Category Archives: Landscape
This summer in the UK is proving to be hot and sunny which is great, but before this latest heat wave we were lucky enough to spend 10 days once again in the South of France on the Cote d’Azur.
There the weather too was hot and sunny and the food and wine up to all the usual great standards.
It gave me a chance for quite a lot of watercolour paintings of the area, almost one per day, some from my photos and some from memory too.
I was just trying to capture the light and the summer warmth in that wonderful part of France.
I hope you will enjoy them and of course if you can spend time there do try too one day, you won’t be disappointed.
In the hills not to far away from us is the unspoilt town of Seillans. These two sketches are of the little streets in this very hilly town.
Seillans in Provence . Watercolour 9 by 7
In the summer the Coast is beautiful and the view from the Esterel Coast road across the Iles de Lerin always fascinates me. Here is that view. This road is one of the finest scenic coastal drives in the world!
Occasionally you come across a bay with some fishing boats, an all too rare sight these days so here are a couple of interpretations of those scenes.
Sunsets can be amazing, here is quick watercolour of one.
When you drive around Provence the umbrella pine trees seem to pop up everywhere. This is a painting from memory of some not too far from the Coast.
Happy New Year everybody.
This year we spent New Year and the week around it at Mandelieu on the Cote d’Azur.
Although cold at night the days were warm in the sun and the delight at being to eat lunch outside, or even at restaurants on the beach in January is great.
I had set a goal of painting a watercolour every day but didn’t quite manage that but here are the five that I did complete in the week.
We didn’t visit all these places and some scenes are from photos, the web and our previous travels but some are the scenes just as they were last week.
Firstly two paintings of lavender fields in Provence.
One of the most striking things about the area around Mandelieu and Tanneron are the hillsides that are covered in early spring by Mimosa trees in bloom. The fantastic bright yellow flowers are such a great sight so early in the year. Last week around Tanneron especially there were many trees in bloom.
This painting with lots of artistic licence tries to depict a village in the hills with the Mimosa trees in flower.
The road from Cannes to St Raphael is one of the great coastal routes of the World. Do drive along it if you get the chance. With such nice lunchtime weather eating our lunch outside at Agay and Theoule was great fun. At Theoule we sat right by the waters edge at the Marco Polo Restaurant enjoying fresh Turbot in the sunshine.
This was the view of the Ice de St Honorat, (albeit a little bit enlarged!)
Quite nearby is the town of Vence, often famous for its sister town St Paul de Vence. However over the past few years much work has been done to the centre of the Old Town of Vence and it is now a lovely place for a stroll. There is a fine , but small Cathedral and quite a few restaurants and cafes to enjoy too.
This painting is of the a square in the Old Town which I hope you will enjoy.
It was a great week in the area and so nice to enjoy some winter sunshine, excellent restaurant food, great wines and good company.
All the best for 2017
PS. Some of these watercolours will be soon be for sale on http://www.Artfinder.com. (search for brianswatercolours)
Last week we had the pleasure of a visit from some very good friends from the USA. It was an opportunity to explore some places in the South East of England that they hadn’t visited before.
One of these was Scotney Castle, today a National Trust property quite near to us in the heart of Kent.
It has a fine Victorian house which itself it well worth visiting as it was lived in by the former owner until 2006 and has all the furnishings and items as it was at that time, a time capsule of two hundred years worth of the family’s history.
However the other jewel of Scotney Castle is the ruined castle situated on a small island in the middle of the lake at the heart of the estate. In spring the walk to the Castle and the surrounding area is bursting with Azaleas and Rhododendron bushes of all colours and fine perennial plants and trees.
It is painter’s paradise and has been the subject of my watercolours before.
This visit revealed some new aspects to me and so this watercolour shows both the Castle by the lake and the Victorian House on the hill above.
The second painting from last year shows another aspect of the Castle in spring time.
If you are in Kent do visit Scotney, it is a truly beautiful place.
I hope you enjoy this short post.
Painting in the South of France is such a delight!
We had been in Normandy recently but last week we were back in Provence staying on the Cote d’Azur.
The weather was spectacular, hot as the middle of summer, the skies blue, and the sea a shimmering Azur.
So time for some painting!
I wanted to finish a sketch of Honfleur I had started in Normandy but with a Regatta theme.
Painting watercolours in the lovely heat of Provence means working very quickly as the watercolours dry so quickly!
If you are on the Cote d’Azur then lunch on the Quai at Villefranche is a great way to start a holiday.
Sitting in the sun at one of the restaurants by the quay is such a lovely experience. We really like “TRASTEVERE”, where the staff are great and the food excellent.
This painting, from a photo taken that day serves as reminder of that lunch! By the Quai is the little Church decorated inside by Jean Cocteau, do spend some time there as it is a quite remarkable.
In quiet moments I can sit and paint from reference photos and memories of other visits. This time was no exception and these three paintings come under that category.
