Saturday, 20 April 2019

#456 'Dawn, Tower Bridge'

Painted on the same day as the previous Tower Bridge I posted, just a little later in the morning about 7am. I finished it in the studio as it was a bitter morning -1 degree! Seems a distant memory now with the lovely sunshine we are having. 

The cloud was actually behind me in the sky but I felt the composition needed something more so I turned around and painted it in :-)

This is where I got up to en plein air. 30x40cm

Thursday, 18 April 2019

#455 'Evening Light, Hammersmith Bridge'

I have been working hard on all the elements required to put on an exhibition in London. Only 4 weeks to go now and I'm counting down... 
If you are interested in my paintings and want to see a taster of the show I have uploaded some of the paintings on my website under - solo show catalogue have a look :-)

I managed to get a plein air paint in, wonderful relaxed feel, almost like Europe, The Blue Anchor Pub spilling out onto the Embankment and people enjoying a drink and the evening sun. I got moved off my great perch when the club rowers were launching their boats, huge 8 man vessels, interesting to watch them all.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

#454 'Lights on Tower Bridge' 6x12"

Up crazily early 3.45am to get to London to capture the the illuminations before they were turned off! And the deep ‘blue hour’. Its surprising how quickly it changed from this to daylight see pic below - about 20 mins! I do enjoy the race against time and putting the impression of the place without too much details more shapes and colours.

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

#453 'Frost Meadow, The River Wey' 10x12"

A really chilly start it was -1 and frosty grass with a contrasting beautiful glowing sunrise. A new painting find for our local area, I like the open meadows, windy river and the sheep were a bonus. Will go back in Spring...


Thursday, 28 March 2019

#452 'Sunset Walk, Chelsea Embankment'

Beautiful light and pastels colours! I wasn’t going to include the left side of the embankment thinking it was to contrasted but I think it helps the composition and really shows off the light colours. Plus the romantic stroll aspect has a good feel.

#451 'Admiralty Arch' 10x12"

It’s funny how you can love a painting you’ve done one moment & hate it the next. I started this last year en plein air & abandoned it in disgust when I got home. Saw it again recently & thought that’s worth working on! & now I’m happy with the result. Such an up & down painting life!! 

The main things I changed was adding people especially the foreground biker as there was a big area of pink tarmac! - I toned down the pink it was too bright. Plus adding more light through the arch to draw your eye into it and putting the bus in, got to be done London and red :-)

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

#450 CHANGING BLOG LOCATION & 'Snowdrops x 2'

I have decided to move my blog to my website to encourage visitors onto it, help search engines find me and to look more professional. I think the new blog looks better than this google blogspot version - I hope you agree! All 450+ posts and comments are on there and you can still sign up to have my posts delivered to your email. 
My website is: the blog is on there. Let me know what you think.
If you go onto the www.clarebowen.blogspot address in the future it will be redirected to my website blog. 

I painted these flowers a couple of weeks ago and have been waiting for my new blog to be live....

'Snowdrops', I have been itching to paint these little beauties for a couple of weeks watching them grow and panicking that they will start to wilt before I get to them! Thankfully they are tucked under a tree so last longer than the norm. 
I scoured the internet for milk jugs - the perfect size for snowdrops and loved this little one not 'Cornishware' but looks like it.

'Just picked Snowdrops' 8x8"
I painted this one first when the heads were still quite closed. Beautiful and delicate.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

#449 'View from Battersea Bridge' 30x40cm

I have painted this bridge many times - easy to get hooked onto such a great subject! Plus it helps to really get familiar with something painting it over and over like Monet did. Recent paintings: Morning, midday, golden hour, twilight, and this one at 2pm. Also changing the view point.

Glowy light and intense afternoon colours! I stood at the top of the steps going down onto the embankment. It was a horrid spot as I was on a cross roads with the traffic right next to me. But worth it as I liked the shapes of the lights against the water. 

Painted with the sun on my back and therefore the painting was in full sunlight. Back home in the studio the painting was quite a few degrees darker than I wanted it because I was mislead with the sunlight on it. Tip: paint in the shade as sunlight is misleading! And the shade is more like the environment you will see it in a home.
I had to do a whole layer over the top of the one I painted outside to lighten it.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

#448 'Twilight, Albert Bridge' 30x40cm

Started en plein air. When the sun goes down the colours intensify!
I might come back to this one and lighten the bridge a little more. A contrasted painting with very lights and very dark darks, so I had to lighten the darks and darken the lights so they weren't so far apart!
Plein air started at 6pm

Friday, 22 February 2019

#447 'Golden Hour, Albert Bridge' 30x40cm

No wind, beautiful light and cloudless sky. Such a great combo, with the silhouetted shape of the old Victorian Bridge (built in 1873.)

I maped out all the dark structural areas first, not much detail just main shapes and then the lighter sky. Tricky when it changed so quickly but finished in the studio. I wanted it to feel like that strong light shinning just before it goes down and mellows.

