Here are a few sketches that weren’t completed while I was in France. I finished them later in the studio. I always enjoy myself in Paimpol and Ploubazlanec. Nice memories as usual.
This is the last watercolour I will show from my trip to France. The house belongs to my mother-in-law. It’s a beautiful, peaceful place, as you can see. A young man lives in the van, he’s been there for four years. It’s the way it is. I look forward to visiting again next year.
I mentioned in my last post that I liked it best when the tide was out. Looking through my watercolours from the trip to Brittany it’s clear that it is so. These were painted just outside of Paimpol harbour. Lots of abandoned boats to try and capture. I had a lot of fun that day.
I just love it in Brittany. So nice to go out painting everyday while visiting my mother-in-law in Ploubazlanec. The tides are pretty extreme. A ten metre difference between high and low. The view of the sea is always changing. I enjoy trying to capture the low tides best.
I returned to France after a four year break.
I love spending time in Brittany. I get on really well with my mother-in-law, and the scenery there is just fantastic.
This painting is of the view from the garden. It’s the first of many watercolours that I painted during my stay.
It’s so easy to be inspired when visiting far off places. It’s a little harder to get excited closer to home.
Yes, like I mentioned in the previous post, my wife was at a conference in Noordwijkerhout, Holland. I tagged along for the chance to discover a new place and to find inspiration to paint a watercolour.
I left the hotel after breakfast with my easel and painting gear. It was day two, what should I paint? I wandered around for a while and then decided to make it easy for myself. There were only flat fields, as far as an artist could see. It was a hot, sunny day, so when I found shade, it decided the view of the tulip fields.
While painting, a local carefully asked, why was I painting the field? It was empty after all, the tulips had been harvested two weeks before. She smiled, mounted her bike and cycled away. I had no choice did I! I had missed the harvest and was in the middle of nowhere. I probably made the fields redder than they really were, because of that little encounter with the lady on the bicycle.
I have just returned from a two week holiday. Sylvie, my wife was attending a conference in Holland and I just hung along for the ride. Later, we took the train to Paris and then visited her mother in Brittany, France.
I didn’t look at the exact location of my wife’s conference on the map. It was in a place called Noordwijkerhout. A farming region, flat as a pancake, south of Amsterdam. Small towns dotted around but mostly just farmland. No windmills. What could I paint? A field? A field that once had tulips? And, they had been harvested weeks earlier …
It’s fascinating how, when one stares long enough at a seemingly mundane landscape, one can find beauty. I did my best to capture it. I had walked around for hours with my easel. It was late evening when I settled for this scene.
I mentioned in my last post that I used a gas burner for 10 minutes to dry my watercolour. For the second painting I used a different approach. I left a lot of the paper white, I didn’t paint over the whole surface in other words. I thought this approach worked really well and I will doing this again for sure.
The light started to fade around 3pm so I packed up my gear and made my way home. Another fulfilling day in nature was had. Funny the positive effect it has on me being outdoors. I guess it’s the same for everyone. Anyway, I love it, whatever the conditions. 😃
Last Wednesday I visited Björnö nature reserve. It was a very damp and grey day which is totally normal for this time of year in Stockholm.
For my health’s sake, my current mission is to be outdoors as much as possible. I recently acquired a fisherman’s tent to protect myself from the elements while painting. It works really well especially the way it protected me from the wind. Even a light breeze can be very tiring while spending a whole day painting in damp, cool conditions.
I managed two watercolours, the first of which is featured here I used a lot of water so that I could mimic the misty view that was in front of me. The only problem about doing this in 100% humidity is that it never dries. Thankfully I had my trusty gas burner, it took 10 minutes to dry the cotton paper!
For the second painting I used a different approach, less water, but more about this in my next post. I had a great day, I really feel very lucky to have this this kind of lifestyle, to be more or less free to choose what to do with my day. Recommended 😃