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Thursday, 31 October 2013

The Shard & Tower Bridge, LONDON

The lower image took me 4 hours on a jetty sticking out into the Thames last Saturday 26 October. I spent at least half of that sheltering from the rain and galeforce gusts. I finally packed it in when a mini tornado sucked the plastic lining out of a bin in front of me, sending 2 empty bottles of beer crashing onto the pavings frightening the b'jesus out of me! I was hiding under my umbrella at the time and didn't realise what was happening - I thought there was an express train coming. The umbrella I've had in my sketching rucksack for the last 7 or 8 years is no more, deceased, turned completely inside out.  I completed the drawing at home.


Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Friday 25th October, London again. Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, West London. Friends inside inspecting the exhibits, me outside sketching the front porch!

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

St Barts, London

Guess who's been on their travels again! South-west entrance to the Priory Church of St Bartholomew the Great opposite Smithfield Market, London. Really picturesque church especially internally. Had a nice coffee in the cloisters. I sketched this from a convenient wooden seat while our group of 6 friends visited St Barts Museum behind me. Must draw the church itself when I have more time.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Siena - the Duomo - first view

Our first view of the Siena Duomo as we round the corner from the Basilica de San Domenico with a large Tuscan cypress tree on the left..... work in progress.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Our granddaughter modelling her loungewear.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Peppa Pig

2 year old granddaughter's favourite character - Peppa Pig - she's a very bossy little piglet.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

More Thomas

More Thomas the Tank Engine - this time with Tuscan cypress trees on the horizon - influenced by our recent trip to the Italy!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Daughter & granddaughter visit

Guess who's got their 2 year old granddaughter visiting from Colorado Springs! Her favo(u)rite stories are Thomas the Tank Engine. Managed to appropriate her crayons for a couple of minutes before she insisted that "me do it"! It's so good to have her and our daughter with us - Facetime is good but can't replace Realtime! 

Sunday, 13 October 2013

My full painting kit revealed

I'm not really suffering for my Art or praying - this is an action shot of me enjoying myself - finishing off my sketch of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence - in the shade of the arches supporting the Ufizzi Gallery overlooking the Arno. I see the skin on my head has almost finished growing through my hair..... and I still think I'm only sixteen!

Volterra, Tuscany, Italy, last sketch

Friday afternoon, 4rd October, Volterra, Tuscany. My last sketch in Tuscany. The Palazzo dei Priori from the Via dei Marchesi. Incredibly built in 1239. The top tower was strange to draw - it was a pentagon. The shaded piazza in front of the Palazzo was my favourite spot to have a lazy coffee and watch the world go by. No photos of me drawing this time - my beautiful assistant, wife and camera operator finally cracked - she went shopping! Saturday - flight home - goodbye Italy - will I ever return?

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Volterra, Tuscany, Italy

Friday, 4rd October, Volterra, Tuscany - centre for alabaster products - we saw many tiny workshops with crafts-persons busy sculpting and scraping away. We had a free day (no more guided tours). Our last lunch - this time at Osteria la Paca near Porta a Selci looking up the Via Don Mizoni. As usual in Mediterranean countries it wasn't long before someone parked a car in a "no parking" zone completely blocking my view.... no problem, I stood up and finished the drawing from the middle of the road. We stayed 4 nights in Volterra which was my second favourite place in Tuscany - so bellisimo! Wouldn't mind being locked in at this town and being at 1700 feet above sea level I might be able to cope with Italian temperatures. It's even higher than our little home village high above Sheffield.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Siena, Tuscany, Italy

Thursday, 3rd October, Siena, Tuscany. After a hard morning's guided tour we found the Ristorante San Desiderio for lunch at a shaded table in the open air - and a quick sketch of the Belltower to the Duomo.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Piazza Cisterna, San Gimignano, Tuscany

San Gimignano - I think this was my favourite place of many extremely bellisimo places in beautiful Tuscany. Wednesday 2 October, I was sitting on top of the cistern which I think was built originally to store water to resist those sieges the pesky Florentinians were pretty good at.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Italy, Firenze, Ponte Vecchio

Tuesday afternoon 1 October - Florence. Life was too short to join the queues for the Uffizi Gallery so, instead, I sketched the Ponte Vecchio from the upstream side. That's me in the top photo drawing the bridge in pen. It was so hot and sunny I painted the scene in the shade of the arches supporting the Uffizi. I didn't have my stool so I had to kneel on the pavement (see bottom photo). My wife was on camera again - she hates long queues as well!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Palazzo Veccio, Florence, Italy

Tuesday morning 1 October. Florence - Palazzo Veccio (the Town Hall). Me and my cappuccino outside the Birreria restaurant. There were quite a lot of tourists in this beautiful Piazza (della Signoria). That's David to the left of the main door opening

Monday, 7 October 2013

Italy, Tuscany, Pisa

Tuscany again - Sunday afternoon 29 September - Pisa. Had to paint this one sitting on a stone post surrounded by people being photographed "holding up" the leaning tower. We had flown into Pisa airport the previous day (see the plane to the right of the tower) and had spent the night in Florence before being driven back to Pisa via Lucca. 

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Tuscany - Lucca

Here it is - my dream come true - I'm in Tuscany! Sunday 29 September - Piazza San Michele, Lucca. Torrential rain all morning so I painted this one from under cover outside a nice little café. I'm going to have to re-visit this picturesque town..... one day! It did get better.

More Pastels

Heeley Art Club meeting 24 September again. I was doodling and dreaming of my first visit to Tuscany on 28 September. First image is my idea of a Tuscan landscape. Second image is my idea of Siena Cathedral - as it turned out my first sight of it (as we passed the Basilica di san Domenico) was remarkably similar - I should have added a dome!

Pastel paintings

Heeley Art Club Sheffield meeting Tuesday evening 24 September. The theme for the meeting was working outside your comfort zone - using a media you don't normally use - pastels in my case!