Saturday, 30 January 2016

This weekend

This weekend we are looking after a couple of grandchildren while their parents have some time to regain their sanity.  They are really not that bad its just as you get older children become slightly more alien (yes I spelt it right). Although today is an exception the weather is looking pretty bleak ahead so nto a geat deal of prospects for getting out to paint although Monday morning might be a possibility. The watercolour above is out of a sketchbook. Its one I did in the Fjords. It had to be quick as we were sailing passed at the time.

Alex is a bit of a fan of "Dickensian" which is fine but she has started to call me "Mr Bumble"! Anyway I forgive her. She dealt with a call the other day and turned down a commission for wedding portraits. I have done a couple recently but its not what I want to do.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Gwendraeth at Kidwelly Quay

I checked the forecast today and thought with a bit of luck I might get a morning's painting in. It was frosty first thing and rain forecast this afternoon but with a little luck eh? We went down to Kidwelly Quay where the Gwendraeth exits into the Burry Inlet. I chose a view up river for mainly the pragmatic reason I was sheltered from the wind by the Quay wall.  Working quickly with large brushes I got on okay. There was a flock of lapwings on the far bank which I included in the painting. I had a good chat with a few interested onlookers.

Anyway no real problems and by the look of the coming storm this weekend the last time painting outside for me in January.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

A bend on the river Towy

A bend on the river Towy. A nice cheerful painting on a not so great day. You can follow the process of the building of this painting so no real need to explain. You can see I changed my mind on the tree on the left. It grew from bushes to an oak to break up the horizontal lines and pull it all together but apart from that not much changed.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Brecon and Monmouth canal

We have been away for a week but before we went I did the above painting of the Brecon and Monmouth Canal. I started loosely with a brush full of turps and light grey (ultramarine, burnt umber and white) to mark out some sort of boundaries. Note I have already decided on the darkest values.

Then it was a matter of building up the painting and refining the boundaries adding detail.

We had a nice time away walking nine or ten miles a day. I didn't do any painting but noted a few subjects I may return to.  We had one harsh moment. The camper van door swung shut while we were outside. The deadlock jumped and locked the door. Jac was stuck inside but was no use ! Fortunately we had a spare key. Unfortunately it was in my pocket hanging up inside. Anyway after 5 minutes we figured how to get in without causing any damage.
On the way home a tipper lorry decided to throw a rock off its load on the motorway. It bounced and hit our front valance cracking it. Could have been a lot worse.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Gower Sunrise

Here is the finished painting of Gower Sunrise. It was a beautiful morning with a warm glow on the beach as the sun poked above the horizon, which I hope I have managed to capture.

It was like Christmas today. Well Christmas 2014. I finally received my present from Alex a great hand knitted jumper. It may have taken over 2 years to knit but it was worth it.!!

The other day we were watching "Dickensian" on TV. "Venus" a character from "Our Mutual Friend" was explaining the difference between men and women.
He said,"Women are made to talk."
I turned to Alex to say something but before I could open my mouth I got the look. I shut my mouth and looked back to the television. Probably a wise decision.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Gower Sunrise first stages

It's been a while since I could get into my studio with furniture and paintings piled in there as we had the builder in. I have been out a couple of times this year but I have now got my studio clear and started on a couple of studio works. For this painting I grabbed a largish brush (10 flat) and dived straight in to the work. I had a good idea of how I wanted it to look and how to get there. Its not a good idea to experiment or think about this half way through an oil  painting. You can end up with mud.

I worked  my way down avoiding any mix of yellow and blue for obvious reasons (green is not great for a sunrise sky). I kept with my one brush but keeping it absolutely clean for colour changes. I will post the finished work tomorrow.

Alex has been out to the January sales and came back very proud of a new collection of cushions for the lounge. To be fair the old ones were pretty tatty.  She then went out to see her mom. I finished painting and went in to the lounge and immediately fell about laughing, Jac had gathered all the new cushions and made himself comfortable on top of them, like a bird in a nest. He was obviously very pleased with the purchase. I quickly replaced them all before Alex got home!

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

River Usk Brecon

Here is another painting from Brecon it shows the road bridge over the river Usk at Brynich with the Beacons in the background. This one is currently on my wall.

Well more rain but a few degrees cooler I am hopeful the weather forecast is right and Friday might spell a day out with my easel well maybe?

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Lift up Bridge

This is the lifting Bridge on the canal at Talybont on Usk. Although I have never been on this particular canal Alex has. She had a very eventful weekend with colleagues on a couple of barges when whe worked for Carmarthenshire Council. I say no more.

As a young boy I did travel most of the canal system as my father had converted an old ships lifeboat adding an Austin 8 engine. We had many adventures as at the time the canal system was in complete disrepair. There were even horse drawn barges still at work (for Birmingham Refuse Disposal). As I may have mentioned before I had a very lucky escape falling into a lock sluice which was open and was only pulled out by my father using a boat hook.

Anyway the canal makes for a good subject and I have done a few paintings and will probably do a few more.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Stream and waterfall Welsh Hook

This little watercolour was done whilst I was perched with my easel on a plank bridge over a stream near Welsh Hook in Pembrokeshire a good few years ago. No real problems just having to remember not to step backwards to check progress. I never quite finished it. I suppose having an impatient cocker spaniel runing backwards and forwards and a hungry wife waiting to go for lunch had something to do with it. The painting is gone now but I enjoyed the time it took to produce it and finding the image reminded me of it.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Merthry Vale

About 30 years ago I went down to paint the Pit Head at Merthry Vale (painting above).  I got a few funny looks from people wondering what the hell I was doing painting the pit head but anyway there it is, a bit rough and ready (or to use an artistic euphamism "loose") but part of South Wales history now.
Yesterday we went to Cefn Sidan the scene was wonderful with wind and waves crashing on the shore. Jac had a great time but it was impossible to put up the easel. I would have needed two hands to hold it upright.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Ferry Point a morning at the beach

Yes I finally got a clear couple of hours despite the fog and mist in Carmarthen, Llansteffan was beautiful (although I would have settled for just dry!).

The subject I chose was Ferry Point and stuck pretty much to the local colours of the subject. There was no real need to choose any  other palette of colours.

Anyway set up my Jullian easel and all went very nicely with no problems other than the odd dab of colour  added to my long suffering coat. Its great to get out. Although I am happy painting in my studio there is no substitute for painting from nature and I intend to do a lot more this year.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Oh no its raining again

Okay well out of sheer frustration I did get out to paint yesterday. It rained in the morning then at just after 12 it stopped. I grabbed my pochade box, wellies,coat and headed for the river. I got to the underpass and found 3 feet of water blocking my way. Looking at the sky I could see time was short so I found the nearest subject and got to work. After about 20 minutes along came our old friend the rain.

Today I lay in bed listening to a promise of a dry morning from radio Wales. Well Jac and I got wet walking through the woods but maybe it will clear up later?

Finished and link

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Valley Road

Well I was all ready car packed coat re-proofed and the weather forecast had given a couple of hours dry weather. Got down the road and the heavens opened. Ah well lets hope for better tomorrow.

Alex has started putting the Christmas decorations away. My mother had the right idea she just left them up all year around, said it made her feel like every day was Christmas.

The painting above is one that sold several years ago of the Towy Valley showing the road and river, (the weather was pretty much the same as now).

link Bruce Hornsby