Friday 21 December 2012

Season greetings

Wishing everyone very happy holidays and best wishes for a healthy, happy, creative & successful 2013. Thank you for checking in to my seaside studio and for all your support throughout the last twelve months. I look forward to seeing you in the new year.

                                                                                                                Best wishes Lisa x

Urchin tree watercolour ©2012Lisa Le Quelenec

Wednesday 19 December 2012

Beach Life - a triptych

Beach Life       50.5x21.5cm mounted       ©2012LisaLeQuelenec

I love painting these little watercolour studies. I was thinking about framing and ways of presenting them for exhibition and thought I would try them out in a mount as a triptych. Usually I paint these studies on  Khadi  handmade paper but these were on a different paper (not sure which but it is more like a usual watercolour paper) I quite like seeing them as a collection but what do you think?

Monday 17 December 2012

Seahorse studies

Seahorse studies   pencil & watercolour A3   ©2012Lisa Le Quelenc

I'd forgotten about some photos that I had taken some years ago at an aquarium of these little fellows. I stumbled across them recently and whilst the photographs were a little out of focus and dark there was just enough information coupled with memory to produce this couple of studies.

They are such beautiful, graceful and shy creatures. I wish I could remember where I saw them so that I could go back again to observe them.

Wednesday 12 December 2012

Sea fan pen and ink

           Sea Fan sketch pen and ink ©2012Lisa Le Quelenec         

It feels like a long time since I last posted, so much has been going on. I've not had much time over the last week to do any work that I could post but I did grab some time for sketching a sea fan. I turned to pen and ink as I haven't used this medium for a while and I love the sensitivity of a dip pen. Whilst drawing I was struck by the amazing efficiency of the structure of the sea fan. The flatness and the way the fronds rarely overlap managing to form a very efficient net to filter it's food from the water. I think I could learn some lessons in efficiency from the sea fan.... (note to self; one thing at a time, one direction at a time and go with the flow....)

Monday 3 December 2012

From the dunes

From the Dunes   30x30cm acrylic on canvas   ©2012LisaLeQuelenec

With all the rain, the flooding and the sudden drop in temperature over the last couple of weeks I have been dreaming of summer. Particularly sitting on the beach at shell bay and watching the tide. I felt like I deserved a little warmth, sunshine and rest after the hectic time spent with getting exhibitions together and so indulged myself - this is the result. Some people don't like blue paintings for the cold feeling that it gives them. These soft blues always make me think the opposite. I get transported to the feeling of summer heat.

Every time that I paint a view like this I seem to be honing down and painting less and less detail. A part of me wonders if I will get to a point where there is no realistic point of reference and I end with paintings of nothing but colour and light. Something for me to ponder going forward I think.

Thursday 29 November 2012

Light, space and time

Silver birch moon   30x40cm acrylic on canvas ©2012 Lisa Le Quelenec

I've just found out that both paintings I entered into the Red House Museum's open exhibition have been accepted. The subject for this years show was 'Light, Space and Time' and I submitted Silver Birch Moon and True Blue.

I'm looking forward to seeing the show when it opens on Saturday as I'm sure there will be a wonderful mix of work as in previous years. It's always interesting to see how a group of artists using different media and sources respond to the same theme. The exhibition runs until 26th January and details about the opening times of the museum can be found here.

True Blue acrylic on canvas 30x60cm © Lisa Le Quelenec

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Just for fun

Nigel   watercolour 11x8cm   ©2012Lisa Le Quelenec

Can you help? This cute and colourful little fellow is Nigel who is looking for his forever home. He feels that he would suit a situation with a young family, perhaps within their nursery as he is wonderful with children and enjoys watching their fun and games. He's kinda cute, upbeat, fun, house trained and impeccably well mannered.

If you could help Nigel  find his forever home please click here.

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Acorns watercolour study

Acorn study watercolour 15x21cm ©2012Lisa Le Quelenec

Continuing from yesterday's drawing I thought I would do a watercolour version to add to my series of nature studies. I added a few leaves to show a bit more depth in this version. I love doing these little studies they feel like a record of my strolls around the local area. When I look back at them I remember where I was when I found that particular little treasure. My magpie eyes get attracted by these little objects.

The painting is available here on Etsy.

