Tuesday, 28 June 2011

No Oeuf's, No Oeuf's

This year I went to tutour a week in Corsica with John and Maria of Bella Sardinia...and what a magical place.

We stayed in a small and friendly hotel right on the waterside with a small raised terrace overlooking the beach where we would have breakfast and evening drinks. The view from here was very paintable and that was exactly what we did on the first day.

Setting off up into the mountains we spent a day painting in the super littlevillage of Pigna with far reaching views over the coastline. Then we went to the seaside town of L'lle Rousse with its white columned marketplace and large tree lined square which was a joy to paint.

Back into the mountains, this time to the charming old hilltop village of San Antonino with its maze of interlocking pathways and alleys that lead you to some breathtaking viewpoints overlooking the mountains. We set up in the small shady square and I painted this view of the chapel and the steps. Lunch was in 'I Scalini' a tiny restuarant perched right on the top of the village with 360 degree views.

My other painting was done one night after dinner outside the hotel looking down the road to the archway that was all lit up. There was not much light to work by so it was almost 'paint by instinct' but the result turned out quite well I think !!

Florences' Big Adventure

Sadly, two weeks ago Flo, our little tortoiseshell ( pictured here with Woody ) was put to sleep but she was 19 years old ! And not before she went on her big adventure !
All the years we have had her she has never wandered away from home but a few months ago she went missing. In latter months she had become blind and almost deaf and she became painfully thin so we were thinking that the end was in sight, then she dissapeared. We searched for her high and low but no Flo.
On the fourth day of her dissapearance we decided to walk down into the village about a quarter mile away and caught sight of a 'FOUND CAT' poster stuck on a telegraph pole which looked just like our little cat...and it was !
Some really kind people at Trecilla Barn had seen her in a field behind their property and taken her in. Not knowing where she was from and seeing she was blind and rather thin they took her to their vet for a check over and put up the posters in the village.
We really had resigned ourselves to the fact that we wouldn't see her again and here she was.
When they found her she was soaking wet and had obviously fallen in the brook on the opposite side of the road. How she had ever negotiated the road, got across the brook and walked all the way down into the village I will never know...but she did and we had her for another month after that.
So for our little deaf and blind 19 year old cat who had never before left home it really was her last 'Big Adventure '

Monday, 27 June 2011

No troubles with Tunisia...!

What an eye opener this trip was. I think we were all in agreement that this was a really friendly place to be and there was no sign of trouble or any animosity towards us . Our hotel really did look after us and even though it was only about a third full the staff did not skimp on service or FOOD ! I have never seen such an array of different and exciting fare served up by a hotel before, it was amazing.

I wont say too much about the freshly made pancakes...suffice to say they went well with the breakfasts, lunches and dinners ( slight addiction here i fear !)

Seeing this was N Africa , when the wind blew it was a bit chilly and on one occasion we did some sketching in the vast hotel lobby which was a picture in itself.

Our trip to Tunis and the Souq was another eyeopener. Everyone seemed happy to see us and many came up to us to thank us for coming to their country.

All in all a very pleasant experience especially after all the turmoil that went on earlier in the year.

My New Book out in Sept

Exciting News !! My new book has just gone off to the publishers ready for a Sept print date ! The book is published by Halsgrove and is 144 full colour pages, hardbound and you will be able to order your signed copy direct from me when it is available.

Please check on my web page for info on ordering later on in the year. I will also be doing a 'tour' to art clubs and societies with a Book Signing and Demo so if your group would be interested please contact me for details.