Still Life and Landscapes from the Sea.

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 😉

Six Red Mullets. 30cm x 40cm. oil on panel.

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.

FIve Anchovies on a Plate. 20cm x 35cm, oil on panel.

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.

Pietrasanta, 20cm x 30cm, oil on panel.

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.

Le Grazie. 20cm x 35cm.

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.

Behind Vallesanta. 30cm x 40cm, oil on panel.

And the beach next door during July.

Vallesanta, Levanto. 30cm x 50cm. Oil on panel.

Three Still life Studies

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.

                                                             Saffron Crocus. Oil on panel.

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!

Onions, Oil on Panel

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, Oil on panel

Three quinces from the tree lying in the grass, I love the shape of them and their classic yellow colour when they are ripe.

Paintings from the Summer, Bembridge, Isle of Wight.

From Bembridge Point. Oil on panel. 30cm x 40cm

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?

Study Of Shells. Oil on panel, 30cm x 40cm.

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.

Bembridge Harbour. Oil on panel, 30cm x 40cm.

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. on on canvas board. 30cm x 40cm.

Seaview is walking distance along the beach from Bembridge when the tide it out. In the distance you can see the mainland.

 

 

Lunchtime.

Here are a few paintings of what wasn’t eaten…

fish_annadennis_oilpainting
5 Red Mullets. 32cm x 26cm, oil on wood.

peasandbowl_annadennis_oilpainting
Peas and a Bowl. 35cm x 45cm, oil on wood.

…except in this painting so far most has been eaten, it is our polytunnel during the winter months – as long as salad is popular no one will starve!

saladsinthepolytunnel_annadennis_oilpainting
Salads in the Polytunnel. 70cm x 55cm, oil on canvas.

radishes_annadennis_oilpainting
Radishes. 17cm x 30cm, oil on wood.

Waiting for Spring

Last Autumn.  Oil on Linen, 80cm x 100cm
Last Autumn. Oil on Linen, 80cm x 100cm

With the arrival of Spring I am looking forward again to planting the seeds of these pumpkins, sunflowers and the sweetcorn which were growing in our vegetable patch last Autumn.

Even though some of us are waiting for Spring, in Southern Australia Autumn has only just begun!

Still Life Paintings from 2008 – 2013

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.

Still Life with Lemons and Hoover Box.  70cm x 100cm, oil on canvas
Still Life with Lemons and Hoover Box. 70cm x 100cm, oil on canvas

Hang on a Minute.  80cm x 80cm, oil on linen.
Hang on a Minute. 80cm x 80cm, oil on linen.

Morning News. 80cm x 80cm, oil on linen.
Morning News. 80cm x 80cm, oil on linen.

Overalls and Mask.  60cm x 100cm, oil on linen.
Overalls and Mask. 60cm x 100cm, oil on linen.

The Sofa. 70cm x 90cm, oil on linen.
The Sofa. 70cm x 90cm, oil on linen.

Pinboard.  40cm x 50cm, oil on linen.
Pinboard. 40cm x 50cm, oil on linen.

Clutter on a Table.  50cm x 70cm, oil on linen.
Clutter on a Table. 50cm x 70cm, oil on linen.