its great Norman Castle.

Carrickfergus Castle

After passing through Larne the road takes you to  Ballygally where the road is right next to the sea and Scotland seems so nearby across the water.

Yachts sailing off the Antrim Coast

The Coast near Carnlough

 

Watercolour of Ballygally, 11 by 7 inches.

A little bit inland from the coast the remarkable trees near Armoy are a good diversion and if you are a Game of Thrones fan they feature in that programme as The King’s Highway.

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

On the way visit Ballintoy, and Murlough Bay, also used in that series.

Further along the coast is the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge and of course the  famous Giants Causway with its incredible hexagonal basalt columns.

 

The Giant’s Causeway at sunset.

 

There is so much more to see on this great Coast so do take the time to visit there.

We will enjoy our next visit and if you can plan a visit to this delightful part of the world which you will enjoy.

Happy travelling

Brian

 

10 Days on Paradise Island!

Mount Bambous from The East Coast of Mauritius

Hi All

We have just returned from 10 days in Mauritius, we think of it as a paradise island, especially in January when the UK is cold and the weather is so fabulous in Mauritius.

We returned again to the Shangri-La Le Touessrok Resort , on the East coast at Trou D’Eau Douce, which we really like, and where as well as great facilities and beaches there is the very challenging Ile au Cerfs Golf Course to play.

I have never played golf anywhere except there that requires a lovely 15 minute boat trip to get to the course, it is really a great experience.

There is something very special about painting watercolours whilst sitting on a sun bed on the beach, but some of these watercolours were done like that from photos or memory as well as painting the scene right there on the beach.

They are all quick works, about 9 inches by 8, (they have to be with such hot sun!) and are in my Khadi Papers travel sketch book. They will provide the basis for larger watercolours to be painted here in the studio now that we are home.

Wherever you look in Mauritius there are little boats moored or sailing out fishing. They provide endless opportunities for sketches even if they were just a fleeting scene viewed as you drive by.

Anyway they were all fun to do and I hope you like them.

Mauritius is such a lovely island with delightful people who are all very friendly and helpful. They have a great multicultural population and although the locals all speak Creole to each other almost everybody speaks both French and English as they are the languages taught in the schools there.

With it’s large rainfall but beautiful sunny weather too it is a very green and lush island where the main crop is sugar cane, which you see everywhere you go and as well as exporting sugar  the rum made from it is very good too!

So here are the watercolours from this trip.

Grand Baie on the North Coast

 

Boats at the beach

 

Big Mauritian Skies!

A farm by the road

 

The Ilot Mangenie at Le Touessrok. Secluded and only a boat ride away!

Two boats on the beach

 

Fisherman on the jetty

Now we are back in the cold of the UK, but with great memories of yet another wonderful trip to Mauritius.

Happy travelling!

Brian

Places where I would like to go! Lake Bled in Slovenia

Hi Everybody

Some years ago some good friends visited Lake Bled in Slovenia. I have never been there but I really do hope to get there in the next year or two.

They sent me a nice photo taken from the south side of the lake showing the fabulous scenery of the area.

The  Island of Bled is in the Lake and it has a Pilgrimage Church, The Assumption of Mary with a 171 foot tower,  on it together with a baroque stairway of 99 steps leading up to the Church.

I decided that it would be good to try to paint a watercolour of the scene, so after some research and looking at the area on Google Earth and other sites I started the watercolour.

Then during the process some other friends saw the artwork and said how much they too had enjoyed visiting Lake Bled and could I paint another watercolour of the scene. Yes of course! It is such an enjoyable view that a second painting seemed a very good idea. They are never the same of course , which is just as well, as I never reproduce my watercolours as prints.

These are the two paintings.

Lake Bled . The first watercolour.

Lake Bled in Slovenia . The first watercolour.

Lake Bled Eileen and david

Lake Bled, the second watercolour painting

A year of two passed and then I had enquiry from the USA for the painting which of course were not available, but again I offered to paint the scene once more.

This I did and the recipient was pleased with the result.

Lake Bled1

The third version of the Lake Bled Watercolour

Amazingly not more than a few months later the same thing happened again but this time from a different State in the USA. And so a fourth watercolour of the scene was the result (this one was requested to have  darker tones to the lake) and another happy recipient too!

Lake Bled3

And the fourth version of the scene at Lake Bled

So you see I do think it is about time I actually went there, and painted the scene “en plein air” just for myself.

Just need to get on with the planning!

Happy travelling and painting, and a Happy New Year too!

Brian

PS, If you too would like a watercolour of Lake Bled, then just email me at brian@brianswatercolours.com

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 

 

Bluebells in Kent – Spring is here!

The sun is shining ,the warmth of the Spring has suddenly brought on the Bluebells in the woods in Kent.

Some years the cow parsley masks the Bluebells but not this year, this is a great year for them.

