England and Wales

Plein air painting of a painter in the Woodford valley in Wiltshire.

Hazel Morgan painting the Woodford valley. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

Here are some images of plein air landscape paintings from this month in England and Wales. I was teaching a weekend plein air workshop in London for LARA, and then a week-long course in Wales for the Welsh Academy of Art. In the interim I painted with my old friend Hazel Morgan in the countryside around Salisbury.

Plein air painting of cows in Lower Woodford.

Woodford Cows. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painting of fields in Wiltshire.

Late Afternoon by the Avon. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painting of Salisbury Cathedral.

Salisbury Cathedral. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

One thing I love about painting in the UK is how many talented plein air painters there are to meet up, talk shop, and paint with. While in Wiltshire (and Dorset) I had a couple of painting afternoons with Charles Church and Oliver Akers Douglas.

Plein air painting of a painter on the cliffs in Dorset.

Charles Church painting cliffs in Dorset. 30 x 20 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painting of the Durdle Door in Dorset.

The Durdle Door, 35 x 25 cm, oil on panel.

plein air painting of barley fields above Tisbury in Wiltshire.

Barley fields above Tisbury. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

I intend to write a blog post about techniques for painting in the rain, and hoped to test new gear in the UK. Unfortunately we had very little rain, and blue skies for much of the time. I’ll have to wait for the Italian autumn to try my new set-up.

Plein air painting of sheep in Wales.

Sheep on a Welsh Hillside. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painting of children playing under a tree.

Children playing under a tree. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painting of Narrowboats on the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal

Narrowboats. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painting of Tretower in Wales.

Tretower Morning. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Painting studies of a Patterdale and Whippet

Patterdale and Whippet studies. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Painting of cows in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales.

Brecon Beacons cows. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Lastly, here a couple of paintings from my weekend in London. I painted with Roy Connelly and scouted extensively for views with both Roy and Julian Merrow-Smith.

Plein air painting of the Prince Albert Bridge in London.

Prince Albert Bridge, 30 x 20 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painting of Cleopatra's Needle in London.

Cleopatra’s Needle on the Embankment. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Short Tuscan Trip

Plein air portrait of a Tuscan farmer with his chickens.

Mario and his Chickens. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Here, quickly, are a few small paintings from last week in Tuscany. I was there doing some organizational stuff, and didn’t have a lot of time to paint. I was also enjoying a bit of a break after all my work for the South Carolinian show in May.

Portrait of a young girl in a Tuscan farmhouse.

Portrait of a Young Girl. 35 x 25 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painting of a painter in Tuscany.

Ben Painting at the Torricella. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air self portrait.

Outdoor Self Portrait. 35 x 25 cm, oil on panel.

I painted only portraits and still-lifes. As I’ve wrtten before, the Chianti region of Italy is one of the most beautiful places in the world to visit, but the ‘big views’ aren’t great for plein air painting. The small olive trees make for poor compositional elements, the hills are too close together, and the ubiquitous vineyards consist of parallel lines, which landscape painters do best to avoid.

Plein air painting of an espresso with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Affogato. 20 x 15 cm, oil on panel.

Plein air painting of a Florentine steak.

Fiorentina. 25 x 35 cm, oil on panel.

Still life of peaches and ice cream.

Peaches and Ice Cream. 20 x 30 cm, oil on panel.

Lowcountry Plein Air Paintings Part 2

Plein air painting of morning light on the North Santee Delta.

Morning Light, North Santee Delta. 11 x 14 in., oil on linen.

Here is the second batch of my South Carolinian Lowcountry landscape paintings. These were all painted on a plantation in the North Santee River Delta about an hour north of Charleston.

Plein air painting of a road in a marsh in the South Carolina Lowcountry.

Road in the Marsh. 43 x 35 in., oil on linen.

While the weather was good most of the time, the biting flies made working impossible anywhere except out on the dykes in the marshes. And there I had a lot of alligators watching while I painted. It was also pretty windy, so I was using a 4×4 as a windblock for some of the larger pieces (and as an alligator block too as I don’t trust large wild animals, even if the locals all said it was safe).

Plein air painting of rice trunks in the North Santee River delta.

Rice Trunks. 31 x 39 inches., oil on linen.

Plein air painting of birdhouses.

Swallow Boxes. 12 x 8 in., oil on linen.

For the above painting I used a new rain-bonnet I made for my carbon fiber easel. When I have a second I wanted to do a blog post on plein air painting in pouring rain.

Plastic cover for landscape painting in the rain.

Rain bonnet for plein air painting in rain.

Plein air painting of an overcast day on Minim Creek, North Santee Delta.

Gray Day, Minim Creek. 8 x 12 in., oil on linen.

Plein air painting of sunset on Minim Creek.

