Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Little bird and clementines

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Little bird and clementines
I received a birthday present in the post today (nice surprise!) and it contained this little wooden bird which I thought would sit very nicely with the clementines!
Looking at it now I think it would make a good christmas card design!
It's something quite different for me as the surface of this painting is thick with texture - I even used a pallette knife which is something I don't usually enjoy! It will take a fair while to dry but will then be very touchy-feely!
It's painted in oils on a deep sided box canvas, with the sides painted orange (see picture below), 25 x 30 cms.
I promise when I am finished painting the clementines I'll go back to the boats in Paimpol...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Darling clementines


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Darling clementines
  These beautiful fruits came into the house two days ago for painting purposes (first and foremost!) but they disappeared fast! Luckily I had a chance to replenish stocks yesterday. With two poorly children in the house these too are vanishing before my eyes! So the answer to the question of what to paint today... it was an easy one!
This oil painting on canvas measures 10" x 12", and is available to purchase by auction right now!
Incidentally, Maisie is also having a 'duvet day'....





Monday, November 28, 2011

Thoughts of summer

Is it just me or does this photo of me painting a crab in the kitchen look like it was taken in the 1950s?! Amazingly the computer has decided to work tonight, but I don't have any new painting to show you. I had to drive Tim to Saint Malo and we left the house at 7am. I haven't long been home and although it's not too late to paint it is too dark to take a photo of the results! This is so much easier in summer! Fingers crossed for tomorrow! I shall focus and let's hope the computer plays ball too.... 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Boat beginnings


I am trying to post this from a 'remote device' ie my mobile phone,
because the computer isn't working!! Oh no!!
'Keep calm and carry on', as we say!
I have been very busy with lots of things this weekend. Painting wise
I have begun this painting of a couple of beautiful fishing boats that
I saw in Paimpol harbour yesterday (mainland supermarket shopping trip
with time for a petit pause for coffee, bien sûr!)
I love love love the turquoise colour of the nearest boat, and all the
exciting diagonals of the ropes and the shapes of the boats and wooden
jetty.
I was also drawn to the lettering and numbers on the boats of course!
Can't wait to continue with it...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Cupcake with parasol

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Cupcake with parasol
Here's a Waitrose cupcake painting with a cute paper parasol added for that real party feel! This painting is oil on linen canvas, sized 12" x 12", and at the top and bottom and in gaps you can see the natural colour of the linen left showing. I always think it's too nice to cover completely!
I started this painting with an underpainting of the major complimentary colours, for example the lemon coloured cupcake was first painted in violet and the rose coloured parasol is green underneath. You can see the colours peeking through, giving a special vibrancy.
It would make a lovely birthday gift I think!
Today I've been very busy working on printing the pages of my little journal, drawings from Brehat! Apologies if you are still waiting for one, it's all starting to come together now! ;)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Rose cupcake

Rose cupcake
Happy birthday Julie Ford Oliver! It had to be a rose on a cupcake... ! This little oil painting on canvas panel (15 x 15cms) is for you! I will post it when it's dry ;) Thank you for your super interesting daily blog - you set a high standard for the rest of us! To see Julie's blog click here!
I really enjoyed doing this and feel a whole series of cupcakes in teacups coming on, but will probably be next year when in England and within striking distance of Waitrose....
Happy Thanksgiving to all friends in America! :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Jenny's sparkling sea

Jenny's sparkling sea
Today I've finished the last of my 2011 paintings of Brehat commissions with this one, oil on linen canvas 30 x 30cms square. I hope Jenny likes it! She wanted the sea, blues and sparkles on the water! I think it has a very nice atmosphere and I'm pleased with it.
You may recall seeing this painting before, if you look back at my blog post from October 11th, titled 'half done', you will see what stage it was at when I left the beach. Today it was finished in the studio.
I must tell you something about me - I'm quite a procrastinator! It's always very satisfying therefore when I finish a commission. Here's something amusing... today I ordered a book from Amazon called 'The Now habit - A strategic program for overcoming procrastination and enjoying guilt-free play' but here's the funny thing ... I've had that book in my Amazon 'Saved for later' basket for a very long time....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Un cafe Segafredo

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Un cafe Segafredo

Here's a larger than life cup of coffee and dark chocolate on the side for those days when you need a bit of a boost! This oil painting on canvas board measures 30 x 30cms (or 12" x 12") and to give you a better idea of size here's a photo (taken in poor light, sorry!) of how it looks on my shelf.... it dwarfs that piece of cake rather! Such tiny cake couldn't have many calories methinks... anyway....
You may also notice the teaser glimpse of the bird and candle painting alongside it, which could well sell when the auction finishes tonight... click here to see that one!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Segafredo teaser

I've been working from this photo on my ipad. I took photos of the cup of coffee I had after my delicious birthday lunch on Wednesday. I love the shape of these Segafredo coffee cups and the contrast of the cup against the bright red paper on the table!
Things looked pretty crazy at this stage! The red as seen against the blue-green underpainting. Whew!

