Mimosa

Mimosa.  Oil on board, 20cm x 30cm
Mimosa. Oil on board, 20cm x 30cm

A few wonderful facts about the Mimosa:

1. It lights up the winter with its bright yellow flowers

2. It inspires a delicious recipe for an italian cream cake called Torta Mimosa.

3.  A champagne cocktail is named after it (one part champagne and one part fruit juice).

However when I came to painting the tree it was almost as frustrating as trying to spread cold butter on an even colder pancake!

Mimosa and Sunflowers. Oil on board, 20cm x 30cm.
Mimosa and Sunflowers. Oil on board, 20cm x 30cm.

Have your feet ever FROZEN to the ground while painting?!!

A Frosty Morning on the Lambourn Downs at Sheepdrove Farm. Oil on wood, 20cm x 30cm.
A Frosty Morning on the Lambourn Downs at Sheepdrove Farm. Oil on wood, 20cm x 30cm.

Tip of the day: When painting in the English cold or any cold weather keep moving your feet or they will freeze to the ground. Tried and tested while painting here!

Luckily I had wollen fingerless (cashmere wool which I couldnt get dirty because they were my sisters’!!) mittens for my hands which kept them warm enough compared to my feet.  I also read that to keep your hands even warmer you can wear a wool sock with a small hole in the end which allows you to hold a paintbrush with your bare hand and still have all the control you need, while the paintbrush tip pokes out from the end with no mess. I am looking forward to trying this as I am not sure how tricky it would be changing over brushes.

Also standing on a piece of cardboard can keep your feet from touching the freezing cold/snowy ground whereas helping to keep your whole body more comfortable which leads to longer comfortable sessions…but I guess hand knitted 100% woollen socks could help too!

Lambourn and the surrounding downland is a really pretty area best known today as a major horse racing centre and the Downs have many nice views to paint.

River in Winter

Happy New Year 2015!

Painting outisde in the winter is almost my favourite time of year as the woods are richer in colour especially after a rainfall, last years twigs and leaves decomposing with earthy umber tones, yellow, reds and grays . Enough of green which i find hard painting!
This river is actually a torrent and so it fills up pretty quickly and the water level is always changing, I painted this view from a window inside because outside was wet and cold, the sensible descision was to paint near a warm radiator at this time of year!

River in Winter.  oil on panel, 20cm x 30cm
River in Winter. oil on panel, 20cm x 30cm

Meadow in September.

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I know it is December but here is a painting from September! The meadow is near where i live and this year hay was continuously cut from it due to a long and rainy summer. The grass just kept on growing!

Florence Walls

During a trip to Florence i managed to paint the famous walls on the Oltrarno. It was so busy because it was an important festa, (The Feast of the Immaculate Conception) and I was unable to find a position in the centre and there was no way i was going to stand in the middle of a million tourists as i would loose my concentration in a second and probably end up in Japan! This is a view from the walls between Porta S. Giorgio and Porta S. Miniato, one of the entrance gates to the town as well as an old watch station, then to the left is the old gate of San Niccolo, standing 60 metres tall it is the tallest of the towers still standing today.

Florence Walls.  25cmx 27cm, oil on board.
Florence Walls. 25cmx 27cm, oil on board.

The Beach in Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre.

This is one of the beaches in Cinque Terre, in the village of Riomaggiore as you turn left by the harbour.  its only access is a narrow pathway carved out of rock which brings you to a very hot and stony beach! Both an uncomfortable painting and sunbathing spot, I suppose you have to suffer if you need a suntan or a painting. Painted out of season in November there were less tourists in the Cinque Terre but still the sun was quite hot.

La Spiaggia a Riomaggiore, novembre.
The Beach in Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre.  Oil on board, 20cm x 30cm.

Scogliera a Maralunga

Scogliera a Maralunga, 30cm x 40cm, oil on linen
Scogliera a Maralunga, 40cm x 50cm, oil on linen

This painting was painted during the summer 2014 at the sea we often go to in Italy. The sea can be reached from the rocky coast that surrounds most of Liguria, this area is called Maralunga, it is a small peninsula in the Mediterranean among many others near the port of La Spezia.

Winter Trees

Winter Trees, 40cm x 50cm, oil on linen
Winter Trees, 40cm x 50cm, oil on linen