Minim Creek Sunset. 11 x 14 in., oil on linen.

Plein air landscape painting of twilight in the North Santee River delta.

Twilight, Rochelle. 8 x 12 in., oil on linen.

These are all for my exhibition opening this Friday at Ann Long Fine Art in Charleston.

Lowcountry Plein Air Paintings Part 1

Plein air painting of dawn in a Marsh in the Lowcountry, South Carolina.

Dawn on the Marsh. 11 x 14 in., oil on linen.

Here are the paintings from my second week of painting in South Carolina. These are also for my show with Ann Long Fine Art in Charleston on the 27th of May.

The paintings were done en plein air on a farm an hour south of Charleston on the Toogoodoo Creek, outside the town of Hollywood, SC. I didn’t leave the farm for a week as I find I can get much more work done if I’m not scouting over great distances. When I start driving and looking for views I find way too much to paint, and can never settle on something.

Plein air painting of a creek off of the Toogoodoo.

Creek Study. 14 x 11 in., oil on linen.

Plein air landscape painting of mist rising on a farm in South Carolina.

Mist, Ashe Farm. 8 x 12 in,. oil on linen.

Plein air painting of dawn on the Toogoodoo Creek.

Toogoodoo Dawn. 8 x 12 in., oil on linen.

The Lowcountry is flat and either marsh or live oak and pine forests. The get a ton of water here so the oaks get massive and are really beautiful subjects for paintings.

Large painting of an abandoned oak alley in South Carolina.

The Old Oak Alley. 31 x 39 in., oil on linen.

I worked on larger plein air pieces as I had a fair amount of time on location. The weather was also wonderfully stable for most of the trip.

Plein air landscape painting of large oak trees on a farm in South Carolina's Lowcountry.

The Cathedral. 35 x 43 in., oil on linen.

Plein air painting of large oak trees.

Study for The Cathedral. 8 x 12 in., oil on linen.

Plein air painting of a large oak tree.

Large Oak Study. 8 x 12 in., oil on linen.

Plein air painting of Elliot's Point on the Toogoodoo.

From Elliot’s Point. 8 x 12 in., oil on linen.

Plein air painting of burning stumps on a farm.

Burning Stumps. 8 x 12 in., oil on linen.

Plein air painting of burning stumps on a farm.

Burning Stumps #2. 11 x 14 in., oil on linen.

Plein air painting of afternoon shadows on a lowcountry creek in South Carolina.

Afternoon Shadows. 35 x 43 in., oil on linen.

Plein air painting of twilight on the Toogoodoo Creek, Hollywood, South Carolina.

Toogoodoo Twilight. 21 x 27 in., oil on linen.

Charleston, South Carolina Paintings

Plein air painting of Queen Street in Charleston, SC.

Queen Street, Sunday Morning. 12 x 8 in., oil on linen.

Plein air painting of morning sun from the Battery in Charleston, SC

Morning Light from the Battery. 8 x 12 in., oil on linen.

I’m currently in Charleston, South Carolina painting for my exhibition on the 27th at Ann Long Fine Art. Here are some of the paintings from the first week.

Plein air landscape painting of Broad Street in Charleston SC.

After the Rain, Broad Street. 12 x 8 in., oil on linen.

Charleston is one of the most beautiful cities in the US. The food is great and the people are all very friendly. It’s a great place to visit and to paint.

Plein air landscape painting of White Point Gardens in Charleston, SC.

White Point Gardens. 8 x 12 in., oil on linen.

Plein air painting of Broad Street, Charleston SC.

Broad Street. 11 x 14 in., oil on linen.

Many of the streets down where I’m working run close to east to west. Combined with the position of the sun this time of year, the north-facing shadows barely change length for the greater part of the day. Which means I have much longer to work on any north-facing subject.

Plein air painting of a garden in Charleston, SC

Garden in Charleston. 8 x 12 in., oil on linen.

Plein air landscape painting of a sidewalk in Charleston SC.

Sidewalk, Meeting Street. 8 x 12 in., oil on linen.

Plein air painting of Longitude Lane in Charleston, SC.

Longitude Lane. 11 x 14 in., oil on linen.

The weather has been great, very Californian with the cool breeze and warm sun. It has been windy though so many of my paintings are on smaller linen-on-panel boards.

Oil painting of Tina taking a break in the afternoon.

Afternoon Break. 8 x 12 in., oil on linen.

Plein air painting of the evening light in Charleston, SC.

Evening Light. 12 x 8 in., oil on linen.

Plein air painting of the palm trees on Church Street in Charleston, SC.

Church Street Palms. 12 x 8 in., oil on linen.

I have some larger work still in progress and I’ll update when they’re finished. I’m off to the countryside this morning to paint more of the Lowcountry.