Friday 27 September 2013

Exciting news - taking a break - back in the Spring!

I've been nursing a little secret (not so secret if you can see me ;o)  ). A very different creative project and the start of an exciting, new chapter in the lives of His Nibbs and myself is about to begin. As a result I will be taking a break for a few months whilst I go on maternity leave and get acquainted with a little person who will be coming into our lives shortly. I may not be posting but I will still be reading and catching up on everyone's wonderful blogs. So whilst it is still very early to be saying this,

I wish you all a very happy holidays! 

and I will be looking forward to posting again in spring.


Tuesday 17 September 2013

Down came the rain!

Down came the rain   coloured pencil in my sketchbook approx 20x20cm   ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

Summer left us very quickly here in Dorset and we have been having some 'weather' after the heat of summer it has been quite a change. I've been sitting in the conservatory enjoying the sound of the rain this afternoon. It was lovely to feel cozy and warm whilst listening to the downpour. I'm just glad I didn't have to be out in it. As I type patches of blue are appearing.

Thursday 5 September 2013

At the edge

At The Edge     acrylic on paper 12.5x12.5cm      ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

One of my favourite places and favourite times of day....... Another day of summer heat here but I think it is all change tomorrow as the temperature is supposed to drop 10 degrees bringing rain. I'm looking forward to a change of season.

Friday 30 August 2013

Sea and sky and sketching....

Sketching sea and sky II   watercolour 15x15cm   ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

Sketching sea and sky I   watercolour 15x15cm   ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

Sketching sea and sky III   watercolour 15x15cm   ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

Trying to plot the subtle changes of colour and fading light in sequence, there was about 20ish minutes between each one. This is going to take some practise and is a lesson in speeding up.

Thursday 22 August 2013

Tuesday's moon

What a treat to see such a bright and beautiful full moon on Tuesday. It was a stunner! There's not been much time for painting this last couple of weeks but I have managed a bit of sketching... I like making back runs in the clouds.

Tuesday's moon sketchbook page   watercolour   ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

For some interesting factoids about this Blue Moon and its other names click here. The next one isn't until 2015!

Thursday 8 August 2013

Sketchbook page

Sketchbook page   watercolour and ink   ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

The pattern on this little piece of sea worn china has been fascinating me. The cracks in the glaze and the way that the colour has slowly faded and worn away is so beautiful to my eye. I enjoy looking for these little found abstracts that, to me, have so much history and meaning. I wonder at what kind of vessel this piece came from and who made it and used it and how?  For what purpose? How did it end up in the sea and how far and for how long did it travel? I found it, put it in my pocket and then it traveled over the sea this time to end up on my desk reminding me of a walk at the beach, time spent with my family. My sister is an archaeologist and researches the answers to these kinds of questions for the things that she digs up from the earth....... these thoughts must run in the family.

(Apologies for the orientation of the picture - gremlins have turned it landscape instead of portrait again.)

Tuesday 6 August 2013

Dancing light, a big surprise and an exhibition

Saturday saw the opening of the Christchurch Art Guild summer exhibition at Priory House. I knew there was going to be a lot of exciting work on show in a wide variety of subjects and media and had been really looking forward to it. Imagine my utter surprise when I was awarded the the Brian Mead Award for this painting! My jaw hit the floor at the announcement and His Nibbs had to give me a push to go and receive the trophy.

Summer's Dancing Light   acrylic on board 80x34cm   ©2013 Lisa Le Quelenec

Sadly this is the last exhibition to be held at this venue as it will be undergoing refurbishment and put to a new use. The exhibition runs until 17th August and is open from 10-5pm daily (except Sunday) so there is plenty of time to visit. It's well worth it with a gorgeous selection of artwork to view.

Monday 29 July 2013

New watercolour nature studies

Feather studies   watercolour 6x8inch   ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

Feather study   watercolour 6x8inch   ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

The lower painting is actually portrait format and should be turned 90 degrees clockwise. For some reason Blogger will only load the photo in landscape format. The paintings are for sale in my Etsy store in the studies section here.

