I often buy fresh fish from the fish market in town, it is a busy outdoor market in the port town of La Spezia in Italy. These Red Mullets are fresh in each morning and they are very good fried or can also be served painted and put in a frame which was my first choice here. There is something I like when you buy fish wrapped up in paper instead of plastic and at the market everything is hastily wrapped up like this while the fish monger shouts about at whatever else there is for sale. When I got home I couldn’t wait to unwrap the package and start about painting the white paper set against the lovely pinky red and silver tones of the Mullets.
This painting will be exhibited this wednesday in – The Royal Society of Marine Exhibition – in London opening 30th September – 10th October. The show is up on the walls and open to the public (and also online as always for those who cannot be there). What a year it’s been!! I am very thankful that at least a small part of me has been sent to London, maybe I in person will patiently follow next year 😉
Every year from May to July when the sea has warmed up and the anchovies are big and lean they come into the markets and we buy enough to put them under salt, a process that rewards you with a tasty treat that will last and taste deliciously fresh for ages. Here are a few left over, the cat got these ones at the end.
I spent an afternoon at the beach in Pietrasanta in Versiglia which is a big long stretch of sand that is the part of north-western Tuscany just next door to Liguria. It was nice to see so much sand infront of me and I sat on the shore while painting.
Le Grazie is a small fishing village near La Spezia. There is a beach opposite which gives a good view across the harbour. Many of the beaches are formed of rocky coves and colourful fishermens villages and the sea is always rich in colour by all the reflected light from its surroundings.
And here below are a couple of paintings of Levanto which is the next town north of Monterosso. This is where my anchovies came from. The sea is crystal clear.
Here are a few oil paintings of things that grew in our garden this autumn. I enjoyed doing the couple of still life paintings outside instead of placing what you find outside and then bringing them inside and placing them carefully on a table with the right light like i did with the onions.
These are the Crocus that you can use for cooking, the red strands of saffron are more valuable than gold and taste better too although I’ve heard some crocuses are posionous if eaten so be careful!
Beautiful pink onions from the garden, one of Renoirs most memorable paintings (in my eyes) was a still life of some onions – “Oignons”- that reminded me of these ones although I think his were a different variety with the skin being more yellow. His onions came from Naples 🙂
Three quinces from the tree lying in the grass, I love the shape of them and their classic yellow colour when they are ripe.
Here a few paintings while visiting the Isle of Wight. The weather was always sunny hence the repeating painted blue skies! This is a great spot of the entrance channel from Bembridge harbour leading into the sea. The old breakwater in the foreground is in need of repair as now the sand and shingle from the sea is fillling up the small harbour pretty fast. One day it will end up as a big sand pit. Then what will the owner of the harbour say?
This painting is currently on show in London for the Royal Society of Marine Artists in the Mall Galleries. It is a small still life of shells that my daughter found on Ducue Beach. When I got back to Italy I bluetacked the best shells onto a blue book and set them out in the sunlight to paint.
A nice spot of Bembridge Harbour to set up and paint where you can watch the boats and the tide go in and out, and the sand and shingle come in.
Seaview is walking distance along the beach from Bembridge when the tide it out. In the distance you can see the mainland.
Below are a series of still life paintings that I did in the studio during 2008-2013. Those were the days when I could leave things untouched on a table to paint because now I share my ‘studio’ with a hurricane called Two Small Monsters! Although the mess on the ground does make for some inspiring compositions its a matter of time to capture it, you have to be quick.