I then placed the highlights. I know a lot of oil painters leave this stage until last, but I just couldn't resist!

Some of the mid-tones, shadow colours - and coffee!

Maisie waiting by my side for a walk...

Current stage! I couldn't quite finish before losing the daylight! I may leave it a few days before carrying on ... and you will be the first to see it when it is finished! I promise!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Butterfly Sunday

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Butterfly Sunday
Well here it is finished! It was really fun to start the little painting a week ago, have the week to look it over and think about and make changes. I may well work this way again! As you can see I've brightened up the colour of the background paper that the brooch and bracelet were sitting on. In actual fact it's a very faded yellowy-green, a bit too drab. I prefer it like this.
I've also added a few more lights and darks, neatened up edges. Well, neat for me anyway! I like the bits of pink underpainting that show through. This is an oil painting on canvas panel, 15 x 15cms. In actual fact the photo makes it seem more biased towards blue than it actually is. It's more of a turquoise-green.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Provence rose and apple

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Provence rose and apple
After I had cut and eaten most of this apple I noticed and loved the somewhat abstract shapes left behind! Also the shapes of the cast shadows. The tablecloth is called Provence Rose by Cath Kidston, hence the name of the painting.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Last piece of cake

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Last piece of cake
It's the last piece of Speculoos flavoured birthday cake! It was delicious, but you wouldn't want more than one piece at a time ... a few hours rest between slices is recommended!!
This oil painting on canvas board measures a petite 13 x 18cms.
Bon appetit!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The day after the big day!

I know, this blog is for me to show you my paintings and here I am using my birthday as an excuse again! I had to show my gorgeous friends around the island all day and the weather here was perfect! I did paint for around an hour but it was unresolved and when I returned home after waving and wishing them 'bon voyage' as they sailed off into a truly beautiful sunset and then helped a lady who couldn't manage with her luggage all the way from low tide it was too dark to continue with the painting! Look at this funny 'present to self'.....

It has http://www.haideejo.com/ written on the back too! How funny! Just the thing for a spot of 'plein-air fun'!
Normal service will be resumed tomorrow, as they say..........

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Quelle surprise!!!

I have had the most amazing birthday and I do apologize for not painting but look what happened!! We caught the ferry across to the mainland to go out for lunch together, en famille, and when we got to the other side - HUGE surprise, three of my best friends from England were there (here!) for my birthday!! Now that red backpack on my back was full of paints so you can see I had all the right intentions!
I also had a fabulous surprise present from Tim... a beautiful painting that I love by Nigel Fletcher of a french cup of coffee and speculoos biscuit on the side and look....  here it is with my speculoos flavoured cake!!
I am so spoilt indeed! And here's another lovely present....
How adorable is that?! I have tried to add the embarrassing video footage of the moment of surprise.... but am unable to get it to work! Shame about that! I'll ask a child to help me put it on YouTube and then I'll let you know...!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A little bird told me

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A little bird told me
Question to self .... why take a subject that is already complicated, a delicate painted metal tea light holder with birds and leaves, place it in some bright sunshine, ooh and aah! at the beautiful and mesmerising effects of the light and commence work with gusto... while doing so realise that the parts of said candle holder in shadow with a light cream local colour now look blacker than the ace of spades, and that meanwhile the sunlit parts of the dark brown table now appear to be whiter than white.. all in all, then, making a complicated subject eighty percent more confusing and then, oh then, try to make a coherent painting out of it all?!!
Funniest thing was moving the table backwards every five or ten minutes in an attempt to keep the light in the same place and ending up doing some kind of table tango all around the room! Strictly come still life!
I hope you think it was all worthwhile, for this is how I spent the last day of my thirties! This oil on canvas panel measures 28 x 28cms, if you are interested in purchasing it for yourself - you know what to do! :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fisherman's Cottage

