Friday, 30 June 2017

#195 'Port en Bessin, France' 18x21cm

I simplified what was there and emphasised the bits I liked. Building up a patchwork of colour, shapes and tones. 
A tricky subject but enjoyed piecing it all together.
A young French couple watched me paint for a while and then using google translate asked if it was for sale!

#194 Morning Light, Port en Bessin 18x24cm

There was a window of lovely light which I wanted to capture. To be bold in the mark making, blocking in and simplifying the shapes and keeping the colours fresh to help show the light.

I am now back home from the French trip. It's been hard keeping up with blogging the paintings. I got up every morning to paint at 5-6am. And painting solidly everyday, cleaning my brushes and falling in to bed at midnight! I will post the paintings I've done on this trip over the next few days. It's been so inspiring and wonderful being immersed in a painting world with fellow artists for 9 days. I did 15 paintings & 6 sketches...

Thursday, 29 June 2017

#193 'Pholos, Ile de Re' 10x10"

I heard from the other painters about a lovely old boat on blocks out of the water. 
There were 6 people painting around the area. I joined them with uncertainty as it was a big subject to tackle. 
The drawing & structure is important to get the angles & perspective. I marked off a couple of points but didnt draw it all out as I as I wanted to keep it blocky ( and not linear) especially in such a heavy weighted round bottom boat!
So much of the boat was white but peeling & old. I used my brush stokes to describe the direction of the carvel wood planks. 
I didn't try and put too much details. I wanted the emphasis on the shape and character of the boat. Also the size of it hence why I filled the board to make it feel big. 
A Dutch couple came past and really liked my painting and want to buy it. Such a boost and pleasing when this happens. 

#192 'Morning Reflections, Ile de Re' 18x21cm

I wanted to get a quickie in before we left for our next location. An early start where I was rewarded with beautiful light, really calm water and perfect reflections. 

I worked on a small board and time limited seamed to help being decisive and strong with my mark making.
I really observed the tones of the subjects and then their reflections. Darker or lighter? Warmer or cooler?  

I am unsure as to whether to work on it anymore? But thought I'd post it for now as it was the order I did it in...

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

#191 'Mist Clearing, Ile de Re' 10x10"

I had completed a painting of this misty scene the previous day. It was a landscape board and smaller scale. I wasn't 100% happy with it. Luckily the mist came back so I was able to have another go...
When I started the tide was up and the mist thick. 
Mist simplifies a subject and brings the tones close together. 
I had to restrain the whites of the boat and not make them too poppy & contrasted. 
I didnt put too much detail in the background as the mist edges and shapes.
By the time I was finishing the tide was low and the mist cleared! 
I'm pleased with the water, blocking it in and not fussing back into it. 

Sunday, 25 June 2017

#190 'Saint Martin Harbour, Ile de Re' 8x8"


A typical view of st Martin, with shuttered windows, boats and reflections. I wanted to give the impression of strong light. Although Ile de Re is not as far down as the Mediterranean it still has wonderful light and feels bright like the south of France. 
Quite complex subject the windows are tricky as you want to imply them but not put in to much detail - getting the balance of just enough information. Also putting the paint on quiet thickly gives a looser feel. 

Thursday, 22 June 2017

#189 'Hollyhocks, Ile de Re' 8x8"

We are in the main town called Saint Martin on this picturesque island in France. The hollyhocks grow in the streets and are in full bloom and look gorgeous against the white washed houses and terracotta roofs. 
I painted the shape of the shadows first, then putting the lights in I adjusted the tonal values and making them cool or warm.
Really enjoying painting here, it's like a painters haven!
I have posted the stages of this painting on Instagram if you wanted to have look.
Clare BownArtist  is my page name. 

