Cornish paradise

Well, I seem to publish once a season in here. I need to catch up with the current one before November is over!

Though Christmas is approaching I’ll write a nostalgic post about the summer gone. We went to Cornwall 5 times this year due to family circumstances, and I couldn’t miss a day there without a drawing. This beautiful country just turns my artistic button on! And since we were there last time in August I haven’t picked a paint brush. The button is on ‘off’ position. Magic!

You should visit Cornwall at least once in your lifetime! Put it down onto your New Year’s resolution list. 😉


Silvery winter sketching

The winter here in the UK is almost never white, but very grey – lots and lots of various combinations of this colour. As if someone had slid a Saturation bar down (though not all the way to the end) in a Photo-editor.  And I love it! Especially by the sea. All you have to do is divide the piece of paper with a horizontal line and paint both halves a different grey, usually a colder one in the sky and a warmer one of the sea (or vice versa on a sunny day but that’s rare 😉). Then the sea has various gradations within its colour. All very subtle, like in a pearl.

It can be an endless exercise of detecting the relationship between the greys above the horizon and below it, darker/lighter, bluer, greener etc. Plus the light changes all the time. Beautiful.

To cut the long story short, all my latest pictures are grey.

Each picture has a location in it’s caption.

This is a Russian poem, but it coveys the mood very well.

И небо и серое море
Уходят в немую безбрежность.
Так в сердце и радость и горе
Сливаются в тихую нежность.

Другим – бушевания бури
И яростный ропот прибоя.
С тобой – бесконечность лазури
И ясные краски покоя.

На отмель идут неизбежно
И гаснут покорные волны.
Так думы с беспечностью нежной
Встречают твой образ безмолвный.

Валерий Брюсов

Holidays in Poldark country. Week 2.

Cornwall’s countryside hasn’t changed in centuries. In few places farm fields still have divisions formed throughout the Iron Age and are preserved to this day. The feeling that you are on earth as it was created never leaves you, when you’re staring into the sea from a coastal path. Also I haven’t seen such beautiful wild flowers anywhere else on the South coast (though I haven’t travelled very much). They are so soft and tender.

Here are some pictures from our second week in West Cornwall.

A6, 12x24cm and 17x24cm albums, watercolours and occasional markers use on paper.

Holidays in Poldark country. Week 1

I’m a month behind to publish this post, but it’s better late than never.

We spent two weeks in St Ives, Cornwall, at the beginning of August. My husband grew up there and we go for holidays to this blessed place every year. Those of you, who have been watching Poldark, know how breathtakingly beautiful it is. For some reason, I never knew how to paint it all these years before and used to just enjoy the views and the air and the space as an average tourist. But this year, something opened up and I couldn’t stop painting. 2-3 pictures every day.

Watching the season 3 of Poldark, mentioned above, also filled this place for me with live history and charm and that Drake/Morwenna romance couldn’t get out of my heart.

So here are some pictures from the holidays. Watercolours on paper. I painted small – from A6, 12x24cm and 17x24cm albums.

…to be continued..

7×5 inch sketchbook

I was looking for a Thesaurus dictionary the other day and found this old watercolour sketchbook amongst the books. I didn’t think much of these pictures when I painted them, but now, 15 years later (was it really so long ago??) they brought back some sweet memories. Most of them were painted in St Ives, Cornwall (around my husband’s favourite beach, Porthmeor, where he spent all his childhood and youth). This was my first ever summer break there. We’ve been visiting every year since then.

Last couple of pictures were done in Winchester, where we live now.

Trip to London

Our oldest daughter (Yr. 7) had an inset day at school today, so impromptu we decided to have a day out in London. It was quiet in the centre – not so many tourists, or traffic.. perhaps, following yesterday’s events, or maybe that’s normal for a Thursday afternoon during term time?

Our main destination was the National Gallery. I wanted her to see some of my favourite artists, and I limited them to 4: Van Gogh, Holbein, Velasquez and Vermeer. These artists chose to be represented only by 1 (Vermeer) to 3-4 pictures at the Gallery, so our visit was a concentrated and a fairly short one. But I enjoyed saying Hello to my ‘old friends’, Sofia seemed interested too. Her favourite was Holbein.

A browse in Japan Centre supermarket followed, and then we both got lost in Piccadilly Waterstones bookshop until it was time to head back.

On the train to London we both drew. Sofia did a good one of me. We used SpectrumAqua pens, each colour has dual ends – a very thin and a brushy one.

Gymnastics hour – sketches

On Monday evenings my girls do gymnastics, so I have an hour of waiting, when I can do (on not do) whatever. It’s like waiting at the airport – an ‘in-between’ time. There’s a whole row of us, parents, like me, who are hung in this waiting suspense for an hour at the viewing gallery, and some of them make good still models, thanks to the modern technology devices. These are A6 size.

St Ives holidays – sketchbook

Following yesterday’s post about St Ives holidays in Postcards I’ll complete it with the rest of the drawings made then. These should have made it onto my fine art site, but I find that one somehow cumbersome to update..

St Ives Holidays in hand drawn postcards

This was back in August 2016, but since this blog is only couple of weeks old, it may  just as well be ‘fatten up’ on some past (but not ancient) material.

I started to carry blank postcards with me in my backpack last year, and I love it! You can catch the memento and post a quick hello to a friend anytime. Even my children started to join me in drawing them, when we are on a walk or a day trip. Most of these end up in a pile on our shelf, but some made it to other people’s postboxes and even walls!

Here is a little glimpse of our family holidays in St Ives, Cornwall (where my husband is from).

St Ives
First day – rain. View from the top room in my parents-in-law’s house
Lamorna Cove coastal path. Our oldest’ second name is Lamorna – we had to visit this place…
Porthmeor beach – the best beach in the world.
G and D on the beach. Watercolours and Spectrum Aqua pens.
My husband’s sister requested a postard with all our children in it – here she got it. Marazion, near Penzance.
D at Tintagel Castle, on a bench, devoted to beloved sister Maureen.
Daughter S reading. Godrevy.
Daughter G on Porthmeor beach. Last day of holidays.
Husband B near Man’s Head, St Ives.