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Fisherman's Cottage
Is there anyone who doesn't dream of living in a place like this, where you can literally step out onto the beach?! It seems to be a widely-held desire! Imagine sitting inside with a roaring fire in the winter watching a storm through those big windows! A little close for comfort in high tide maybe!
Anyway, this is where I spent my painting time today. You'll be pleased to know that Maisie behaved well, but that is probably because nobody else came along! She enjoyed a hearty seafood cocktail none-the-less! Yum!
This oil painting is on canvas board, sized 24 x 30cms, and this is my 50th blog post!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Butterfly Sunday (almost)

Butterfly Sunday (almost)
Today I was working on this small painting of a butterfly shaped brooch and a bracelet (aswell as a big commission I'm working on which is... shh! A secret!).
I'm not convinced it's altogether finished so what I thought I would do is show you it today and then, as it's called 'Butterfly Sunday', get it ready for you for next Sunday! I've long had a hankering to paint little jewel like things such as bracelets but boy, is it harder than it looks!
I've also uploaded new and improved photos of 'Maisie on the sofa', 'Chou chou', 'Bonnie sur la chaise' and 'Chez Beatrice', so stop by my blog if you need a better look!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Chou chou

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Chou chou
OK I confess, it's Bonnie again, but as she is french I think the name 'Chou chou' suits her well! Does anybody know what the best loved names for dogs are in France? In England, the traditional name for a dog is apparently Rover, but I've never actually met a dog called Rover. Or Chou chou, come to that.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Chez Beatrice

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Chez Beatrice
I painted at my friend Beatrice's house, a fascinating old house full of history, looking out over the sea behind. It's twenty minutes walk from my house if you walk briskly, without stopping to admire any views on the way, as you tend to do on a day like this! It was a dark drizzly day and the sky and sea had become indiscernable, hence staying indoors to paint! I was inspired to paint the beautiful huge old french light over the table, so this is the view from the salon looking into the salle a manger. 'There is nothing straight in this house' explained Beatrice.
Although I painted this from life, I might like to try a few interiors from photos so if you have any lovely photos of rooms that you think I might like to paint (especially if they have sunlight or interesting lighting) please email them to me and if they interest me I will have a go!
I found this quote today by Van Gogh:
 "Gauguin says that when sailors have to move a heavy load or raise an anchor, they all sing together to keep them up and give them vim. That's just what artists lack!"
Well, it struck me Vincent would have loved to be alive today and blog about his paintings online because that's sort of what we have now - a huge community of artists to support each other! Thanks to all of you who leave comments on my blog!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bonnie sur la chaise

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Bonnie sur la chaise
Firstly I have now replaced the image for a better one!
Secondly, how sweet is Bonnie? She is my friend's dog and lives in the north of the island, right next door to the lighthouse! I've painted this from a couple of photos that I took on Tuesday. I'm going to take Maisie to meet Bonnie one day..... when I can summon up the nerve... but who will be top dog? There'll be fireworks....
This painting has ended up a little tight I feel, I don't know why I have such a tendency to 'dot all the i's and cross all the t's' when I'm working on such a small scale. This is going to be my next big challenge to focus on I think - how to make a very small painting with the same feel as my big paintings!
This oil painting is on a canvas panel, 20 x 15 cms and if you would like to see all of my current paintings at auction you can do so by clicking on the link below the image.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Maisie on the sofa

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Maisie on the sofa
Maisie says "This isn't what I had in mind when you promised me lots of walks today, to make up for yesterday when you left me on my own for three hours...  sigh....  you think I'm going to pose for you now? ... Well I'm not, I'm going to get up right now and turn around so that my head's pointing in the other direction - ha! ... see what she makes of that after she's already sketched in my outline - sigh - this will probably take ages... when will I get my walk...  yawn, quite comfy actually... did someone say beach? No? Oh...  that painting of Charlie with a pain au chocolat finishes it's auction tonight .... why is he allowed to sit on the table anyway? Can you imagine the trouble I'd be in if I sat on the table? Grrrr ..... who would want a painting of HIM?! Ridiculous! Cats are not worthy of being painted...  cats are not worthy at all....  snooze..."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A pear of cows

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A pear of cows
I challenged myself to paint the china cow creamer again, but this time I wanted to use broader strokes and really simplify the object. I turned the jug around so that I wouldn't get too distracted by the writing as there isn't any on the other side! Was that cheating?
Another change that I made was to paint from the other side of the table so that I was looking at the objects with the light behind them which did help me to see the jug as a simpler form and I think helped me to create an exciting composition.
I also removed a pear and added another cow...  did you spot it?
Sorry the photo isn't too clear, I had to use my phone as my camera is playing me up! I do love my old iphone but the photo quality doesn't even come close to an iphone 4!
This painting is the same size as yesterday's, 18 x 24cms, oil on canvas panel.
I'm really pleased with this one too, and like it equally as much as yesterday's, even though it took a lot less time to paint! Which do you prefer? I'd really like to know!

