Scarf in a jug still life

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Scarfs were the theme during last week’s watercolour class at the Hangar where I go regularly. I chose a bright and cheerful  scarf that was on offer and made this still life with it wrapped around a jug standing on a stool.

I painted  a very subdued background as the colours and motif of the scarf were loud enough … a bit of a calming down for the eyes would balanced out the picture, I thought.

Two blackbirds above cars in Valbonne.

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If they are not having a bath like in my previous post I was inspired this time by 2 blackbirds up in the sky, perched on the winter trees in Valbonne. I liked the row of trees and cars for the perspective effect and as usual I took artistic licence to create a new brand of car , increased the size of the birds and put some colours to brightened up the scene.

The manufacturing of wine barrels in Bercy, Paris.

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Bercy village today in Paris is a very trendy shopping centre which was built in the 1990’s . In the past Bercy used to be an important wine market. This sketch is done from a vintage black and white picture. I chose a main colour which evoked wine . I know some people use wine to replace watercolour but this is not the case :  I don’t think I would have obtained the same transparency and  and I am not sure  the paper of my sketchbook would have taken it well…

Paris and social networking in the olden days.

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In the 1900 ‘s Facebook did not exist but there was a lot of social networking going on in the streets of Paris. To illustrate this, I chose to paint a scene from an old black and white photo portraying people exchanging stamps on the famous Champs Elysées. This kind of picture can be bought along the river Seine at the bookstalls “les bouquinistes”. The people in the picture are looking at their stamp collections comparing their personal treasures. One can imagine all sorts of conversation going on : a  potential story behind the scenes. Although the old picture was in faded grey shades, I chose to use  bright colours and ink to accentuate the movement and postures.

Valbonne autumnal light.

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The trees have lost their leaves and  give a lovely calligraphic quality to a painting. I chose to paint the access to Valbonne village framed in the foreground by winter branches inviting the eyes to follow the entrance to a narrow street. In spite of approaching Xmas, the light is still very strong and and gives a warm feeling to everything it touches.

Classic red car.

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Although I am not a car specialist, I love the look of classic old cars and they make a particularly interesting subject to paint because of their rounded shapes created by the light reflection.

I see these old cars really as big toys or art objects great to look at. They are related to a nostalgic distant past. This red one is inspired by one of the photos I took at the annual vintage car fair in Valbonne village. I chose to make a colourful shadow to match the striking aspect of this car and left the white background not to over-do the visual impact.

Mandelieu castle on the French Riviera

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Can you see the wee man ?

I was walking along the beach in Mandelieu last week and the weather was amazingly bright. The Castle lies next to the water and there is a beautiful walk to do just underneath it.When the sea is rough you are most likely to be wet but last week was a perfect day. I saw a wee man sitting on the rocks listening to his mobile phone. I thought he was the perfect character to lead the eyes towards the middle and background. The rocks wind your gaze towards this point of focus.

Featured as a Guest Artist in doodlewash.com #WorldWatercolorGroup

 

Hello dear Artists Friends and Kindred Spirits, I have been invited as a guest artist to be featured in the blog DOODLEWASH.com which is part of the global movement created by Charlie O’Shields #WorldWatercolorGroup

Find the article here : https://doodlewash.com/2016/11/11/guest-doodlewash-hobby-sketcher/

It is all about community and connecting artists. There are over 20000 members sharing their passion of watercolour on line. What a great honour and opportunity to be part of such fantastic group you created Charlie…many thanks

Odiham village Hampshire

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This is a very quaint village in Hampshire where I like to go to check a good art gallery with always on display, an interesting selection of watercolours from local artists. This particular house is right at the centre of the village opposite the church. I did not paint all the cars parked outside as they would have dampened somehow the vintage atmosphere of the scene.

Oscar Wilde

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While in the train I sketched this picture of Oscar Wilde, subject of an exhibition in Paris which starts this month at the Petit Palais. The opportunity to draw with a black ink pen and create a lot of textures with different marks was very appealing.Also I quoted one of his best aphorisms which for me was very much representative to his character.