The little farm houses and the hills and fields of Provence are a constant inspiration in the bright and clear light of the landscape.
Here are two paintings of the Lavender and Vines of Haut Provence and one of the Iles d’Or, a tiny island with castle tower between Agay and St Raphael on the Esterel peninsula.
This week we had some friends staying with us and so we all took the ferry from St Maxime to St Tropez. The bustle of the main port and the huge yachts and boats is so contrasted by the calm as you walk round the corner to Porte de Peche and the view from the Tour Portalet, which is just at the Harbour.
There are some good places to eat at “Le Ponche”, just 100 yards from the main harbour and the little port is delightful. Try the omelettes at “Le PeS Quiere”, really good!
I love to paint this scene, so as well as the view from Tour Portalet I have included a previous painting of The Porte de Peche too. I hope you enjoy them and visit this quieter part of St. Tropez.
Readers of this blog will know how much we like to spend time in Mandelieu, near Cannes on the Cote d’Azur
The past couple of weeks there have, as always, been great and warm enough to sit outside on our terrace and eat our breakfasts and lunches. How nice to do this in April!
Visits there always give me some time for painting watercolours, either on the spot,or from new photos from our daily jaunts or from reference photos from the past few years.
This holiday was no exception and so here are the paintings that I managed to do on this trip.
Nearby to us is the hill top town of Cagnes and close by is the former home of Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Renoir lived and worked there in the 19th and 20th centuries until his death in 1919. It is lovely place to visit and there is real sense of his love of the house and it’s gardens and views. There are number of his paintings and sculptures on display and many photos too.
This painting is the view from the bedroom of Alice Renoir, his wife, looking across to Cagnes.
This watercolour is 14″ by 10″ on Arches rough paper. All these paintings are this size as I use an Arches glued edge pad when travelling mostly.
As we travel into the hills and mountains of Provence there are many rural scenes that I love to paint. Usually they are a mixture of reality and composites of several photos and these two watercolours fall into that category.
Really nearby us is the seaside town of Mandelieu – La Napoule. It has large marina with many yachts and boats moored there of all sizes. From the marina there is a good view of The Castle, which today is an art gallery and a nice place to visit.
From nearby Theoule there are fine views across to Cannes and the Iles de Lerin. The second of these, St Honorat is seen in this painting , painted from a zoomed photo of the island, taken from Theoule.
Further East of Cannes is Antibes. I love to paint at Antibes and this particular painting is of the large Fortress which guards the harbour, Fort Carré, with some of the many moored yachts in the harbour.
Its seems that we often take the ferry from St Maxime to St Tropez for lunch, and a wander round the old part of the town. I love to paint the small unspoilt harbour at le Ponche, Port de Pêche, and our recent trip was no exception to this. So here is another view of Port de Pêche, just a few minutes walk from the bustling and glitzy harbour on the main front at St Tropez.
I hope you enjoy these paintings from the land of warm sun and beautiful scenery, it is such a nice place to be!
Happy travelling and Painting!
Each year we are fortunate to travel overseas for a great golfing week with some wonderful friends.
Over the years we have golfed in South Africa, San Diego, Mauritius, France, New Zeeland and Portugal, and every time we have great fun.
This year was no exception and our golfing group met at the Costa Navarino Resort in the Peloponnese region of Messenia in Greece.
Ian Goldleman who runs Pro Golfing Tours ( www.progolfingtours.com ) creates our trips which include excellent tuition and lots of golf.
The weather this year was a little mixed but we all had great time. Many thanks to Ian for organising everything and Bruce Framer who came along to help us with our golf tuition. Sadly Lynnette Brooky could not be along this year but we look forward to seeing her another time.
I won’t bore you all with the golf outcomes as this is a travel and painting blog after all, however the resort was very nice in a lovely area of Greece. Located near Pylos in the south western end of the Peloppones, it is about 4 hours drive from Athens, and about an hour from Kalamata.
We managed some sightseeing and visits to some ancient monuments in the area too, principally Olympia, Methoni and Messene. Olympia was very atmospheric and really enhanced by the lovely wild spring flowers.
There are also some very good restaurants around the area and two were really outstanding. In Pylos there is the Taverna O’Koukos, and in Gialova, La Cucina Italiana. Two quite different restaurants but both really very good!
O’Koukos was absolutely splendid and the food prepared and organised by Kosta and his mother Maria was delicious, and served by the terrific Roland! If you are ever in this area do go along there as it is such a treat!
Like all our holidays I took the opportunity to take along the watercolours and managed to complete some pictures, which I am delighted to say our group have now taken home with them!
However I always keep a photo record so here are some of my weeks watercolours.
Nearby to Navarino Bay is the extraordinary beach at Voidokilia, here painted from an aerial photo and below from photos taken by me on the beach itself. It is an amazing sight and the clear waters are popular in the summer. No swimming in March though!