I love painting feathers with all their subtleties. I will never run out of subjects as friends have started to collect them for me now too. I'd love to get a blue wing jay feather and live in hope of finding one on my walks by the river where I see them frequently. So far I've not had any luck.

Thursday 25 July 2013


mixed media 6.5x10.5cm ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec
mixed media 6.5x10.5cm ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec


So far there are four Variations of this composition. Seen together the changes are subtle and remind me of being at the beach and observing the water. - kind of like film stills in one way..

mixed media 6.5x10.5cm ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec
mixed media 6.5x10.5cm ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

Friday 19 July 2013

A new series

I have been intently working on a new series of small scale mixed media pieces which I am show casing at the Hayloft Gallery's Coral Anniversary Exhibition. They have been inspired by my pocket sketchbooks that are filled with quick sketches, often no more than hurried gestural marks that have taken no more than a minute. I like the vitality and simplicity of these sketches which sometimes is lost in paintings and have been thinking about how to make a series of work that captures this essence. Whilst thinking about how best to approach the project I decided that I wanted to keep the scale very small like the original sketches but also have a way of making variations from each sketch - a series within the series so to speak.

Variations series    mixed media 6.5x10.5cm   ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

To begin with I started monoprinting then I worked back into the prints with other media, mostly colour pencil. (I've a hunch that collage may make an appearance as the series progresses.) The textures that the printing ink makes during the monoprint process makes a lovely tooth to work back into. The texture grabs a hold of the pencil in a nice way. As the series progresses I want to be working more on the mark making which is truer to the original sketches but old habits are hard to break ;o) Also because of the unpredictable nature of the printing process it means that I can have very different variations even though the original source (sketch) is the same.

One of the beauties of this way of working is that time has become a very precious commodity for me the last few months so it means that I can keep working through disruptions as they are easy to pick up and put down unlike paintings. (It's difficult to stop a watercolour mid wash or an acrylic where the paints dries too quickly. Especially during this heatwave that we are experiencing in the UK. It has been hot hot HOT!!! - such a change from all the flooding last year.)

Thursday 11 July 2013


Solo    acrylic on paper 12.5x12.5cm     ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

A gull effortlessly glides the breeze that quenches the heat from the day as evening draws.

We are enjoying a couple of weeks of warm summer sun here, chores are saved for the cool of the evening. It's a big difference to the torrential rain we had last year and I'm making the most of it. This painting will be in the Coral Anniversary Exhibition at the Hayloft, Christchurch 19th July - 15th August.

Friday 5 July 2013

A gentle sea

A Gentle Sea   13x13cm acrylic on paper     ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

Fine hot weather is forecast for the next ten days or so. (-I hope I haven't just jinxed it ;o)  ) I'm looking forward to some sights like this where everything slows down in the lazy heat. I can't be too lazy though as I've the Hayloft exhibition coming up very soon and then another group show at Priory House in August. I will be making time for some gentle evening strolls along the sand though.

Tuesday 2 July 2013

Sand Dunes and Shadows II

Sand Dunes and Shadows II   watercolour 15x21cm ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec


Sand Dunes & Shadows acrylic on paper19x28cm  ©2012 Lisa Le Quelenec
Sometimes it's interesting to take a composition that you painted in one medium and do another version in a different one. Sand Dunes and Shadows was painted in acrylic in May last year. The second painting was painted recently when I was demonstrating at the Living Crafts event at the Priory in Christchurch. I like the warmth of the colours in the watercolour. The acrylic has more of a cooler evening atmosphere. I wonder what this composition would transform into if I used printmaking techniques.....

Friday 28 June 2013

Ocean Breeze

Ocean Breeze   watercolour 15x21cm ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

Inspired by a recent trip to Jersey to see my folks. I love the beaches there...

Tuesday 25 June 2013

Tranquil waters

Tranquil waters   watercolour 23x10cm   ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

The result of paint left on my palette, a mix of paynes grey, ivory black, manganese blue and what ever else was left, one brush, a no.8 round and the end strip from a large sheet of paper that had been cut down. The inspiration came from an old sketchbook that I had been flipping through. I enjoyed painting with limited means, the challenge of making each element work hard. It was one of those off the cuff moments that just seemed to work. I thought it worked anyway..... 