Monday 19 November 2012

From my pocket

Acorns coloured pencil 18x24cm ©2012Lisa Le Quelenec

Ooooops! Look what I found in my jacket pocket that I had forgotten all about. I'm pretty sure that I picked these up on a walk in Throop in early October. The colour of the acorns has mellowed into a beautiful amber, quite different to the fresh green that initially caught my eye when I picked them up. They have shrunk considerably too, the acorns rattling around in their cups.

It's only whilst looking at them so closely that I have seen the delicate wine/purple edging the grey scales of the cups. Perfect against the amber. These colours will be a page in my colour notebook as swatches for a future painting.

Thursday 15 November 2012

Sketching gulls

Watching the gulls gliding past and trying to sketch is quite a challenge. Sometimes they are just too quick! When they try to go against a strong wind it makes life much easier for sketching practice.

I like the energy of line drawings. The more detailed ones I did with the help of a couple of photos. Funny how you think you know something because you have seen it so many times before and then when you start to draw find that you haven't looked properly enough. A reminder to keep my drawing eyes open ALL the time.

gulls pencil sketches ©2012Lisa Le Quelenec
gulls pencil sketches ©2012Lisa Le Quelenec

Monday 12 November 2012

Awaiting the tide

Awaiting the tide   23x23cm watercolour    ©2012Lisa Le Quelenec

I love the patterns left by the tide in the sand. The ripples where water collects, reflecting the sky, makes a lovely contrast in tone with the darker sand especially during the early evening as the light mellows and shadows turn purple hued.

This painting is included in the Hayloft Gallery Christmas show. The exhibition is open until 20th December and is open 10 - 4pm.

Thursday 8 November 2012

A slice of summer

A slice of summer   20x30cm acrylic on canvas ©2012LisaLeQuelenec 

A little slice of summer....

I didn't really have an end in mind painting this one, I was just enjoying the colour  and light too much. Usually there are sketchbook plans, thumbnails of colour, tone, composition etc Sometimes it feels good to cut loose and free style.

Saturday sees the opening of the Christmas Exhibition at the Hayloft Gallery in Christchurch. The exhibition is open from 10am - 4pm until the 20th December and there will be a wealth of art and crafts that are perfect for Christmas gifts.

Saturday 3 November 2012

Evening sail

So much can change minute to minute or less at this time of day. What a challenge to paint and try to capture it! I painted these from a group of sketches, photos and memories that I made at the beach in Southbourne during the summer. All the work done on site is invaluable during the winter months when it is too wet to get outside. The rich store of information sees me through the winter.

Evening Sail I 10x10cm acrylic on canvas ©2012LisaLeQuelenec

Evening Sail II 10x10cm acrylic on canvas ©2012LisaLeQuelenec

Wednesday 31 October 2012


Midnight Stroll  acrylic on board 16x11cm  ©2012 Lisa Le Quelenec

I posted about this painting earlier in the year but thought I would re post it as it seems fitting for Halloween. It is available to buy in my Etsy store  here  .

Best wishes to everyone who has seen through the terrible storm in the US and Canada. I'm thinking of you and hoping that everyone has made it through safely. The footage that I have seen on the news is just awful. Stay safe everyone and happy Halloween.

Sunday 28 October 2012

Cloud Watching

Cloud Watching   11x11cm acrylic on board   ©2012LisaLeQuelenec

A tiny painting to peer into.

Thursday 25 October 2012

Blazing glory

Blazing Glory   11x11cm acrylic on board   ©2012LisaLeQuelenec

In my garden I have a little collection of trees, most of them are in pots to contain their size and they grow happily enough. Amongst the collection are acers (Japanese maples), an olive, a lemon, a eucalyptus, an acacia, and the latest - a lovely gingko that His Nibbs treated me to for my birthday. I find the different leaf shapes and textures of the barks and colours inspiring. Each tree has it's own time in the spotlight whilst the others wait to take their turn.  At this time of year the acers really come into their own glowing like jewels.

The painting below isn't of my garden (I wish!) it from a place called Hillier's Arboretum  in Hampshire where His Nibbs and I went for a visit. It's magical at this time of year. My treasure bag of beautiful leaves was full to the brim. It's most definitely worth a visit if you are in the area and whether you stop to sketch or not can take up a whole day.

