Sunday, 31 May 2015

Hidden Away

Yesterday  was another day out with the Urban Sketchers group in Palermo and a chance to try out my new  pocket field sketch box.

The appointment was at the Castello di Maredolce, a place I had only heard about but never visited. Not so strange as even people who live in the area don't even know it exists.
Maredolce is what is left of a 9th century Arab palace, subsequently taken by the Normans.
It originally stood in its own parkland with a large lake and island, hence the name Maredolce (sweet sea), and is hidden away in one of the poorest and most difficult parts of  the city, behind ugly urbanisation, rather like an oasis in the desert.

It was quite hot so I chose my first view from under the shade of a tree, with my back to what is left of the lake.

The castle has only recently been renovated and they are constantly digging up relics, the man with the keys showed us the little room where they are stored.

Part of the building had been used as a church and I sketched looking up into the tower or what was once a minaret.

Then it was back outside for one last sketch.

I was trying to imagine what the original arab palace looked like and I found this illustration of King FedericoII in a later period.


...and my new field box? I'll save that for another post!

Sunday, 24 May 2015

This week catching up...

I've been trying out some different sketches of lemons in watercolour in readiness for a small oil painting.  It was refreshing to use a different medium for a change. I love watercolours but I have to be in the right mood otherwise I just make mud!

This is one of my small oil paintings (20x20cms), it's my ginger cat sleeping amongst the roses.  Great place to nap don't you think?

Monday, 11 May 2015

Gone Fishing!

20x20cms oil on mdf wood

Living on an island has it's advantages and you are never too far from the sea.  Luckily I love painting the sea and fishing boats and often the harbour and fishing villages are a great source of inspiration.
In this painting I wanted to capture a white boat bobbing in the sea and the bright reflected light.

20x20cms oil on mdf board

Here in the late afternoon a boat is pulled up onto the beach, but if you hang around long enough you can see the fishermen set off for a night's fishing, and if you get there early in the morning if you can buy some freshly caught fish!


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