Thursday 20 June 2013

Watercolour sky studies continued...

Sky Study VIII  watercolour 18x9cm   ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

Sky Study IX  watercolour 18x9cm   ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

Sky Study X  watercolour 18x9cm   ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

Monday 17 June 2013

Summer Evening

Summer Evening   22x22cm  watercolour  ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

We are in the midst of our wonderful English summer. The weather is changeable with rainy days amongst warmer sunnier ones. It's a very English thing to complain about our summer rain but for a painter it can hold many opportunities. Whilst it can be chilly in the evenings it's not really cold and the cloud and moisture in the sky can make for some beautiful colours which are a challenge to capture. The rain is also great for the garden and saves me the chore of watering - win win!

Monday 3 June 2013

Gingko leaves mixed media painting WIP

I began this mixed media painting some time ago and have only just had time to do the finishing layers. Sometimes I find it hard to come back to a piece after a break but I think in this instance it has helped. It has slowly evolved using different materials and techniques and I like the way that the different layers that peek through from each stage meld together in the final image.

Gingko mixed media step by step ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

Stage 1 - I started with a multi block print of gingko leaves that had been printed on top of a monoprint. My intention from the beginning was to build up a rich patina of texture and colour. The two different processes of print making had given me a good start toward fulfilling this aim. As an image it looks bold, graphic and simplistic.

Stage 2 - After working on top in some coloured pencils and acrylic the image was becoming brighter and bolder. To knock back this strength of colour I added a layer of handmade mulberry paper using acrylic medium to glue it down. The random placing of the threads in the paper added to the texture and the semi opaque qualities of the paper knocked back the colour like a veil of haze.

Stage 3 - In the background of the piece I added watercolour in violets and aqua. Where the acrylic medium that I used to glue down the silk paper was thickest it resisted the watercolour, where it was thinnest the paint settled adding tho the rich tapestry of marks. The leaves were worked into with further layers of acrylic.

Stage 4 - The whole now had a layer of semi opaque buff titanium acrylic glaze from the edges of the silk paper onto the the initial paper ground of the original print.

Stage 5 - I took this same glaze and painted right through the whole image uniting the backgound and image. The leaves were then enhanced with layers of acrylic including the addition of some gold metallic paint to draw out the form of the leaves.

Stage 6 - A final layer of aqua stronger at the bottom and running through the smallest top leaf added some depth to the piece.

Falling   mixed media  15.5x25.5cm   ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

In the final crop I wanted to show the layers that have gone into making up the painting and so left some of the original paper from the print stage showing. I also chose a double mount to emphasise  the frame within a frame aspect. Whilst it is difficult to show in a photograph, each stage of this mixed media piece has added a rich patina of colour and texture. This painting is for sale at my Etsy shop here.

Ironically I started planning this image from some leaves that I had pressed last year in Autumn whilst now the gingko tree in my garden is in full leaf showing off some beautiful summer colour...

Thursday 23 May 2013

Seahorse study

Seahorse Study  watercolour 15x21cm ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

I have managed to get some more nature studies done whilst sitting in at the Hayloft exhibition. New to the range is this little seahorse. I had been looking forward to doing some since December when I was doing some drawings which you can see in this post. The flowing shapes are addictive and I think I will be painting lots more of them.

The Hayloft exhibition comes down today but there is no rest as I must straight away get preparing for an event at Christchurch Priory called the Living Crafts. I'm really looking forward to this event which I have been to before as a visitor but not as an exhibitor. There will be a number of artists and craftspeople demonstrating their skills and exhibiting for a week within the Priory from 4th - 8th June 10am - 4pm.

Monday 13 May 2013

A great start to the show...

©Sylvia Musk, Morag Dixon, Dennis Male & Lisa Le Quelenec2013

 I really enjoyed helping to hang the exhibition it was exciting to see the show come together.  It's a collection of very different styles, subject and media (watercolour, oils, pastel, acrylic, collograph and monoprint) but it hangs beautifully together I think. This photo taken of a corner of the gallery shows a selection of what is on display. We have had success with some wonderful feedback and those all important sales. With a week and a half to go there is still plenty of time to visit if you are in the area.