Despite the specimens that I picked up that day it's the acer leaf from my garden that I decided to paint.

The pond at Hillier's Arboretum  ©2012LisaLeQuelenec

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Leaf study

Leaf study coloured pencil in a Daler Rowney cachet sketchbook ©2012LisaLeQuelenec

Sometimes the fifteen minute walk to the post office and back can take double or triple that time. This time of year makes it especially long as there are so many of these beauties to pick and choose from on the way. Each specimen seems so much more jewel-like than the last and before you know it your treasure bag (I always have a freezer bag in my pocket or bag for this purpose) is full to the brim. Yesterday was one such day and here is the result. It's amazing to me how fleeting their beauty is - over night this little leaf has dried out, faded and I can see more decay.

During this trip to the post office I also found a pair of acorns that had been stashed in my pocket a couple of weeks ago...... squirrel like? Me?

Thursday 18 October 2012

A heavy rain is about to fall

A heavy rain is about to fall   watercolour on paper   17x17cm   ©2012Lisa Le Quelenec

I was waiting for the next bout of heavy rain and looking back over some sketches I'd done a few weeks ago. Out came the dark watercolours again. I'm still using Daler ivory black, Winsor & Newton neutral tint and Winsor & Newton paynes grey with small additions of other colours on rough paper. The paint can sometimes granulate too much but I am finding a small hint of gouache can help to smooth through these areas and add weight to passages of the painting. I love granulation but you can have too much of a good thing.

Last night heavy rain pounded down. I love listening to the  racket it makes on the conservatory roof and glass walls whilst I am safe, warm and dry inside. It wasn't a night to outside that was for sure. This morning is glorious sunshine until the next weather front moves in.

Monday 15 October 2012

At the shore

At the Shore   15.5x15.5cm acrylic on paper   ©2012 Lisa Le Quelenec

Standing at the shore, listening to the tide gently rolling in and enjoying the autumn light. The chilly edge in the air smells of Autumn now and I will be digging out warmer clothes soon.

The painting above is available in my Etsy Store  here .

Wednesday 10 October 2012

Getting ready for the Kaleidoscope show at Highcliffe Castle

Elemental I - VI   mixed media 9x9cm images   ©2012 Lisa Le Quelenec

All framed and ready to go to the Kaleidoscope Exhibition at Highcliffe Castle. I've framed these little works with stand backs so that they can be displayed on a shelf or hung on a wall. I've found this to be a popular way of displaying these small scale works. I spent a large chunk of yesterday at the framers,  Coastline Arts,  ordering mounts and some last minute framing. (Thank you guys, you really are stars!). I will also be exhibiting some larger pieces and a selection of unframed, mounted paintings.

I'm really looking forward to seeing the work by the other artists. The Castle gallery is a beautiful space to exhibit and once your eyes have been tempted by the beautiful art and craft you could then pop across to the lovely tea rooms to be tempted by fare of a different kind :o) . This exhibition runs from 24th October - 23rd December.

Monday 8 October 2012

What is the point?

I just don't get it...what I read this morning.  I'm just not clever enough to understand. Obviously this person was very proud of his actions which is why he 'made a quick exit' and wasn't interviewed in person on the BBC. His aim, so he said, was to change people's perceptions. Of what I would like to know? After listening to the interview I am none the wiser, like I said I'm just not clever enough...

Thursday 4 October 2012

Finding the right title - elemental

Elemental II   9x9cm mixed media   ©2012 Lisa Le Quelenec

I did a lot of thinking about a title for this series of tiny works. In my sketchbooks are lists of words, ideas for titles, hurriedly scribbled notes made whilst in the middle of a painting. None of these seemed to fit. Quite a few words came to mind but none seemed to capture exactly what I was aiming for. I started to look at dictionary definitions which helped to clarify in my own mind, in words, what it was that I want to say. I often find titling work the hardest part of the creative process, to articulate the idea and to be succinct can be a big challenge. I want to give the viewer a clue as to what I am aiming at without dictating to them how they are supposed to respond. I find this is a tricky line to walk.

Elemental was a word that I had kept coming back to, below is the definition of  'Elemental' as an adjective from

'forming an essential or typical feature; fundamental... related to or embodying the powers of nature... (of an emotion) powerful and primitive...'

