Category Archives: Seascapes
Hastings in Sussex is a town steeped in history and a delightful place to visit.
The Fishing Industry was once a major activity in the Town and fishing boats still operate from there, and are still launched from the beach.
One historical feature of Hastings are the “Net Shops”, tall wooden buildings, now enjoying “Listed Status” on the Stade at Hastings.
To learn more about them try this web site ( hastingschronicles.net )which has lots of very interesting details about them, and photos too.
This first quick, 15 minute, sketch shows the Net Stores today with a typical Hastings fishing boat located next to them.
In the 1960’s and before the number of Fishing boats at Hastings was large and although there are a lot of boats there today they are fewer than once there were.
I particularly like the older style of boat which is ideal for my sort of watercolour. They had a particular hull design adapted to being launched from the beach. This painting is taken from a 1960’s photo and shows two fishing boats pulled up on the shingle beach from which they are launched.
RX73 was constructed in 1958 in Newhaven, named the ‘Young Flying Fish’ and is now retired as is RX77 named ‘Andina’ was constructed in Newhaven in 1957. Thanks to GH Clarke for this information, and also to Richard.O.Singleton for the original photograph upon which my watercolour is based.
Do visit Hastings, there is so much to see and do there.
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.
During the past few weeks we have been back to the South of France, enjoying there some fabulous September weather and on returning to the UK finding that fine weather here too.
It has given me some time for a variety of subjects, some familiar, some new and some of scenes that I like to paint and hope one day to get it a bit more as I would like it to be.
So I thought I would share these with you , at least you know I have not been idle, even if the finished results aren’t quite as I had hoped!
In France, I found that I had what I thought was a nice pad of watercolour paper, but after finishing this painting I realised that it was not up to the quality I normally use, and so the paper effect isn’t too nice although the subject worked quite well in this format. The painting ,of the Iles de learn off the coast of Cannes, is about 20 inches by 8 so a bit larger than normal.
Whilst in France we were lucky enough to be in Cannes and St Tropez when some of the largest yachts were in harbour for their regattas.
I love the shape and lines of the huge “J” Class yachts and so this next painting of them preparing for races in St Tropez is the result. Not often are the St Tropez quay side buildings visible from across the harbour as large motor cruisers usually block the view, but not this time! Whilst in St Tropez we had lunch at Port de Peche and so here is that little harbour at the back of St Tropez, one of my favourite places in the South of France, and one that I have tried to paint on quite a few occasions!
Back in the UK I spent a day painting “en plain air” at the Seven Sisters cliffs in East Sussex.
More recently I have painted this smaller watercolour of Mermaid Street in Rye , also in East Sussex.
The Mermaid Inn, an old Smugglers Tavern, is on the right and whose sign you can see. It has the wonderful inscription outside which reads “Rebuilt in 1407”. Now there is history for you!
I hope you will enjoy these September variations.
Hi Everyone, thanks for reading this post.
We have just spent great 2 weeks meeting up with very good friends and together cruising down the St Lawrence Seaway and out into the Gulf and then on to New England.
It is a journey we have been looking forward to for some time and the places visited and the scenery were terrific.
It is our 15th year cruising with our four good friends and as always there is lots to talk about and to enjoy, both on and off the cruise ship.
Naturally it is great opportunity for photography, and for me, a time to paint some watercolours of the places we have visited on the Cruise, and afterwards in a short stay in Kennebunkport in Maine.
This year the vivid autumn colours are little later than usual but we did still manage to catch some views of the trees turning to gold, bronze, and red as we travelled.
Vainly we watched for whales which do frequent this region, but alas 3 spouts was the only glimpse we got, and a potential whale watching trip in Bar Harbor was sabotaged by bad weather.
Anyway I have lots of photos to turn into watercolours but here are the paintings that I managed to complete on the cruise.
More updates to this blog in the future as I sift through the photos and turn some into watercolours.
I have included a couple of extra paintings from previous trips to New England for you to see until I can get round to some new watercolours of New England.
We started the cruise in Montreal and this evening skyline painting didn’t work too well but it gives glimpse of this interesting and large city. Montreal is I am told the second largest French speaking City in the world, second only to Paris!
On leaving Montreal we were treated to a spectacular sunset which gave me an interesting challenge as a watercolour.
Overnight we sailed to Quebec where even though it was our second visit there we enjoyed walking around this lovely City. On our second day we took a “Foodie Tour”, which was really good. Local food and wine and stops many tasting places and restaurant finished up by beer and Cheese tasting in the Frontenac Hotel. Our guide was excellent and the combination of Food and history of the City was very interesting.
I strongly recommend this if you are planning some time in Quebec. Have look at http://www.toursvoirquebec.com, our guide was Jocelyn Belle.
On the tour the view of the Frontenac Hotel from the older and beautifully restored lower town inspired this watercolour.
Our cruise took us past the pretty Ile d’Orleans and Montmorency Falls ( paintings at a later date!)
Our next port of call was Saguenay, a town at the end of a 32 mile Canadian Fjiord. Despite watching for whales at the entrance to the fjord we didn’t manage any sightings.