Thursday 9 May 2013

Watercolour sunset skies

Sky Study VI  watercolour 18x9cm   ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

Sky Study VII   watercolour 18x9cm   ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

We have been treated to some wonderful skies just lately. The colours are so beautiful and so difficult to mix.

There hasn't been much time for painting just recently as I've been preparing for an exhibition but the quick snatches of time to pick up the brushes and play with colour have made for lovely breaks. I'm really looking forward to hanging the show tonight and seeing all the work from my fellow exhibitors.

Monday 22 April 2013

Sunday stroll

The sun came out to play and I headed to the beach for a break. I've been working on back to back commissions which is keeping me from making any work to share on this blog. I also have an exhibition coming up in early May with a lot of framing to do, so deadlines are looming and time is short. It's so good to be busy...

Sunday stroll at the beach  photograph ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

Friday 12 April 2013

Day dreaming of summer

A selection of watercolour shells   watercolour on Khadi handmade paper ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

I've been day dreaming of summer and trawling through my collection of beach finds for subjects to paint. Days spent at the beach sketching and collecting can't be too far away now...

I'll be adding these to my Etsy shop  over the next few days.

Monday 8 April 2013

Morning Glow

Morning Glow   20x20cm  acrylic on canvas board   ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

Painting has been sloooooow the last week. Even though this painting is just a small one it has been a battle of wills trying to capture the soft hazy light. The warmth in this piece is my wishful thinking for a warmer spring than we have experienced so far this year. It can't be long now.... can it?

Thursday 21 March 2013

Elemental II

Elemental II   9x9cm mixed media   ©2012Lisa Le Quelenec

I've been feeling a little under the weather lately so there hasn't been much painting going on this last couple of weeks. I have been catching up on some reading though, dipping in and out of Delacroix's journal and a book that I stumbled across on Amazon, Gist of Art by John Sloan. Both of which are fascinating. The Delacroix book is a feast for the senses it's printed on very fine paper (I'd estimate 50gsm though it may be finer) and makes a lovely rustling sound which adds to the sense of stepping back in time. It's an older second hand copy and is just starting to get that wonderful scent of old book. The weather has been miserable and it is still quite cold so there has been no better medicine than hunkering down with a good book. Hopefully this bug is now on it's way and I'll be back next week with some new work to share.

Tuesday 12 March 2013

River reflections - spring

Some small watercolour studies of the river from the last post. There are surprising amounts of violet in the waters shadows. Whilst the trees are still mostly bare, green buds are appearing and the colour is starting to fizz here and there.

Yesterday snowed most of the day though luckily it didn't stick. It was so fine and grainy that it looked almost like sand. Today is bright with sunshine although it does look quite chilly so there might not be much sketching done.

River reflections - Spring Watercolour A4 sketchbook

Tuesday 5 March 2013

Getting out and about

I've been getting cabin fever, with the sun shining and birds calling I needed to get outside. I rushed through my chores, grabbed a camera and set off. It was a lot warmer than I thought it was going to be, so rather than going to the beach I headed for the river to find the evidence of Spring. Today wasn't about painting or sketching so much, more of a reconnaissance for future work and a recharging the batteries so I didn't do any sketching just took a few snaps as reminders of where to revisit.  I'm always drawn to the river reflections, there may be a series of drawings based on them in the not too distance future.

Snap shots from my walk photograph medley ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

I had to include this snap of the black headed gulls. They line up along the bridge waiting for the people who come to feed the ducks. As you walk towards them they size you up for any goodies they might want then as you get too close one by one they drop of the side. They make me think of synchronised swimmers diving into the pool.

Friday 1 March 2013

A Shining Sea

A Shining Sea   20x20cm acrylic on canvas board   ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

I've been day dreaming of summer evenings strolling at the beach.....

Thursday 28 February 2013

Interviewed by Vandy Massey

Winter Light   pastel and charcoal on paper 48x48cm   ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

I was contacted recently by artist and fellow blogger Vandy Massey about taking part in her 'Meet the Creatives' interview series. Reading the other interviews has given a real insight into the working process, motivations and backgrounds of the artists. I only hope I will be half as interesting. You can read the interview here.