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

#188 'Fishing Boat, Ile de Re' 8x10"

Early morning and gorgeous warm light. I started a painting before which was a little more square onto the boat, the composition wasn't so good. But it worked out well to scrap it and start again because by the time I was putting the light onto this painting the sun came above the horizon and lit up the front of the boat. Big yay! Really enjoyed painted it.
I am still practising the same method  with no marking out with the paint brush brush first just blocking in the big shapes...harder to do as you have to be sure of composition and drawing skills.
Happy with this result :-)

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

#187 'Fort National, St Malo' 8x10"

First painting of the Wapping Group & friends French 9 day trip. 
37 degree melting heat. Had to find shelter so I wedged myself into a turret on the old ramparts wall. See pic below. Someone said it looked like I had my own little Studio! People have been so friendly and really interested, I wish I spoke French, I can get the gist of basic but it's not the same as chatting with someone. 
I squinted my eyes to do the tonal values, which really helps to compare and simplify. The rocks I made a dark tone then added a light and mid to describe the shapes. The little yachts briefly sailed into my view then turned around a they were gone. Quickly got them in with their rescue boat. 

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

#186 'Cherries in a Green Pot' 6x6"

I wanted to paint from life (not from a photo) while we were doing the Open Studios last weekend. My Mum kindly gave us some cherries to eat, they looked so good I painted them, and then ate them!
I enjoyed painting the cherries more than I thought I would, the rich shiny colours. I didn't know how it would turn out as it's different to painting a plein air landscape. Although I used some of the methods like blocking in and comparing one tone and colour next to another. 
Might try some more cherry paintings!

I am using an old iPad to blog this as I'm going on a painting trip to France on Sunday and was having a practise run to see if it works. It does! So I hope there is wifi in the hotel and then I can blog my painting adventures....

Sunday, 11 June 2017

#185 'Storm Over West Wittering' 21x30cm

Very testing conditions! It was last week when the wind and rain was battering the country I went to the coast thinking it would be dramatic down there. It was :-) 
I tucked up against a groin but it really made no difference. The wind was so strong I could hardly control my arm movements. You go to make a brush mark on the board and the pochard rattles and I make a big splodge instead of a brush stroke!
Anyway I enjoyed trying to capture this fleeting rain storm. I thought it was going to get me but it went around the horizon and into my painting so I painted quickly and with energy to replicate what was happening in front of me.
Although I was pleased with the energy of mark making I did out on location I have since been re working some of the painting and I'm now happy with the final piece.

I tried to do two paintings one after the other. I ran back to the car to place the wet board inside came back and the pochard had crashed into the groin, thankfully no damage done.

I took a short video of my painting and the view with commentary but it's so windy you just hear the howl! It is on Instagram if you wanted to see it. My page is:

Thursday, 8 June 2017

#184 'Fishing Boat, Emsworth Harbour' 18x24cm

Painted this yesterday morning, nice light, especially compared to the grey drizzle of today! 

At the moment I am enjoying painting boats and their individual characters! 
When I arrived the tide was mainly out, and as I was paintiing it was creeping in around the boat. At one point I thought it looks better now than when I started so I changed the green mud to some watery blue, I like the reflection of the boat in the water too. 
Careful not to overwork the boat, so it is in keeping and fits with the rest of the painting.

Monday, 5 June 2017

#183 'Turning Tide, Emsworth Harbour' 21x30cm

Painted this a few days ago. I was standing at the end of the jetty that I had previously painted #178. 
When I arrived the tide was almost at it's lowest, it's surpising how quickly it turned and changed. When it did the boats turned 180 degrees! And the mud flat near me disappeared! I had blocked everything in but finished during the Open Studios yesterday putting more light on the boats and water. 

We had a good start over the weekend with visitors to our Open Studios. We're open again on Friday. 

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Surrey Artists Open Studios 2017

It starts today! I've been meaning to write this post for a few days but the preparations for the Open Studios always take longer than I think.
We are ready (just!) and excited to open the doors to the public today and for the next 3 weekends - see pic below for dates.

I have made 15 paintings since the Haslemere Museum Exhibition we did in April. I'm pleased with my new work so it will be good to show it. 

We also have our friend is showing her silver jewellery in a gazebo in the garden, she's not done it before so I hope it goes well for her.

At this stage I have little panics similar to when you prepare for a big party, hoping that people will turn up and like it! I will post again to give an update. Wish us luck....