Tag Archives: Amalfi coast Italy

Warm sunshine from one of my sketchbooks….

Given the autumn like weather we are experiencing at the moment, I thought I would re blog this post to remind us all that summer is just around the corner………

The following images are from one of the many sketchbooks I have filled over the years.   They show moments in my life when I was sitting in warm summer sunshine…doing what I enjoy most …which is to commune with nature and paint.

Waterlilies painted at Monet’s Garden, Giverny.   


A special July 4th spent with fellow artists Mariethe Salort and Bonnie Halsey Dutton at Couriers sur Sein, France.     Watercolour/gouache. 


Looking down onto the rooftops of Geberoy, France and across the beautiful countryside of Picardie.  watercolour/gouache. 


Houses in Geberoy, Picardie.   Watercolour/gouache. 


Monet’s garden at Giverny, France.  A very special moment when I was sitting alone in the garden on a beautiful early summer’s evening.   watercolour/gouache. 


From a boat in the harbour at Kinsale, Ireland.   watercolour/gouache


From Conca dei Marini on the magnificent Amalfi Coast, Italy.   watercolour/goache.


It’s always lovely to re visit my sketchbooks, because they take me back to a moment in time.

Clearly during all these moment, the hummingbirds were weaving their magic.


A Bientôt

Chance encounters, social networks, and interconnectedness.

About fourteen years ago, when I was living in Wales…..on what was a cold, grey winter’s day, I was sitting alone on a bench at the Cardiff railway station waiting for the train to take me to Abergavenny.      A young woman sat next to me, and we smiled at one another……and then we began to chat.

The young woman’s name was Fran and she was on her way to meet her husband who was working in England.     Although a brief encounter, we sensed a connection and exchanged contact details…..and then went our merry ways.

At this point, I must explain why I am breaking up the text in this story with images from Italy.     Fran, was born in Sardinia…..and later in the story, more of the Italian connection will be revealed.

All the photographs shown here are from the beautiful Amalfi Coast, Italy – not Sardinia but close enough in colour and atmosphere.  




Sometime after our first encounter we did re-connect.   Fran and her husband Neil, and their children came to visit me in Crickhowell, (The Magical Town of Crickadoon), and I visited them in Cardiff – we became friends.    


Fast forward to 2008 when I first started to write my blog, and dipped my toes into the waters of social media.      

Once I became active on FB, I of course connected with Fran…..but here’s where the small world stuff really begins to come into play. 



Simultaneously I met a woman through FB named Creola….who happens to be from Sardinia.    We connected because our our love of colour and painting…..and for quite a long time have enjoyed a virtual friendship.      

Several months ago, Creola said she would be visiting London in February…(at this point I must explain that Creola speaks no English and my knowledge of Italian is limited to say the very least)……however, I have always found  it easier to communicate through imagery and this was clearly the case for Creola, and when in doubt internet translation helped a great deal. 

In our world of pigeon English and Italian, I understood that Creola and her (son) would be staying in an hotel in London.

Then, what was seemingly out of the blue to me, my friend Fran, e mailed to say that Creola would be visiting them in Wales and hopefully they would all come to London on Friday 7th to meet with me.    

This was the first time that I realised there was some sort of a connection between Fran and Creola……!



On Friday afternoon, Fran, her husband Neil, Creola and her husband Ceasera (not son) arrived at my little flat, and we proceeded to have much fun.     

It turned out that Fran and Ceola had gone to school together and have known one another since early childhood!    It also turned out that Fran speaks Italian fluently, and so was the translator for the evening.     Ceasera’s English was pretty good, and all in all  we connected once again through music, art, colour, laughter, gestures, and so on…..oh and a little Sardinian dancing thrown in the mix. 



I have been fortunate in my life to experience many ‘six degrees of separation’ moments, but thought this was a particularly lovely one to share. 

We are all now planning a painting spree in Sardinia….watch this space. 

A Bientôt


Text for Landscape Tutorial

I painted this image on the magnificent Amalfi Coast, Italy.

Frame 1

For this sketch I am working on a cadmium orange ground which I apply at least 24 hours before use.   Because I am working on a colour ground, I am using a watercolour/gouache mix.     Gouache is an opaque water medium with excellent coverage.   I love the mix of transparent watercolour with opaque gouache.

Frame 2

Using a burnt sienna/Prussian blue mix I indicate the darks of the composition, and also begin to move some of the other colours around the painting.

Frame 3

Using designer gouache permanent white, I now begin to add the lightest areas of the painting, and continue to move other colours around the image to bring a sense of harmony and cohesion.

Frame 4 – Final image.

Mixing transparent watercolour and opaque gouache and working on colour grounds will be explored during the workshop in Portugal

The workshop is for all levels, including total beginners.   For more information go to. http://www.artinthealgarve.com.

A Bientot.