How do you title your works? Do you find it as hard as I do? Do you think titles are important? Maybe you think that all that needs to be said is within the work itself? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Elemental III   9x9cm mixed media   ©2012 Lisa Le Quelenec

Monday 1 October 2012

September storms (in October) - part 3

Thursday's walk at the beach brought indigo/purple rain filled clouds with strong sunlight highlighting sparkling grasses on the dunes. Delicious! The kind of light that gives me goosebumps!

This is the first in a series of very small paintings that I am doing to hang along side my canvases in the Christmas Exhibition at   Highcliffe Castle.  Strictly speaking although they are mostly acrylic there is some coloured pencil and ink in there too so I am calling them mixed media. I love working in this tiny format, in some ways it is more of a challenge than a large canvas.

  Elemental I    mixed media 9x9cm    ©2012 Lisa Le Quelenec    

Thursday 27 September 2012

September storms - part 2

Before the Storm Broke   watercolour on paper 17x17cm   ©2012 Lisa Le Quelenec

The rain, it kept on coming. The news was reporting the worst September storms for thirty years and seventy flood warnings were in place, mostly in the North. Flood water has caused a lot of destruction already and I hope everyone stays safe.

On the coast the rain clouds started to disperse and we had intervals of intense, bright sun. Intuition is now taking over painting these watercolours as I start to add tiny amounts of other colours. In the painting above small hints of raw sienna are used in the sky at the horizon and in some of the cloud.  I've also added a tiny amount of gouache for the sails and sparkle of the water. Unusually for me this one is painted on rough Arches. Whilst I frequently used to use rough paper in the passed the last couple of years I have preferred hot press. I shall continue to experiment with it for now.

Today the sun is shining and it feels like a crisp autumnal day so I will head to the beach to walk and make the most of it whilst it's here.

 More postcard sized experiments.

Tuesday 25 September 2012

September storms

Gathering cloud - the Needles   13x10cm watercolour on paper   ©2012 Lisa Le Quelenec

I have been continuing my experiments with 'black' watercolour that I started last year. You can see the original posts  here  and  here .  Since Sunday we have been 'blessed' with really heavy rain storms occasionally shot through with blazing sunshine. The sky has been very changeable with dramatic rain clouds and yesterday when they had rained themselves out and the sun shone I escaped to the beach. There was a very strong wind - too strong for painting down there but I did have a good walk and took some photos that may be used as reference. The sea was very choppy with lots of big crashing waves sending spray flying. I love this weather!

Towards Swanage 24/09/12 photograph

Below are a couple of postcard sized experiments  - more to follow.....

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Haze at Old Harry

Haze at Old Harry   acrylic on canvas 50x50cm   ©2012 Lisa Le Quelenec

I definitely seem to have been going through a blue period this summer. It has taken a lot of experimenting with layering glazes of different blues but I finally feel close to capturing that special glowing blue you see at dusk. When I see it in the sky I drink it in greedily knowing that it won't last long and I will have to wait for completely clear skies to see it again. The white water isn't as stark in the painting, it's warmer and bluer. I wanted to show a lazy kind of movement in the wave - sometimes they build up slowly and fizzle out in a short distance as they near the sand.

Turning the painting into a grey scale in editing software is useful to check the tonal values. I've been doing this at different stages throughout this painting and it has helped particularly in getting smooth graduations of tone with the different blues.

Haze at Old Harry grey scale ©2012

Just for fun I flipped the photo horizontally, a slight adjustment to the land mass and it could be the other side of the bay showing the Isle of Wight and the Needles. It could be an idea for another painting for another day...

Sunday 16 September 2012

Charcoal and chalk at the beach

Charcoal & chalk on toned paper 30x40cm ©2012 Lisa Le Quelenec

I love using charcoal and chalk and I wonder why I don't use it more often.....

Tuesday 11 September 2012

As Venice sleeps

As Venice Sleeps   acrylic on paper 17x27cm ©2012 Lisa Le Quelenec
I had forgotten, I hadn't posted this painting that was completed just before my visitors arrived. This was the last painting that I will do of Venice for a while. Duty calls and I am returning to the beach as exhibitions are fast approaching. I really enjoyed the change of location even if the themes running through are similar. I always shy away from buildings and architecture so it was a challenge for me to find a way of representing them without going into too much detail. Do you think it works?