Vandy is an accomplished watercolourist with an eye for colour and space. I particularly like her floral paintings - glowing sunflowers and vibrant poppies. To visit her gallery click here.

If you would like to see her work in person Vandy will be exhibiting with Denise Shearing and Mark Judson at the Whittlesford Gallery Cambridgeshire Saturday 9th - Sunday 10th March open 10am - 5pm. Do stop by and visit the exhibition if you are in the area you won't be disappointed.

Thank you Vandy for the opportunity taking part in your series. I'm looking forward to meeting the other artists as the series continues.

Monday 25 February 2013

Sky Sketches on a cold day

Sky Study II   watercolour 18x9cm   ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

Sky Study III   watercolour 18x9cm   ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

Sky Study IV   watercolour 18x9cm   ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

These small sky studies are rather addictive. A cold wind blows and dull white/grey skies have come again so I won't be able to do any more of these for a few days unfortunately. Well I could but they would be dull, dull, dull.....

It's time to return to my easel.

Tuesday 19 February 2013

Spring sky

Sky Study I   watercolour 18x9cm   ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

Yesterday the evening sky was stunning. Looking from the studio window trying to memorise the changing colours, watching the gulls gliding lazily and listening to the blackbird singing the sun down as he does each day. Beautiful clear skies and gentle colours that I had to try and capture.

Sunday 17 February 2013

Emerging spring

Emerging Spring   mixed media 18x24cm ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

Hurrah! The first daffodil opened in my garden yesterday. Tucked in a dark corner under the apple tree. It's like a little sunny beacon and has inspired this mixed media study.

The paper I used was from my first batch of monoprints with the new ink I got recently. It was an attempt to get a ghost print that didn't really work. I'm feeling my way with printing at the moment and rather than waste all the failed prints I am using them for drawing on as some of the colours and textures are lovely even if the print didn't 'work'. One of the nice things about these inks is that they are still watersoluble once the ink is dried if they are remoistened. So with very wet watercolour washes you can get some rather nice effects - rather like watercolour and charcoal. To regain some of the brightness I used acrylic and some coloured pencil.

Thursday 14 February 2013

Dip pens

Dip pens and acrylic ink

Today's post is in answer to Theresa Evans' question about the type of pen I used for yesterday's daffodil study. The one I mostly use is the green glass handled one that I picked up on a trip to Venice a few years back. The nib is really flexible and I am dreading the day that it gives up as after searching online it seems like it would be hard to find a replacement. It's had a lot of use and is a firm favourite. The twisted handle is surprisingly comfortable to hold as well as looking rather lovely in the pen pot. ;o)

The other pen in the picture is made from bamboo and I've had it so long that for the life of me I cannot remember where I got it. I know I got it for use in life drawing classes after failing miserably to cut me own. (maybe I should give it another go...)  The marks that it makes are a bold contrast to the other pen and as it doesn't hold much ink inbetween 'dips' there is a lovely variation in the ink even in one stroke.

My preferred ink is FW acrylic in sepia which I generally use very diluted reserving neat ink for only the odd mark within a drawing where a bit of punch is needed. The soft tone of the dilute ink lends itself to subtle washes of watercolour to my eye.

Pop over to Theresa's  blog and see her beautiful work, the light that she captured in her last watercolour 'Winter Sunset' is gorgeous.

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Daffodil study

ink and watercolour wash on board
©2013 Lisa Le Quelenec

Some cheery blooms in anticipation of has to be coming soon....... right?

Friday 8 February 2013

Honesty a mini series

Honesty I  23x23cm mixed media ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec
Honesty II  23x23cm mixed media ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec

I was thinking of positive/negative shapes and the translucency and patterns that the seedheads make. I can see so many areas to explore with this motif. It's also what I think is a start of a new love affair - Winsor & Newton's cobalt turquoise light. I used it with small touches of Winsor blue red shade in the backgrounds. I love the clear crispness of it.

Honesty III  23x23cm mixed media ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec
Honesty IV  23x23cm mixed media ©2013Lisa Le Quelenec