Monday, 5 July 2010

Great week in SARDINIA

After a three hour delay at the airport I at last arrived at Alghero airport and was greeted by Maria who whisked me off to the lovely little Hotel Funtanerana fourty minutes drive away.
After meeting everyone we got to grips with some painting and sketching interspersed with the odd 'Ichnusa', the local beer. My first sketch , which i have included here, is of the fountain that gave the Hotel it's name. The weather was getting rather WARM to say the least.
Our first trip was to the small riverside town of Bosa about an hour's drive from the hotel. I couldn't get over how UNDER populated Sardinia was as we hardly saw any development on our trip...what a refreshing change ! We spent a very enjoyable day in Bosa with packed lunches by the river.
Another day out took us to Maria's parents vineyard 'Badu Oschiri' where we were greeted with Sardinian hospitality , food and of course WINE !! The temp was well into the 30's so it was rather warm and the paint was drying as fast as you put it on the paper.
Our trip to the old town of Alghero was very interesting with it's wealth of old buildings , then it was off to the beach for lunch and a dip in the sea. Sadly some bad weather had washed a lot of the sand away and there were too many rocks about. The landlord of the taverna plied us with the local Grappa which nearly blew our heads off.
This was the first holiday I had done with Maria and John who were great hosts and made sure everyone's needs were well catered for. I am looking foward to tutouring for them again next year so watch this space !
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Taking a trip...

This Spring's trip to the Finca proved to be extra exciting ! After a few days to get to grips with a few techniques we set off to the coast for a few days, travelling westwards towards Gibralta and beyond.
Lunchtime and we stopped off for a drink and a bite to eat at the Hurricane Hotel and boy was it well named. There was a really fierce wind blowing but that didn't stop me dashing off a quick sketch of the beach area even though I had to tie my sketchbook down to stop it flying away !
We had now left the warm waters of the Med and were now on the Atlantic Coast.
Travelling further up the west coast of Spain towards Cadiz we stopped off at the small resort of Zahara de los Atunes where we stayed the night.
Doing a sketch atop a large sand dune I was almost sandblasted by the time I had finished.
Next morning we set off inland to Medina Sidonia, a small viilage named after the Admiral of the Armada. After a very pleasant mornings painting we headed back to the Finca through some really stunning scenery. Must get to paint some of these scenes one day !!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

All Columned Out ...!

This year our first overseas Painting Holiday was to Greece. We stayed on the coast on the mainland due east from Athens on Vravrona Bay. Our hotel was in a very quiet position overlooking the water and a pretty headland which we painted a few times perched on the bar balcony ( with the odd Methos or two for good measure !)
Our first trip out took us south to the temple of Posidon on Cape Sunio which gave us our first taste of a real Greek temple. The main attraction was a day out to Athens and the Parthenon which I have always wanted to see. After climbing the many steep and slippery marble steps we passed through the entry arch of the Propylaea and got our first glimpse of the Parthenon. What a structure, quite exhilarating. After picking a spot right next to the guard rail I sketched this pic looking up at the temple. For the purists among you I have only included 7 columns in the front
portico instead of 8 as I was running out of steam but I'm sure my secret is safe with you!
Managed to get another 2 pics done before it was time for lunch and by that time we were all ' Columned out' as Ann said . After lunch there was a mass migration to the Ice Cream parlour for some great flavours and some even went on to the bakery for a Baclava ( I mention no names !)
Next day we visited the small temple of Artemis which we could almost see from the hotel. When we got there it was closed to the public which was a real nuisance but did manage to get this other sketch done from the boundary fence so all was not lost .
The weather on the whole was very warm and sunny but there was the odd cold wind which brought out the jumpers and fleeces !

Up SUN !

Going up to North Yorkshire to the Leven Arts Society is always a treat and this year it was even better...we had sunshine, and loads of it ! After the surprise results from last years session I decided to do the workshops using Mixed Media, Pastel and Watercolour.
The results were truely amazing ! I have never seen so much colour and excitement in everyones paintings before. The watercolour washes that went on to the paper were
really bold and free which is a 'Brucie Bonus' believe me ! Then in with the pastel to bring out the highlights and the paintings glowed.
After the workshops came the Great Day Out, and this year it was to Swaledale. I have not been to this part of the country since Sally and I took her parents on holiday there in the height of the foot and mouth epidemic...which was a while ago ! And was not dissapointed. What a beautiful Dale it is with its miles of stone walls , barns and villages and ever present river gliding slowly along.
The day started off a little overcast but by lunchtime the sun was out and lit up the scenery for us. So all in all another VERY enjoyable time 'Up North'...thanks again Folks !