Cow creamer with the last pears
A pear of cows
    Email me your thoughts, or make a comment through my blog! Thank you!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cow creamer with the last pears

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Cow creamer with the last pears
These three items I brought back with me from England last week. The pears from our garden were absolutely delicious and these are amongst the last few, a bit past their best now. The cow cream jug is adorable, I used to have it in my little cottage studio, Toad Hall, but I don't remember ever painting it before. I enjoyed spending time on this painting, putting in the details of writing and pattern. As I said yesterday, some things just won't be rushed! I think the resulting painting is quite mellow. I love the chance to include typography in a painting! Having said all that though, I would like to try another painting of the cow creamer but really simplify it this time.
This painting is oil on canvas board 18 x 24cms, and is available to buy now via online auction. To take a look at all my current auctions, click on the link above. Prices are in dollars but there is a currency converter so you can easily see the price in pounds sterling or euros, and if you purchase through paypal they will convert the price for you. This particular painting is on at $120 which is £74.84!
Here's a closer look....

Sunday, November 6, 2011

No rush Sunday!

It's only a small subject. It's only a small canvas panel... but some things won't be rushed! After more than four hours work (hey, it is Sunday!) I'm losing the daylight and it's not even 5pm yet! Rather than carry on and rush the little cow creamer I'd rather wait until the light is right again tomorrow.
I need to wash my brushes now, have a nice relaxing evening and look at this with fresh eyes in the morning!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Halloween bug

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Halloween bug
I had SO much fun today with this painting! This is my friend's orange VW beetle given a Halloween twist! I have been wanting to paint a pumpkin all week and as we were travelling back from England on the day of halloween I didn't get time to carve one (which is a double shame, as not only do I adore carved and lit pumpkins but I also lost out on the delicious pumpkin soup which is the usual by-product)!
Whilst in 'Halloween mode' of thinking I suggested to my friend that she dresses up her car by getting vinyl stickers made in the shape of a pumpkin's carved face. Wouldn't that be fun?
Then I thought 'hey, I can paint that and show how it would look!' thus satisfying my painting urge of the week!
My other bright idea was to move the lovely bug from Syston fruit farm where it was photographed to the jetty here on Brehat, which wouldn't in fact be allowed as there are no cars here but fun to imagine!
I am really pleased with the resulting painting which, by the way, is oils on canvas board 20 x 20cms.
Here is a detail...........
This painting is available now at auction and the starting price is $100 which in equivalent pounds sterling is only £62.44! If you click on the link above you're not committed to anything, it just takes you to the auction site for more information!
I also thought you might like to see some photos of the painting in process for a change so here goes...

I started with a sketch to work out how the pumpkin's face would look...

I then thought about the highlights and shadow areas and couldn't resist putting in the imaginary vinyl stickers!

It was at this stage that I fixated on the idea of having the sea behind!

It was lots of fun to paint! Now I'm thinking I seem to have a bit of an orange theme going on this week....!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Van Gogh cauliflower

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Van Gogh cauliflower
Have you ever seen an orange cauliflower? I hadn't, until yesterday, when I found this one in Carrefour on a shopping trip to the mainland! I've seen, and eaten, purple ones but not orange! At first I thought it was called a 'Chou chinois' and I really liked the name but later realised that it would have been a chinese cabbage, so I had to come up with my own name! I named the painting after Van Gogh because of the bright yellow orange of the cauliflower flesh and also the thick direct paint strokes I have used. Oscar has come up with a lovely name too...'Sunshine cauliflower'!
If anybody knows the actual name, in English or French, please let me know!
This oil painting is on a square canvas panel sized 20cms x 20cms, click on the link above to find out more!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Charlie and the pain au chocolat

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Charlie and the pain au chocolat
Here he is! I started to paint the pain au chocolat, butter and little mug with hens on it when along came Charlie, determined to be the star of the show! What could I do except grab a new canvas and start all over again?! I think it was well worth it! It's remarkable how the colour of Charlie's fur matches the colour of the pain au chocolat! It was a beautiful November day, and you can see that the sunlight was streaming across the table. I wouldn't let anybody use the butter until I'd finished, but me and Oscar did share the pain au chocolat when the waiting became too much! Charlie had no interest in the food, just wanted a sunny spot!
This is an oil painting on canvas which measures 25cms x 30cms and is available to buy online at auction. If you would like to see further details, please click on the 'click to bid' link above. Thank you!
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