Sunday 9 September 2012

A new term & back to school

Shiny and bright sparkly new materials for a new term of learning and experimenting
As a child the new school term heralded exciting times to learn new skills and gain knowledge. Aside from the activity inside the classroom there was the excitement of new friends to be made and games to be played out in the playground.

It seems to me that there are a lot of similarities between life now and life back then. Every time we pick up pencil or brush we are adding to the knowledge, experience and skills that started during those first days of school, which were filled with concentration, making tentative marks on paper. At break times I am catching up with friends in the real and those friends made in the blogging playground - it's really not so different.

A parcel of new materials for a new term of work has arrived, the smell of the new pencils took me right back to the little wooden hut of my reception class taught by Mrs Hockey. Then Mrs Romeril whose love of art and nature was infectious. Fast forward to the art room of Mr Bailey my first art teacher who opened the door to a whole new and exciting world. Good teachers stay with you forever and I was very lucky to have never had a bad one.

manky old tubes and scruffy brushes facing retirement
These were the empty tubes and tired brushes left from a 'term' of working. The two brushes on the left were my favourite scruffies but are now in need of retirement. The other five are well into their scruffy phase and will last another year for scrubby jobs.

Looking at this replacement order of paint I can see that I have painted a lot of blue recently! I bought the daisy palette at a charity shop it was in a stack of the kind of dishes used for party nibbles! What a piece of luck.

Do you look forward to a new 'term'? What do you do to prepare? Which teachers have stayed with you?

Thursday 6 September 2012

A postcard from Jazz Green!

Drawing Postcard I   acrylic & ink on paper 10.3x14.7cm   ©Jazz Green2012

Just look what the Postie delivered to me! At the same time I was offering a give away of a painting, Jazz Green was running one herself over at her blog. I entered and low and behold I my name was drawn to receive this beautiful artwork. I am over the moon and I can't wait to get it framed and up on the wall. Thank you Jazz so much.

I've been a regular reader of Jazz's journal blog and admirer of her work since I happened across it a couple of years ago. The portrayal of the passing of time, decay and regeneration are explored in her abstract works, capturing the fleeting beauty and sumptuous surface textures of subjects eroded by nature and time . Amongst my favourites are the lichen drawings and the mouldscapes. Pop over to her blog for a visit, there is much to explore as she has a very well presented archive of her work as well as recent work on show.

Jazz will be exhibiting at;

Artworks 2012 Blackthorpe Barn Suffolk
8 - 30 September 2012


Ad Libitum Apex Gallery
29 October - 28 November 2012

Tuesday 4 September 2012

Silver birch moon

Silver birch moon   30x40cm acrylic on canvas ©2012 Lisa Le Quelenec

Although my last visit to the New Forest was during a perfect summer day it did inspire me to return to an older theme of the forest lit by the full moon. This seems to be a series that I am not quite finished exploring yet. The strong back lighting of the trees and capturing the depth of space keep pulling me back to explore further.

This painting will be amongst the works I am exhibiting at the Hayloft Gallery in Christchurch from 7th - 20th September. A percentage from all the sales will be donated to two local wildlife charities. Do pop along if you are in the area and support this worthy cause.

Saturday 1 September 2012

Drumroll please.........

Last night all entries were put into the hat and His Nibbs dutifully picked out a slip.

And the winner is ......

Zoe of  Pentamento . 

Your painting will be flying across the ocean to you just as soon as the post office reopens on Monday.

Thank you to everyone who entered and for everyone's continued support over the year. It means such a lot and I truly value the friendships and connections that I have been able to make through blogging. It's something that I would have never dreamed possible a few years ago. Isn't the world a wonderful place!

Thursday 30 August 2012

1 day left until the giveaway

Sketching at Southbourne   watercolour 12.5x20cm approx   ©2012 Lisa Le Quelenec

The thing about having visitors from out of town to stay is that you get to behave like a tourist yourself. Last week we went on trips all around the local area taking in the New Forest, Tyneham Village, Exbury Gardens and  Durlston. 