In mid painting flow when a photographer quite far away with a zoom lens was aiming at me. I called after him once he'd taken it but it was way too loud with the traffic on the Chelsea Embankment next me, he disappeared but kindly looked me up - from my website on my Open Box M pochade. 
Thank you Wojciech Jarowslaw Pawlowski for the lovely sunlit photo.

Monday, 18 February 2019

#446 'Midday Light, Albert Bridge' 30x40cm

The end of last week was so sunny and warm, feels like spring is coming (already!) But I wouldn't say no to another snow day to paint :-)

Painted on a very textured canvas - one I was given as a prize from the Royal Talens Company. I hope it adds to the impressionist feel.

The white struts of the bridge were lighter than the sky and the sky was lighter than the water. The tones are so important to key to each other.

Saturday, 16 February 2019

#445 'First Light Venice' 40x50cm

One for my exhibition, an idea taken from a small 8x10 plein air did in Venice September last year. I loved the building on the right with the light shining on it. I took a risk with the wooden poles, quite dominant structures but it gives depth and a sense of place.

I painted from a cafe area on the side of the water. I had to be fast as the waiter said you have 30 mins before I set up. Enough to get an impression!

Thursday, 14 February 2019

#444 'Trees in Snow' 30x40cm

Started outside on the last day of the snow we had finished in a warm studio! Painted one before this (see previous post) but liked the tall tree and sky so did a bigger painting in a portrait format.

Monday, 11 February 2019

#443 'Silver Birch in Snow' 30x30cm

This is the first one I did as the sun was going down on Bramshott Common. Different colours to the previous bluer snow paintings. Mainly yellow and oranges, limited palette. 
I painted another straight after (will post tomorrow) in a portrait format to get the trees in....

Sunday, 10 February 2019

#442 'Snow Shadows' 30x40cm

The second painting done straight after the first. You can see how much the sun has moved to the right and rose. Warmer blues and lots of colours in the snow! But also a limited colour palette - warm and cool.
In this one I wanted more of the shadows as I didn't get to emphasis them in the first painting. So I used a bigger board, portrait format and a high horizon line. 
I'm pleased with the result :-)

Putting in the bit that will change the quickest first- the shadows 

Friday, 8 February 2019

#441 'Snow & Glow' 24x30cm

I arrived early to set up and start mixing colours. So I was ready to paint the shadows when the sun just came up over the trees. Cool blues compliment well with the orangey sky. Such an inspiring subject. I stayed on and did another I will post it tomorrow! 

A tip I picked up .....use an old big sock and ware it like a glove. Make a small hole in top to insert your paint brush. So you are able to freely hold it without restriction - no bulky glove to get it in the way! Also slip a disposable hand warmer in which I did that day keeps you toastie!

Thursday, 7 February 2019

#440 'Gorse in Snow, The Punch Bowl' 24x30cm

I liked the cool blue light contrasted with the warmer light of the left. Plus the arial perspective of the fading distant hills. Not easy to paint! With quite subtle tonal difference having to really observe and not think you know whats there but looking. 
Behind me was a sledging slope, I could hear arguments, snow ball fights but also kids giggling with delight flying down (towards me!) made me smile.
The day after the big snow, trees and gorse bushes laden

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

#439 'Walk in the Snow' 24x30cm

A few days ago we had a big snowfall overnight and it was so exciting to wake up to snow laden trees and sunshine :-)
I went to an area walkable to us it was so quiet and we made the first snow tracks of the day, it was beautiful.
To be able to to paint that was such a treat. By the end of the painting the sunshine was warming the branches and my subject was disappearing!

My husband who was out taking photo took this one of me.
I was wearing two of everything spot the double coat!

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

#438 'Chilly Brook' 24x30cm

I drove for over an hour trying to find a subject, not easy seeing over the hedge rows and being able to park safely when there's snow on the roads. Really pleased to find this winding stream in the Meon Valley. I adapted the composition a little by making the distant hill snow instead of all woodland, also adding a bit more snow than there was! Mainly monochromatic with a hint of warmth in the bush.

I am feeling happy (and quite tired) after the great snow we had here. Its now melted, having been here for 5 days I made the most of it with 14 paintings started en plein air! but 1/3 not finished - I will post some over the next few days/weeks.

Monday, 4 February 2019

#437 'Dawn, Devils Punch Bowl' 12x12"

Painted en plein air just before the sun came up, I've done this subject before in 2017, very paintable!

Saturday, 2 February 2019

#436 'Snow Pastels' 30x30cm

Just after sunrise when there's still a bit of colour in the sky but no direct light on the scene. It was a few days ago -8 with wind chill, bitter but worth it :-) 
Reminds me of Farrow and Ball colours! Lots of mixed greys - warm and cool. More snow paintings to come!

Thursday, 31 January 2019

#435 'Sunrise, The Grand Canal' 50x50cm

A studio painting developed from a plein air piece. I painted this subject over 15 times, so I know it well and felt comfortable painting it bigger. One for my solo show in May in London!

