Friday, June 28, 2013

São José


 São José, houses on the river, oil on card, 16 x 11 cm

 São José, the river, oil on card, 17.5 x 13 cm

Two from the River Manuim. The textures on the second are nicely varied. Perfect painting weather, warm and sunny.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

A bowl of fruit on a table; protests

A bowl of fruit on a table, oil on card, 18 x 13 cm

Painted today: too wet to go out. A very simple sort of still life painting, mainly to do with yellow.


Brazilians are finally protesting against their incompetent or corrupt political administrators. Good luck to them!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Royal Academy Summer Show 2013

My picture, Rows of Houses, Ituporanga can be most easily seen in the central photo, in the middle in the white frame...and it has sold!


Many thanks to Sonia Murdoch for sending me these pictures

Paintings from Uruguay and Rio Grande de Sul: the set of twenty

 The full set  of twenty pochades from my trip to Uruguay and Rio Grande de Sul. All were painted plein air, oil on card. 

I feel positive about the results of my trip, the success rate was high, but I am quite tired. The next big trip is to the USA, specifically new York and Miami, in October. I need to find a better way of pacing myself: I tend to work intensely in the first week, then flad for the second: it would have been better to take a break every three or four days.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Montevideo, Uruguay- the last painting days of my trip


 Montevideo- the sea, 11 am, from Pocitos, oil on card, 12.5 x 17.5 cm

The final place where I did any painting was Montevideo: a delightful city: I stayed in Pocitos, an elegant amalgam of 19th century and 20th century urban styles, lined with autumn trees.

Mostly the trip was a success: I worked very hard and was quite prolific- there were a few duds but not too many. Travel is tiring and painting are quite intense activities, and after about ten days I started to weary- perhaps I should have paced myself more evenly, allowing more breaks and days off. Stylistically, the pictures went  from tight to loose:  perhaps this was partly a result of falling concentration.

The countryside in Uruguay was more interesting to me, as a painter, than the city of Montevideo. In the country, the feeling of having stepped back in time, the absence of cars and the presence of horses, the little houses, and the wonderful bright winter light, and the way the landscape is open but not featureless all made it a good painting place for me. The weather doesn`t change every half hour from bad to worse as in the UK. And Uruguay feels safe: children don`t throw stones at one as in Arab countries, nor do traders harry one constantly; and there aren`t stray dogs all over the place, or the sense that things are barely in control, as in Brazil. The people are markedly more reserved than in Brazil, though I found them to be very pleasant.


Many thanks to Ricardo Merlinski for his generous hospitality at his elegant apartment in Pocitos: the gardens above are those from his place.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Tacuarembo, Uruguay


 Tacuarembo- a tree, oil on card, 12 x 15 cm

Tacuarembo- a college, oil on card, 11x 15 cm

Tacuarembo- a kiosk in the square, oil on card, 16 x 18 cm

Tacuarembo- in the park, oil on card, 10 x 14.5 cm

After a little hassle (the Brazilian Border office is some way from the Uruguayan) which could have been averted beforehand with a little forethought, I drove along Uruguay's wonderfully empty roads to Tacuarembo, a country city, where I enjoyed painting in the orderly squares and parks, in the exquisite Winter light.

I was, throughout my patch in Uruguay, impressed by the sense of orderliness and tidiness there, the absence of graffiti or public squalor which is so apparent even in wealthier Brazilian cities.

The pictures here are  more freely painted, and those in my final leg, which I`ll show tomorrow were even more so.


I was very nicely treated by people here that I met at the opening of a little exhibition, especially Agustina Bulmii, who prefers to be called Negrita, and whom I wish to thank especially for showing me the murals in the radio station.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Stage three of my Uruguay trip: Livramento / Rivera


 Livramento- by the railway tracks, oil on card, 15 x 11 cm

 Livramento- a street, oil on card, 13 x 14.5 cm

 Livramento- outskirts, oil on card, 9.5 x 12.5 cm

 Livramento- a road in the country, oil on card, 13.5 x 15 cm

The city is called Livramento in Brazil and Rivera on the Uruguayan side, which you know you are entering because of various pryamidical markers and a sense that things are more orderly.

There is an interesting old station, which has been turned into an art centre and a fair amount of decent Art Deco and eclectic architecture. The city is pleasantly hilly, and grid planned, and I enjoyed staying there for 3 days. The countryside around is idyllic, and people use horses extensively- real Gaucho territory. The light is beautiful and as ever I find the outskirts of the town to be most interesting.

I think these paintings are probably the best of the trip: they`re lively but not hysterical, with a nice range of textures and colours.


Many thanks to Carina Benitez for her generous hospitality in her beautiful house in Livramento.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, the second leg of my Uruguay trip

 Santa Maria, a view from Vanancio Aires, oil on card, 15 x 15 cm

Santa Maria is dilapidated, but then so are most Brazilian towns that I`ve seen. And it isn`t without interest.

It has an old station, where I spent a good part of the day painting, and some good churches, including an, obviously British built, Episcopalian (now some sort of Evangelical Protestant). There are such British churches in many cities towards the border with Uruguay, especially in towns with railways.

 Santa Maria, the railway station, oil on card, 18 x 12.5 cm

 Santa Maria- the goods yard, oil on card, 11 x 16 cm

 Santa Maria, behind the station, oil on card,  12 x 15 cm

The church I have depicted is a rather ambitious Roman Catholic one, however:

 Santa Maria, the Catholic Church, oil on card, 17.5 x 13cm

Friday, June 14, 2013

First leg on my Uruguayan trip: São Francisco de Paula (Rio Grande do Sul)


 São Francisco de Paula, residential sttreet, oil on card, 15 x 12 cm  

 São Francisco de Paula, lakeside, oil on card, 12 x 14 cm

 São Francisco de Paula, road out of town, oil on card, 12.5 x 18 cm  SOLD

São Francisco de Paula, two travellers, oil on card, 13 x 15.5 cm


 I`d driven through here before on my way to Gramado, and back and thought, "now this is interesting", in contrast to Gramado`s Walt Disney consumer Alpine, this is a lovely working city with it`s own atmosphere, well maintained with elegant lakes and good wooden domestic architecture.

Pity that I got bitten by a dog on the road out of town, above, where there is slum housing, You know you are still in the third world when there are dogs all over the place, something I didn`t see in Uruguay.


The lakeside picture owes something to Klimt, with water on a square format. The last two relate to Corot. Nineteenth century painting, especially that which tackles themes of travel and exploration is very important to me, and there are whole schools that deal with this that are commonly ignored in standard British Art histories- most obviously the Russians and Americans.