Tyneham Village I especially looked forward to. I had wanted to go there ever since I had first heard about it. The whole village was commandeered by the War Office in 1943 to be used as a firing range to train the troops, whilst it was supposed to be a temporary measure it is still used for training now and can only be visited at certain times.

School room window Tyneham Village

Some of the buildings are just shells but a great job has been done restoring some of the farm buildings, the church and the school building. There are signs telling the stories of the families that lived there with their photographs. I loved looking at the school building with it's little row of pegs for the children's coats, their nameplate by it's side with a little drawing. It's definitely worth a visit if you are in Dorset and Worbarrow Bay is just a short walk.

I did manage a couple of sketches whilst out gadding about and having a lovely time. One of which was Anvil Point Lighthouse  it was so windy I had a job keeping my sketchbook open. Halfway through His Nibbs got out his phone to take a picture.  

 It's just one more day to go before the give away draw so don't forget to post a comment on the previous post at this link to be in with a chance.

Sketching Anvil Point Lighthouse   photograph   ©2012 His Nibbs

Thursday 16 August 2012

Bloggoversary 2

A silent sea acrylic on paper 15x22cm ©2012 Lisa Le Quelenec
Today I am raising a coffee mug to 2 years of blogging. When I look at numbers I find it astonishing I mean really.. 38,855 page views? That is incredible. What is even more incredible and cannot be quantified are the friends that have been made and just how many people have touched my life through this medium. I may never get to meet them in 'the real' but I appreciate all their support and kindness.

In celebration of being a part of this amazing community I would like to offer up this painting in a giveaway. It will come mounted in a pale cream board wrapped in cellophane.

To be in with a chance of winning just leave a comment at the end of this post (if the lovely people who have, previous to this post, subscribed as followers want to join in I will add their names twice to double their chances of winning).

All names will be written on pieces of paper and popped into a hat, ‘His Nibbs’ will pick a name on Friday August 31st  2012 at 9.30pm (UK time). The winner will be announced the following day. I will then contact you to find out the address the painting is to be posted to and will happily send it 2nd class post within the UK or standard airmail anywhere in the world at my cost. Should the painting get lost or damaged in transit I cannot be held responsible - I will get proof of postage. (I know the last bit sounds a little official, whilst I do not expect any problems of this sort I just wanted to cover myself for circumstances outside of my control.)
***Please note the copyright of this painting remains my property and does not transfer to the winner**

There won't be any posts until the draw as I will be taking a break to enjoy some time with some visitors who are coming to stay. Have a great couple of weeks and good luck to those who enter.

Sunday 12 August 2012

Celebrating and reaching mile stones

Last Saturday I celebrated winning first in show in the 'Postcards from Christchurch' Exhibition at the  Red House Museum. The Exhibition is on until 15th September and is a wonderful mix of painting, photography, collage, painting on china and textiles in many different styles and of many different subjects. What each art work has in common is the format which is 6x4inch. The way that each artist has approached this format is so diverse and makes for an interesting show which is well worth a visit.

I was in such a rush to get the paintings for this show delivered that I forgot to get a photograph of them. I will update this post later with one.  In the meantime as I hate to post with out any images I thought I'd share a photograph of this wonderful view from the beach at Southbourne. The rain never came but the sky did feel very dramatic.

From Southbourne beach ©2012 Lisa Le Quelenec
Today I reached a mile stone - 100 pieces of work in my Etsy gallery . An achievement, not just the number but the steps that I had to take to get there. As with everything the first one was the hardest. I like being part of the Etsy community and it gives me a real thrill to be able to personally send work direct to people anywhere in the world.

Thursday will be the 2nd year bloggoversary for Seaside Studios - another milestone which I think is well worth celebrating. I hope to see you then.

Wednesday 1 August 2012

Waiting II

Waiting II acrylic on paper 16x26cm ©2012 Lisa Le Quelenec

I finished the partner to my previous posts painting over the weekend. Both are now double mounted in a textured white board and available in my Etsy gallery  here .  In the coming months I think there will be more Venetian paintings. I see these as a continuation of the themes in my work - light on water, spatial and quiet contemplative depth - just maybe a new arm.

An artist whose work I admire who often talks of working from memory is Loriann Signori. Her latest post here on working in a series very eloquently and succinctly describes the power of producing a body of work in this way. You can see very clearly from her new  website  the themes and relationships running through her work.