Saturday, July 18, 2015

The blue carrot shed

The blue carrot shed

The third day of filming in Cornwall was a beauty, and we found ourselves in this south facing cutting garden. It was very hot but I was so happy to be there surrounded by such fantastic subject material. In part my choice of viewpoint was influenced as to where we could find space for three people to stand with three camera tripods. But had that not been the case, it would have been very hard to resist this little blue shed with the pink roses in front!

Again I was working with a little pochade box and an 8" x 10" board. I used to really struggle to paint small sizes outdoors and found that I had a tendency to tighten up and get a bit fiddly. I decided long ago that 8" x 10" was as small as I was happy to go.

I think I've overcome that now as I was very comfortable with the 8" x 10" format. The trick is to keep using a good sized brush and not feel you have to go tiny. Plus I had to make extra choices regarding selection and simplification. There are areas I would have worked more information into had I been using a larger canvas.


Huge thanks to Susanne of The Blue Carrot for allowing me to visit and paint in her beautiful space. If you are on Instagram look up @the_blue_carrot for beautiful images of flowers and weddings!

And while you're on Instagram, did you know I'm there too? I put more on Instagram than I do on Facebook or twitter, I find it's the perfect place for sharing a quick snap of something exciting or beautiful - without the need to add text! I'm there as @haideejosummers 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Old milking parlour and snapdragons

Old milking parlour and snapdragons
Oils 8" x 10"

I had one of those 'coup de cœur' moments when I came across this scene in Cornwall. I first saw it on a cloudy day when I was struck by the great shapes of the doorways and the mysterious dark within.
When I returned to paint here the sun was shining, which heightened the contrast between the outside and the inside of the barn, and the exterior stone wall that you can see through the doorway on the right.

Getting the darks in first

There was an interesting shadow from a fence to the right casting diagonal shadows across the front of the barn, and they could even be seen over the foliage of the various weeds and snapdragons that have self seeded right in front of the barn. 


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A favourite spot!

Outgoing tide and ferry, St Mawes
Oils 11" x 14"

Here's another from my Cornwall DVD, one of my favourite places to paint - St Mawes. I love it here when the sunlight is dancing on the water but even on a cloudy day it's a terrific place to find a subject. Pendennis castle in Falmouth can be seen on the distant headland here.

Detail of harbour area

I absolutely loved the sight of the ropes contrasted against the harbour wall. For a detail like this in a alla prima painting I have to use an extremely light touch and a swift movement. It can't be done falteringly. I always hold my breath while I do it!

Detail of sky and sea

Monday, July 13, 2015


The creek at St-Just-in-Roseland
Oils 16" x 26"

I had a great five days in Cornwall last week plein air painting while filming for my DVD with APV films. The weather was variable but we didn't get rained off and one of the days was an absolute scorcher. I found some cracking subjects and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We are going to have a day filming in my studio this winter and then the final editing will take place.
I'm gathering together a list of people who'd like to be the first to know when the DVD is available, and those people will be able to order a signed copy direct from my studio. One lucky person on the list will be sent a free copy of the DVD!

If you'd like to be added simply send me a message or reply to this email and I'll pop you on there :-)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Regatta day, Bréhat

Regatta day, Bréhat

I can't remember if I've shown you this before, but it's a small plein air painting from the île de Bréhat last summer and I really like it. We'll be back there very soon - if the French ferry workers will please stop striking and let us cross!

But first I'll be going off to Umbria in a couple of days to teach a group with Arte Umbria... exciting! So here's a few busy days unpacking from Cornwall and packing supplies for Italy... look forward to seeing you there if you're joining me on the trip!

If you're not joining me and wish you were - check out next years trips, workshops and demos on my website here - and book in some time to paint with me in 2016 :-)

Friday, July 10, 2015

Majestic tall ships

Tall ships at Falmouth

I'm in Cornwall this week, not far from Falmouth, which reminds me of my 'tall ships' series painted in Falmouth last August. This was definitely one of my favourites from the trip, and surprisingly I still have it. I just think it has a terrific mood and an urgency of execution and - oh how I love this word - economy. So I've just entered it in the Royal Society of Marine Artists 2015 exhibition, along with other current favourites. Keeping fingers crossed!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Tethered, Monterey

Tethered, Monterey
24" x 26"

I came across this scene during my last walk around Monterey, the day I flew back in April. It was also the day I lost my cute daisy earring twice, once in my hotel room from where I managed to rescue it and then for the second and final time in the taxi bus on the way to the airport. But that's another story.

I was captivated by these reflections in the shallow water of the harbour. To be honest, everything is a subject here in the Monterey - because of the incredible light! I painted this in the studio on my return. I really got stuck in to the marks and just pushing and scraping the paint around.
It's had quite a pleasant cooling effect on me in the studio, during the mini heatwave we've had this week in Lincolnshire.

Lucky are the artists who live on this coastline in California!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

California sunset

California sunset
14" x 18"

A recent painting inspired by my April trip to California, with memories of a very special evening amongst artist friends and new friends. The waves were incredible crashing against the rocks and I could have sat and watched for hours. The rocks and sea surrounded the beautiful house - what a dream house! If you lived here would you ever need to go anywhere else?

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Back to the roses

Walled garden, Belton House
10" x 14"
I grabbed the chance to go back to the garden a couple of days later. I was rained off on this one, spent about half an hour fiddling about with the umbrella. Undoubtedly I would have gone on longer but really what more was there to say? I think it's all there, with a refreshing spontaneity. Sometimes we just go on too long... like an after dinner speech...

As seen (unframed) in a group of paintings in the studio

All of these paintings except the two small ones on the right are now wrapped up and on their way to Josephine Harpur Fine Art, to be exhibited in Suffolk shortly. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

I'm here!

Rose garden at Belton House
12" x 16"
Ok so it seems as though two months has passed since I spoke to you last - it isn't that long but I've been packing a LOT in to the last four weeks! I'll try to get you back up to date with a lot of mini blog 'postcards' and action shots!
This is my favourite of the three paintings I did for the 'Where in the world is plein air' video event. This was day three for me and again I was blessed with fantastic weather. It was a really hot day but I had a tree fairly close to me so I was able to step back in the shade and cool off now and then. What an idyllic spot and subject, I didn't know which way to look! The roses in England have been absolutely amazing this year.

It was a nice surprise to find one of my Facebook friends/blog subscribers sketching in the garden too :-)

Actually this is one of my favourite paintings of the whole year so far, and it's now in America at the Illume gallery in Salt Lake City along with my other two from the event. If anyone could show me a photo of them in situ I'd be enormously grateful, it's a little far for me to get to at the moment.
You can watch the video of it's creation here.
You could even be the rightful owner of this gorgeous painting :-)
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