Recently we visited a friend’s beautiful garden near Hawkhurst in Kent and by the pond in their garden was a lovely wood full of bluebells

i couldn’t resist having a go a painting them and here is the result. Bluebells have unique colours ranging from Blue to Violet which is quite a challenge, but no matter the accuracy the memory will remain of that beautiful scene.

Bluebells in Kent

As many of you know we also live to play golf and we are lucky that our golf course has woods with bluebells too.

So here is another painting from a year or two back with a scene on the course with bluebells in the woods.

Bluebells by the 12th green

If you do have a chance to get out into the countryside to see the bluebells then do try to go at this time, if not I hope you will enjoy my attempts to capture their beauty.

Happy travelling

Brian

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

 

Portofino – An Italian gem!

This month just one painting, although a bit larger than normal in size.

 

This watercolour was painted from photos taken when I was last in Portofino a couple of years ago but the light on the water then lingers often in my mind which inspired this recent watercolour.

The painting is 19 inches by 7.5 to give plenty of room for the reflections of the buildings and boats in the bay.

I hope you like it and if you haven’t been to this area of Italy then get planning!

Happy travelling

Brian

PS. Although this painting has been sold there are many more in my shop at

http://www.artfinder.com/brianswatercolours

and at

https://www.artgallery.co.uk/artist/brian_tucker_2

maybe there you will see just the item for your home or as a gift.

 

Chasing the Sun – The Warmth of Tenerife

CONTACT ME AT  brian@brianswatercolours.com for commissions and to purchase any of my paintings

 

Escaping the British winter if only for a short time is always part of our plan!

We had never visited Tenerife before so the lure of sun and good golf brought us to the Abama Resort in Tenerife

In fact the weather was perfect for golf and warm enough to enjoy time lazing by the pools.

We even managed some touring about on Tenerife to get a feel for some of the island and it’s scenery.

The “moon ” like terrain around the Mount Teide

Tenerife is dominated by the  Volcano, Mount Teide although there hasn’t been a significant eruption for over a  hundred years.

Tenerife is very mountainous and to get to the North of the island we had to go over a 3800 foot pass with its very, very windy roads. The cliffs at Los Gigantes are spectacular and big as their name suggests and they sweep down to the sea from the mountain range that we travelled over to go to Garachico and the North.

The view of a part of coast in the North Western part of Tenerife

The bay at Garachico. There are natural sea swimming pools there created by eruptions of the Volcanoes.

In amongst the golf and relaxation there was time to paint a  few watercolours in the sketch book which is now my favourite medium when travelling. A quick pen and ink sketch followed by some watercolour washes gives me a good record of a place or landscape. Of course the plan is to paint larger watercolours at home. However the sketches work pretty well for the blog.

The Abama golf course is also very hilly and challenging with  unforgiving greensand very fast greens to make it even harder. Luckily eveybody uses a buggy as walking the course would tire a mountain goat!.

The Restaurant “Candelaria” in Garachico

Our trip to the north and especially the little town of Garachico yielded a very pleasant lunch experience in a little family restaurant called “Candelaria” in Garachico. Their home made bread and enjoyable menu and owners made the lunch great.   If you are ever there do go and find it and try it, it was really nice. It is at the back of the town about 100 metres from the main Square

Our time in Tenerife was brief but enjoyable and we did find the sun!

Happy travelling

Brian

 

In the south of the Island of Tenerife, and quite near the airport, is the pretty fishing village of Los Abrigos

 

 

 

New Year Celebrations on the Cote d’Azur

Hi Everybody,  —  “Happy New Year”

After a lovely Christmas time in the UK with the family it was nice to spend the New Year on the Cote d’Azur with some good friends enjoying welcome sunshine and the lovely scenery of the area.

Of course it gave me some time to paint a few sketchbook watercolours of the area and the opportunity for us to enjoy the fine food and wine of the area.

I would like to especially mention our lunch at the Camandoule Hotel in Fayence. Just a great meal and very good value in this lovely hotel which was once a Mill. I would strongly recommend it as every time we have been there it has been great.

Anyway in the days there I was able to paint a few watercolours, quite quick ones in the sketch book which may become larger studio paintings in the future.

Here  they are and I hope you like them.

This vision of a small Provence village seems to me the way Provence is, mainly in my imagination maybe! Watercolour 9 inches by 7.

Sunset over the Farm

I get drawn to painting this scene of St Paul de Vence, the iconic perched Provence town

We spent a lovely couple of hours wandering around Vence and having a great Crepe in the Bretagne style Creperie there.

In the hills above Mandelieu is the tiny town of Tanneron. With its great views across the countryside it is also THE place to go to see the Mimosa blossom in February and March and maybe lunch in this nice looking restaurant there. “Cafe Restaurant des Voyageurs”

 

Our holiday in Mandelieu is never complete without a trip along the Esterel Peninsula coast road to Agay for a Hot Chocolate and a piece of “Tropezienne” cake in “La Mie Adoree”. This view is of the Esterel mountains across the bay near Antheor.

All this and the Sun thing too!

Happy Travelling

Brian

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