Category Archives: Seascapes

Hastings, Past and Present

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.

The Net Shops “Black Sheds” on the Stade at Hastings. Watercolour 9 inches by 8.

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.

Fishing boast on the Stade at Hastings in the 1960’s. Watercolour 14 inches by 10. From a photograph taken by Richard.O. Singleton.

 

 

Do visit Hastings, there is so much to see and do there.

Happy Travelling

 

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10 days on the Cote d’Azur

The Town of Correns in Provence. Watercolour 14 inches by 10.

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

Seillans. Watercolour 9 by 7.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

J Class yachts passing Ile St Honorat off the Cannes Coast. Watercolour 10 by 14.

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.

Fishing boats of the coast. Watercolours 14 inches by 10.

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.

Umbrella Pine trees ,Watercolour 14 inches by 10

 

Happy travelling 

Brian

 

My Watercolour Highlights of 2016

Happy Christamas and Best Wishes for 2017!

It has been a great year for us and I hope you too have enjoyed the Year and also this blog.

Retired life is good and our now 4 Grandchildren and their parents are a continuous joy.

In this post I am revisiting some of my favourite watercolours of this year, which have originated in our travels around the World and visits around the UK. I have picked just seventeen, from around 50 paintings completed in the year.

Here is a reprise which I hope you will enjoy. For me this indulgent post is such a great reminder of the year.

I hope that you enjoy the Season and the New Year.

Many thanks for reading my blog, it is your responses and views that make it such fun.

All the best

Brian

January  — Crillon-Le-Brave in Provence

Although we travel a lot in Provence we have yet to visit Crillon, maybe in 2017. A bit of artistic licence in this painting!

Crillon Le Brave

February. The joy of some winter sun in Mauritius and the fun of painting while lying on a lounger at the beach at Le Touessrok Shangi La Hotel!

The Beach at Le Touessrok Watercolour 14 inches by 10.

The Beach at Le Touessrok Watercolour 14 inches by 10.

March.  Painting at home a favourite view from our many visits to Northern Ireland. Fair Head on the Antrim coast seen from the beach at Ballycastle.

Fair Head

April.

Near us in Kent is Rochester and the River Medway. This painting is a “time travel” painting taking us back to 1937 (even before my time!) when the Sunderland Flying boats were being built at Rochester. So here is a Short’s Sunderland flying boat over Rochester.

Rochester in 1937

May

With memories of a great weekend in Amsterdam with friends still fresh in my mind I finished these two paintings of  this fine and fascinating city.IMG_2653

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June

With the arrival of our new granddaughter in May local-ish travel led us to Malden in Essex. This painting , a new size for me is 19 inches by 8, but suits the scene quite well.

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July

Back in France and a chance to paint in the sun , from sketches and photos. The trip from St Maxime by boat to St Tropez is the best way to get there. Lunch at the Mazarin under the green awning and then a painting of this quiet back water of St Tropez. A delightful day out!

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August

More paintings in Provence An evening scene and big J Class yachts in St Tropez harbour.

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September

Two paintings for friends this month, one of Great Dixter in Sussex, and the second of J Class yachts sailing off the Isle of Wight. I am glad they liked them!

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J Class yachts racing at the Isle of Wight David and meg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October

A visit to Rye inspired this painting of Camber castle, built in the time of Henry VIII but now just a ruin. Rye in the background. Also locally the beautiful Leeds Castle here in KentCamber castle

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November

I like to read the excellent Bernard Cornwell historical fiction books, some of which feature Bebanburg Castle,now Bamburg Castle. Again in the wider format to highlight the vast beach and sky!Bamburgh castle

 

December

This month I have been painting some scenes of Venice from my photos and a painting from a photo taken by Mitch Zeissler ( thanks for the permission, Mitch) showing the Mission Mountains of Montana, which was the subject of my previous post.Della salute

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It has been a busy year painting ( and these are only some!) so I do hope you have enjoyed looking at some of my 2016 efforts.

Seasons greetings and Best wishes for 2017

Brian

 

 

 

 

 

September – Variations

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.

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Yachts racing by the Iles de Lerin. Watercolour 20 by 8 inches.

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.

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“J” Class yachts prepare for the race at St Tropez

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!

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Port de peach at St Tropez. Watercolour 14 inches by 10.

Back in the UK I spent a day painting “en plain air” at the Seven Sisters cliffs in East Sussex.

I find it tricky painting outside in the sun but I did manage these two paintings of these spectacular cliffs.img_8459-1

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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!

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The Mermaid Inn in Rye

I hope you will enjoy these September variations. 

Happy travelling

Brian

Thames Barges and a Sunderland Flying Boat!

I do like to paint fairly vibrant landscapes and seascapes and normally they are watercolours on 300gsm Rough Arches Paper. The first painting is on Arches Hot Pressed 300gsm paper which leads itself to this softer wash type painting.

However this post is just a little different and features Thames Barges, and as an update now includes a  SHORTS Sunderland Flying Boat!

I have included this new painting of Rochester in Kent showing some barges and the scene as it may have been the late 1930’s when the Shorts Sunderland Flying boats were designed and built by the River Medway at Rochester. They were designed in the 1930s and first flew in 1937. Based on the Shorts S23 Empire flying boats, the Flagship of Imperial Airways it was re-engineered for military use, and was used extensively in the Second World War.  777 were produced in the years 1937 to 1946.

