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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

 

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Happy New Year! – A week in Provence and the Cote d’Azur

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. 

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Lavender fields in Provence. Watercolour, 14 inches by 10.

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Cottage with lavender. Watercolour, 14 inches by 10.

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.

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Mimosa trees in flower in the hills near Tanneron. Watercolour, 14 inches by 10.

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!)

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Ile de St Honorat from Theoule sur Mer, on the Esterel coast. Watercolour, 16 inches by 12.

 

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.

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In the Old town of Vence. Watercolour 10 inches by 10.

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

Happy travelling

Brian

PS. Some of these watercolours will be soon be for sale on http://www.Artfinder.com. (search for brianswatercolours)

Breakfast in the Sun!

Hi Everbody

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.

 

Cagnes from Renoir's former Home

Cagnes from Renoir’s former Home

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.

Spring in Provence

Spring in Provence

The Vineyard, Haut Provence

The Vineyard, Haut Provence

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.

The Castle at La Napoule

The Castle at La Napoule

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.

Ile St Honorat

Ile St Honorat

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.

Fort Carre at Antibes

Fort Carre at Antibes

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.Porte de peche, 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!

Brian

New Year on the Cote d’Azur

Hi Everybody,

Digging in the sand at Mandelieu La Napoule

Digging in the sand at Mandelieu La Napoule

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!

Brian

 

“Have look at my other site too.”

http://www.brianswatercolours.com

Lavender at the village in Provence

Lavender at the village in Provence

Winter in the mountains of Provence

Winter in the mountains of Provence

Cottage in Haut Provence

Cottage in Haut Provence

 

A Few Days in The Sun!

Hi Everyone

I think by now everyone must know how much we like the South of France, especially the Cote d’Azur.

At the end of November we were able to spend  some time there and for the most part the weather was really lovely, warm enough to eat breakfast and lunch outside on the terrace and at the harbour at Villefranche.

Now back in England the weather is cold and wet and so a little reminder seems in order.

I wasn’t too happy with my quick watercolours but as the sun was out I thought I would share them with you.

If it is sunny where you are then that is very nice but if it is wet, cold or snowy then imagine the warm sun and look forward to next summer.

Happy travelling!

 

Brian

http://www.brianswatercolours.com

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Agay on the Esterel Coast in November afternoon sun.

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St Tropez

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Antibes in November, blue sky and snow on the mountains.

 

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

A week in the sun!

Hi Everbody

We are very fortunate to be able to spend some time on  the Cote d Azur in the South of France.

With UK weather remaining unsettled it was so great to feel the sun and enjoy Provence and the Coast.

Just enough time to paint a few quick watercolours. Provence has great scenes around every corner, sometimes I like to combine various scenes into a painting and so that is what I have done with a couple of these. The beautiful fields, vineyards and farms seem to make the sun shine even brighter, which is fine for the watercolourist.

If you have the chance do drive from Mandelieu la Napoule via Theoule to Agay and on to St Raphael. This coast road is really spectacular with the red rocks of the Esterel mountains going down to the azure blue sea. It is one of the finest coastal drives anywhere!

Included here are a couple of older paintings of this area together with the recent ones painted last week.

I hope you will enjoy looking at them as much as I have in painting them.

Enjoy the sun if you can find it!

Farmhouses in Provence

Farmhouses in Provence

Mougins

Mougins

Vineyard in Provence

Vineyard in Provence

Callian from Tourettes

Callian from Tourettes

Agay on the Esterel

Agay on the Esterel

The bay at Theoule

The bay at Theoule

The Esterel coast at Miramar

The Esterel coast at Miramar

Happy New Year

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