Plein air study

Sketch book drawing on location (later in the day with more traffic on the water)

Monday, 28 January 2019

#434 'Old Fishing Boat' 24x30cm

I liked the colour combination of this, very Mediterranean looking.  I used my location sketch to help with the composition. Painted with long flat brushes gives a quality to it. The rusty old winch gives an extra element and helps composition. Tried to keep it fresh and bold.

Sketch studying 4 tones

Sunday, 27 January 2019

#433 'Red Sky & Fishing Hut' 24x30cm

This scene was the next bay along from where we were staying. Such a bonus to find a characterful fishing hut and great old boats. 
I sketched it out in the day time but went back the next morning at sunrise to take photos. So I combined the two as I really loved the sky and how everything had a warm reddy tinge.
Sketched on location in sunny Gran Canaria

Thursday, 24 January 2019

#432 'Sunrise, Gran Canaria' x 2

24x30cm Sunrise, Gran Canaria
My husband Nick and I had a week in the sun over the Christmas holidays, a proper break without my paints or his camera. (First one since our honeymoon 4 years ago!)
I did however bring my sketch book, and we were blessed with stunning sunrises from our balcony, I drew it twice, to try and 'learn' the subject ready to paint it back in the studio.
The above painting was my second one which included all the palms. Wonderfull silhouettes and hot colours - different from the UK sunrises especially this time of the year!
Making sure the colours are bight and light but the sun one stage lighter in tone to stand out.
3 tone sketch, studying the silhouetted shapes

First painting 18x24cm, small to practise the colours and shapes

Sketching from the balcony :-)

Friday, 18 January 2019

My First Solo Exhibition!!...Save the Date

New flyer
Just 4 months until my first solo exhibition in London. The time has come around quickly and I am started to feel excited and also think there is so much to do - reminds of planning a wedding!

I've finished designing these 'save the date' flyers and sent them to be printed. I hope you can 'save it' and possibly make the show- it would be great to see you :-)

I will also be getting some PV invites printed nearer the time, if you would like one email me

Took 22 paintings to be framed this week, not easy choosing so many frames at the same time, we have very good framers 'The Artistic Framing Co.' in Waterlooville Hampshire, with 40 years experienced helped! Plus my Mum has a good eye.

I hope to have 50-70 paintings in the show, I need to do more of Landscape and London, thankfully still time to do it!

Monday, 14 January 2019

#431 'Low Winter Sun over The River Hamble' 10x12"

I actually started this painting before the previous post no.430. Having chased the sun and finally found a location and subject, I drew out this composition and mixed some pools of colour. But by then the low sun had changed into sunset colours and more clouds had formed I wanted to capture them on a wider board so abandoned this one. 

I finished the painting in the studio trying to keep the fresh feeling of plein air even though it was from memory and a photo. One way of doing that is deciding on the time of how long you want to paint for - say 90 mins and try and complete the painting in this time.  It means less time to fuss and fiddle and helps to make you decisive and confident with making your marks.

Friday, 11 January 2019

#430 'Sunset Over The River Hamble' & Perseverance

Thank you so much to those who have emailed me and commented re my previous post. It's really good to have feedback as it has been hard to gauge what you think of my blog! 
It seems like the consensus is to carry on with the format I have been doing - paintings and a bit of writing but to also include some informative posts along side the usual painting posts. I am happy to keep going with it :-)

River Hamble
I had made a solid plan for where I would paint - Seascape of Bosham, I'd checked and rechecked the weather forecast, sun and cloud - perfect. Not too much wind and tide was the right level. Picked the boards/canvases that I thought would suit that subject. Left at 1.30pm ready to do two paintings a later afternoon and a sunset.
Work in progress, beautiful sunset!
It was heavy cloud all the way down to the coast. Left which is the Bosham area a thick blanket no sun, right had sun on the horizon, I made the quick decision of turning right, I drove into Portsmouth but decided there wasn't enough sun, so I came back out and went towards Southampton. I knew there was a river a long there having walked some of it with my Mum 10+ years ago.
A friendly security guard at a Marina said walk that way for some good views. I wasn't decked out to be walking and had to dump some of my boards (getting rid of weight) in the car. I walked on a path next to the river it wasn't a great view and I didn't know if it would get any better but decided to persevere as I'd come this far. I went about a mile when the river bent into the direction of the low sun, the clouds had broken up into a wonderful formation and there was the view! So relieved and happy to find something inspiring to paint. 
Although the time was ticking on, I'd mapped out a composition and quickly mixed some paint colour ready, but by then the scene had change too much so I started another this time just painting the sky, after it had changed again I painted the sea and foreground. I finished it in the studio.

Perseverance pays!
When I first drove down to the coast looking at the sky, grey and more grey with a tiny amount of light. But to carry on with the uncertainty of finding a decent subject and to end up painting a new place was definitely worth the angst! It doesn't always end in a positive! Plein air is such a challenge in so many ways and this was just one of them!