From Saguenay we sailed over night to Baie Commeau, a small but interesting town on the North bank of the St Lawrence. A highlight there was our time spent at the Glacier visitor centre with amazing information about, and photos of Glaciers around the World.
From here we went on to Gaspe where we took to opportunity to visit Perce and its famous Rock. This vast rocky island lies just offshore and dominates the town. Here is my painting from a photo taken just out of the town at the lighthouse.
From Gaspe we sailed to Prince Edward Island , but alas due to strong winds we were unable to dock there. However these two lighthouses passed by the ship as we sailed and approached the island and so on the extra day at sea I painted these two watercolours.
After the dissapointmetnof not landing at Prince Edward Island we sailed on for 2 days to Halifax, Nova Scotia. They have made the board walk a real feature of Halifax and it is very pleasant stroll along it into the town and up to the Citadel if you have the energy for the climb!
There are some lovely old yachts and small ships in the port at Halifax and fine views across to Fort George.
Here is a painting of vintage yacht sailing past Fort George, just a little bit of artistic licence here to bring them together at the island!
From Halifax we sailed overnight to Bar Harbor. Bar Harbor is lovely town with nice shops, and galleries, as well as being on the beautiful Mount Desert Island. Alas, it was pouring and windy when we were there, but luckily we had been there is good weather some years ago so we could imagine it in the sun. Our plan of a whale watching trip was impossible in such rough weather too.
Thus my painting of the Mount Desert Lighthouse is from an archive photo and is on sunny day!
It was really rough weather leaving Bar Harbor and the night to Boston was the roughest cruise night we have encountered, not bad after so many cruises, we have been lucky!
We didn’t stop in Boston but picked up a car and drove with our friends to Kennebunkport where we stayed in the very nice “Captain Lord Mansion”. We really like Kennebunkport and the whole area.
In the centre of the town by the bridge you can see these 3 Dories slowly swinging together with the tide. Thought they made good subject for a watercolour.
We took a trip the next day to Ogunquit and Perkins Cove and the Nubble light house near York. I have many more paintings of New England to do now but here is one I did 10 years ago of The Nubble which will do until I can paint a few new ones.
So from Kennebunkport it was back home, farewells to our friends till next time and a flight back to the UK.
A great holiday with such good friends, lots of food, wine and great times.
What’s not to like!
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!
A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to be able to go on an Adriatic Cruise with four very good friends.
Before that we had spent a lovely week in Paris in beautiful weather and it was all very enjoyable. Good food, good wine and above all great company just makes a holiday so terrific.
Our cruise departed from Venice and visited Ravenna, famous for it’s wonderful 6th Century Byzantine mosaics, Split where had delightful day visiting Trogir, a World Heritage Town, and Split too.
From there we sailed to Dubrovnik, where we visited the old town but as we had been there before also took a trip to Cavtat, a beautiful small village by the sea. After Dubrovnik we sailed on to Zadar, which has a very historic and lovely old town right by the sea. Our last port of call was Koper in Slovenia, and there we took a tour along the coast to Piran, a really delightful town on a little peninsula into the Adriatic. And then on into the hills to Istrian , where we met the local stall holders and sampled there excellent food, oil and wine. Slovenia seems areally lovely place as was Croatia for our earlier ports of call. Everyone was very friendly and we really enjoyed our very short time in these Countries. Good reason to go back for much longer!
Finally we arrived back in Venice and you can never tire of wandering the little back streets and crossing the many waterways cthat make Venice what it is. Away from the main areas it is often very quiet and peaceful and every corner brings a new and interesting scene. The opportunies to paint are everywhere and it will take me long time to try my hand at some of the photos that I have returned with.
That said there was some time on the cruise for a little sketching and watercolour painting and below are some of my attempts. Often done very quickly, so I hope over the winter to revisit these photos and paint some more reminders of our cruise. For those interested the cruise line was Silverseas and the ship the Spirit. All really lovely!
I hope you enjoy these paintings, and if you have been to these beautiful places that they will serve as a reminder, if you have yet to go there I know you will enjoy the whole area of the Adriatic.
Happy travelling and painting.
We always seem to be on the go and last week we enjoyed a lovely visit to Northern Ireland, for many reasons one of our favourite places in the World.
It wouldn’t have been authentic if the sun had shone every day , but in mixed weather the countywide was beautiful and we managed to tour around, visit friends and family and also visit both familiar and new destinations.
Some of these were the locations of scenes from the very popular TV series Game of Thrones.
We have not been devotees of the series but seeing locations known to us in dramas is always fascinating, especially when they have been “catapulted” back , many hundreds of years, to become the land of Westeros
So this post features some places that can be seen in the series. These are my interpretations of the scenes, and of course are not as accurate as photos but they are all original!
We stayed in delightful new cottage/apartment in Holywood (http://www.holywoodhill.com), which we would also strongly recommend if you are planning visit to Northern Ireland. Holywood is a nice small town only a few miles from Belfast with galleries,cafes,restaurants and shops and makes a good base to get around the Province.
Eventually I will update my guide book to Ulster with these destinations but for now I hope you enjoy seeing them in the blog, together with one or two other places that we visited .
Happy travelling and enjoy the Summer, if it ever reappears!
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!