Watercolour Gallery - 1
Like so many of my paintings, this was copied from a picture in a book. This one actually taught me a very valuable lesson. The painting was nothing like what it was supposed to be and I was very disappointed. Thankfully, I had made my own rule to never throw away one of my efforts and put this one away in disgust. Some weeks later, having forgotten how the 'original' looked, I saw this in a new light. I'm glad I did.
This is of a road nowhere in particular ... just a figment of my imagination. I wanted to try and understand a bit more about perspectives and distance and it proved useful for that even though it hasn't made such a good final picture.
Copied from a photograph in a book, this picture of three boats moored by a riverbank provided my first attempt at painting reflections in water.
Boats on a River
I can't recall exactly where this castle is located but I do know it is in the heart of rural England, in an area known as 'Shakespeares country'. Though this is how it exists today, it is not hard to imagine the romantic days of Knights in shining armour.
Copied from the face of a commemorative plate marking the anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Those boys certainly played their part in protecting our shores and far too many of them didn't make it back home. I salute them all.
Spitfire Returns Home
A small cluster of old Crofters Cottages nestled near the banks of a freshwater pond. I don't know where these particular cottages are situated but the view is very reminiscent of the old Irish Peat Bogs.
Cottages by Pond
A log cabin I stayed at in 2001. Situated in the Canaan Valley in West Virginia, USA, this was the holiday of a lifetime. It was very remote and the distant roaring of the resident Black Bears made this an unbelievable experience.
The Lazy 'S'
This was an interesting diversion from normal painting. My friend and I had been speculating as to what The Lazy 'S' might look like in the winter. Having scanned my previous painting and reflecting on how snow is achieved by NOT painting, I loaded the previous image into Paint Shop and began to erase some of the image. The result is, in my opinion, quite effective.
The Lazy 'S' in Winter
Another painting of The Lazy 'S'. This is my first attempt at painting WITHOUT copying. This birds eye view could only be imagined. I had a number of ground-level photographs to refer to but nothing that really showed me what the cabin would have looked like from this position.
The Lazy 'S'
This is another picture manipulated using Paint Shop. Just as I did with the previous painting of The Lazy 'S', I created the 'snow' on my PC by erasing foreground colour.
The Lazy 'S' in Winter
A desolate beach strewn with rocks. A calm sea washing the sand. Just another picture in another book but it makes a pleasant subject to paint.
Rocks on the Beach
This is a very poor attempt at capturing the spectacular view from the famous Overlook at Coopers Rock in West Virginia. As poor as it is, this picture always takes me back to the day I stood on that rocky outcrop and gasped at the sheer magnificence of the wooded valley below me.There is another version of this in my Pencil Gallery.
During my vacation in West Virginia I came across this lovely little wooden Church in the small town of Grantsville. The entire town seemed to be made of wooden buildings which is something I had never seen before.
Anyone who has browsed my garden pages will already know I like Fuchsia's. It was inevitable that my two hobbies would come together at some point. This is one of my favourite Fuchsia's and it is called 'Winston Churchill'. Unlike the man it was named after, this Fuchsia does seem a bit delicate and I have found it quite hard to keep through the winter.
Fuchsia Winston Churchill
The Cotswolds is a wonderful part of the country and is adorned with small towns and villages constructed of Cotswold stone and belonging to times gone by. One such town is Stow-On-The-Wold and I was delighted to discover these ancient Stocks on the village green.
The Stocks, Stow-On-The-Wold
The Guildhall is Northampton's most prestigious building, and is a splendid example of Victorian Gothic architecture. Built in 1864 by the famous architect Edward Godwin, it is still possible to visit the Great Hall, Council Chambers, the Mayor's Parlour and the old prison cells. It was significantly renovated a few years ago and a superb extension of a complimentary design was added.
The Guildhall, Northampton
Within the county of Northamptonshire are very many beautifully preserved churches, like this one in the village of Earls Barton that has a Saxon Tower dating back to 970AD. What is particularly interesting is that, along with the Saxon Tower, the church boasts a Norman Door, 15th century Screen, and 17th century Tower Clock.
All Saints, Earls Barton
The Market Square is reputedly the largest fully enclosed open air market in the country. It dates back to 1235 and prior to 1873 livestock as well as usual provisions were sold.
There are tunnels beneath the Market Square the purpose of which isn't fully known but 'secret escape routes' is the most favoured theory.
Until relatively recently, the square has always boasted a fine monument in its centre, the last being a superb Victorian Fountain, erected in 1863, and sadly removed in 1962 because of persistent vandalism. In 2006, the council revamped the square and it is unlikely it will ever be seen like this again.
The Market Square, Northampton
In the 18th Century, the Grand Union Canal was built connecting Northampton to the Midlands. The River Nene, on which Northampton sits, was made navigable to the sea in 1761. This combination brought new trade and prosperity to the county and the banks of the river would have been lined with barges carrying their cargos. Near to Northampton is Stoke Bruerne, famous for its seven lock gates and the still navigable canal tunnel.
Barge on Canal
Althorp House, Northampton
Althorp House, the home of Earl Spencer, and brother of Princess Diana. A wonderful mansion house set in extensive grounds that are the very essence of typical English countryside. It has been home to the Spencer family for 500 years. In 1508 Sir John Spencer acquired a 300-acre estate and his grandson made it the principal Spencer family home. Of course, it hasn't been the same since the tragic death of Diana, which has resulted in millions of visitors passing through the gates every year.