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The next painting of Thames Barges is titled is “Waiting for the Tide” and is 16 inches by 12.

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                                                    Waiting for the Tide.   A watercolour.

 

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Barge passing Upnor Castle in Kent

This 3rd painting is hot off the press having been painted recently too! It shows a Thames barge passing by Upnor Castle on the River Medway, not too far from my studio. Again painted on Hot Pressed paper and 16 inches by 12.

The fourth painting is much more in my normal style and is of Barge at Hollowshore, here in Kent in the UK. It was painted a couple of years ago. It is on Rough 300gsm Arches paper and is 14 inches by 10.

Barge at Hollowshore

                                              A Thames Barge at Hollowshore in Kent.

This  painting is of Faversham creek where barges were once seen in their dozens.

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                                                                                             Barges at Faversham

The last  painting was painted many years ago and is on a medium smooth paper and is about 18 inches by 10.

I don’t think I would paint it like this today (busy sky, busy boats and busy sea) but again it is Thames Barges, this time racing in the Thames Estuary.

Kent, The Barge Race

                                                                           The Barge Race.

I hope you like this post and its updates. Thames barges are always a wonderful sight to see around our coast. Alas Sunderland flying boats are now not seen flying but one I believ is in amuseum in Florida.

Happy Travelling

Brian

Cruising the St Lawrence and New England

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!

Evening at Montreal

Evening at Montreal

On leaving Montreal we were treated to a spectacular sunset which gave me an interesting challenge as a watercolour.

Sunset on the St Lawrence near Montreal

Sunset on the St Lawrence near Montreal

 

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.

The Frontenac Hotel from Quebec's Old Town

The Frontenac Hotel from Quebec’s Old Town

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.

Pierce Rock. Watercolour 14 inches by 10.

Pierce Rock. Watercolour 14 inches by 10.

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.

A Lighthouse near Gaspe in Canada

A Lighthouse near Gaspe in Canada. Watercolour 14 inches by 10.

 

Blockhouse road Lighthouse on PEI

Blockhouse road Lighthouse on Prince Edward Island. Watercolour 14 inches by 10.

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!

George Fort and a vintage sailing ship at Halifax, Nova Scotia

George Fort and a vintage sailing ship at Halifax, Nova Scotia

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!

Lighthouse on Mount Desert Island near Bar Harbor

Lighthouse on Mount Desert Island near Bar Harbor.

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.

"The Three Dories" at Kennebunkport.

“The Three Dories” at Kennebunkport.

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.

The Nubble Lighthouse - New England

The Nubble Lighthouse – New England, painting in 2006

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!

Happy travelling

Brian

Brian@brianswatercolours.com

 

My new website!

Ile de la Cite from a river cruise in Paris

Ile de la Cite from a river cruise in Paris. Now for sale on http://www.brianswatercolours.com

 

Hi Everybody.

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

http://www.brianswatercolours.com.

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!

Brian Tucker

brian@brianswatercolours.com

 

Cruising in the Adriatic.

Hi Everbody

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.

Ile de la Cite from a river cruise in Paris

Ile de la Cite from a river cruise in Paris

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.

Brian

Dubrovnik from our cruise ship

Dubrovnik from our cruise ship

A little beach near Dubrovnik

A little beach near Dubrovnik

Cavtat in Croatia

Cavtat in Croatia

Piran in Slovenia

Piran in Slovenia

The Rialto Bridge in Venice

The Rialto Bridge in Venice

Gondolas in Venice. Painted on a previous visit

Gondolas in Venice. Painted on a previous visit

Just off the Grand Canal in Venice. Painted on a previous visit.

Just off the Grand Canal in Venice. Painted on a previous visit.

A Week in Northern Ireland-Visits to the “Game of Thrones” Locations

 

Fair Head from the West

Fair Head from the West

Hi Everyone,

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.

Whitehead seen from Holywood Hills Cottages. Co Down.

Whitehead seen from Holywood Hills Cottages. Co Down.

 

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!

Brian

 

The Church and Cliffs at Ballintoy. Co Antrim

The Church and Cliffs at Ballintoy. Co Antrim

 

 

 

 

 

The Dark Hedges near Armoy. Co Antrim. The King's Highway in Game of Thrones

The Dark Hedges near Armoy. Co Antrim.
The King’s Highway in Game of Thrones

Strangford Lough and the Mourne Mountains from Greyabbey. Co Down.

Strangford Lough and the Mourne Mountains from Greyabbey. Co Down.

Fair Head from Murlough Bay. Co Antrim. Features as the Iron Islands in Game of Thrones

Fair Head from Murlough Bay. Co Antrim. Features as the Iron Islands in Game of Thrones

Fair Head seen from Ballycastle. Co Antrim.

Fair Head seen from Ballycastle. Co Antrim.

Back to the Sun, a week on the Cote d’Azur

Hi Everybody

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!

Brian

Sunset over the Vineyard

Sunset over the Vineyard

Antibes

Antibes

House in Provence

House in Provence

The Esterel Mountains near Agay

The Esterel Mountains near Agay

Lavender fields in Haut Provence

Lavender fields in Haut Provence

Farm and Vineyard

Farm and Vineyard

The Castle at La Napoule

The Castle at La Napoule

Sailing boats off the Esterel Coast

Sailing boats off the Esterel Coast

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