South of Pylos there is the quet little town of Methoni. Once an important Venetian port and the scene of many battles. Methoni Castle is vast and at the seaward end has small castle on an island, which can easily be visited. From there the view across to the island of Sapientza gave me a nice back drop for the painting.
Navaroni Bay is protected by the Island of Sphacteria and a string of smaller islands. They can be seen from all over the area but the view from Pylos castle is the one I have used here for this painting. In the summer I believe there are boat trips from the harbour to the islands which I am sure would be great.
Pylos is a very nice little town with a bustling central square and many restaurants. However do not miss going to O’Koukos restaurant at the northern approach to the centre of the town.
Of course our main aim of being at Navarino Bay was to play golf. The Bay Golf Course has many great views of the area and below is just one . Again the islands and Pylos are in the painting but this time from the fairway of the 2nd hole on the Bay Course.
I have come back with so many more photos that I hope to paint of this lovely and interesting area of Greece but they will have to be for another post.
I hope you enjoy this one and if you have been or plan to be in this area maybe they will serve as reminder of the lovely area and it’s very friendly people.
Happy travelling, (and golfing!)
Have look at my new page on Oast Houses in Kent.
Regular readers of this blog will know how much we love the south of France, and I seem to post about that area quite a bit.
But this week driving around our native Kent I was reminded how beautiful the countryside is right here , just on our doorstep.
We are lucky to live in this lovely part of the UK with it’s green fields, Oast houses, Castles and Gardens.
With the weather being cold I have been painting some local scenes from photos and looking back at some paintings from the past year or two and so I thought it was about time I shared a little bit of Kent with you all.
Quite nearby we have several fine National Trust properties. Two in particular, Sissinghurst Castle and gardens, and Scotney Castle have exceptional gardens. Each has unique features but they fit in so well to the lovely countryside around them.
Kent has been known as the Garden of England since Tudor times I believe, and it remains a County that produces a lot of soft fruit, apples, pears, cherries and vegetables. The Spring blossom is spectacular but that is for another day.
These watercolours try to capture a little of the beauty of the area. Scotney with its collections of Azaleas, and Sissinghust famous for it’s gardens and colour.
I hope you like these watercolours and enjoy this quick “visit” to Kent.
Happy travelling and painting!
We were very fortunate this year to spend New Year in Mandelieu, on the Cote d’Azur. As you all know we really enjoy this lovely part of France.
The weather was really lovely, sunny enough to eat lunch on the terrace and play golf and paint in the sun.
Especially nice too, as our Grandaughter, aged 2, and her parents were with us which inspired one of the paintings. A quick dig on a lovely sandy beach is something for any time on the year!
We didn’t actually visit Haut Provence this time but I managed to paint a couple of watercolours from older reference photos.
I hope you enjoy these new paintings and that if you know this part of the world it will remind you of it’s beauty ,or if you haven’t yet visited this lovely coast and mountain region get it on your list!
Happy painting, and travelling to you all and may 2015 be a good year!
“Have look at my other site too.”
At last I have decided to open a personal website where my paintings can be viewed and purchased. I have been thinking about it for some time but only now have I got organised enough to have the site set up.
This past year I have sold a few paintings and received a few commissions for paintings of customer’s favourite scenes.
So the new site brings together these two aims, one to paint watercolours for people of places they have visited, and secondly to display a number of artworks that can be purchased from me of places that I have visited and painted watercolours of.
The new site can be found at
I hope you will enjoy looking at it as well as continuing to look at this blog which of course will continue!
I really do appreciate all the support from friends,followers and readers alike and I hope you will enjoy both sites in the future.
Happy travelling, photographing and painting!
How nice it is to see the sun on daily basis. That was how our week this May was back at our favourite haunt of the Cote d’Azur!
Not very hot but lovely and dry with the sun breaking through nearly all day.
The combination of scenery, the beautiful Esterel Coast, and the mountains of Provence make this a wonderful part of the world.
We even ventured into Cannes where the mayhem of the preparations for the Cannes Film Festival were well underway, but nobody asked for our autogragh!
We weren’t sorry to be leaving before the Festival started but just a short way from Cannes calm reigns and the roads are peacefulful and beautiful in all directions.
Even time for some quick sketches for future, hopefully larger, paintings.
These watercolours are all just 8 by 5 inches in size and quickly painted after taking some photos, or recalling previous Provence scenery.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I have in painting them.
If you have read the guide books on another page of this blog you will know that we are very familiar with this enchanting part of France. The local wines, predominantly Rose but also some light and fruity Reds are a great complement to some really good restaurants, some of which we visited again on this trip. If you are ever in Fayence do go to Table d’Yves , one of the finest restaurants we have found in this part of the region.
Happy travelling and if the sun is out where you are enjoy that too!