23 December 2011

Sunlight in Aups, Provence

Another little watercolour from the Summer, this time from Aups in the North of Provence.

Sunlight in Aups, Provence, Watercolour, £99
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22 December 2011

French Courtyard

I thought I'd post this little watercolour from the Summer. I'm not in the habit of posting any paintings unless they reflect the changing seasons as I experience them and have been painted just before posting, the idea of easel to email is what its all about for me. But today is an exception just for fun!

French Courtyard. Watercolour. SOLD
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20 December 2011

Winter Morning over Wheathills

When back in the UK for the recent exhibition I was able to search out some of my favourite  subjects to paint. This I've painted several times' 'Wheathills' the farm buildings in the middle of The Sibfords. The winter morning light and scudding clouds were drifting across the farm from the East, it heralded a lovely cool sunny day.

Winter Morning over Wheathills. Oil. £99
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Trafalgar Square ... again!

I came across this image today, quite amazingly the person who took the photo must have been standing in exactly the same place as I was! Looks like Winter and the same time of day, and the flags are flying in the same direction. Spooky!

Trafalgar Square. 
Photo by:  Pryderi Diebschlag

19 December 2011

Trafalgar Square

I am recently back from a ten day furlough and exhibition in the UK. The expo called 100 Small Paintings, was a great success, you never really know when you open up on the first day, but I'm fortunate to have done well, I sold 17 of the small paintings! Then had a day in London to see the annual expo by the Royal Institute of Oil Painters at the Mall Galleries. Then on to the National Gallery to see some of the impressionists. Monet particularly as I'll be painting a small series of lily pond paintings for the May exhibition.

Trafalgar Square. Oil. £99
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12 December 2011

The Abandoned

This I found while driving to Limoges, as with so many farms, old broken and abandoned tractors and machinery remain and lie around rotting in the sun. For me it's a wonderful source of material to paint, when they are accompanied by an old shed or two so much the better!

The Abandoned. Oil. £99
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8 December 2011

Mist through the Orchard

Mist through the Orchard. Oil, £99
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This is looking through the murky mist towards the Chateau at Rochechouart, a similar image to that of a few days ago. I liked the coolness and soft light and used a limited palette.

I have just finished putting up the exhibition which opens tomorrow (friday). I had to stop for fifteen minutes to chat to Jo Thoenes live on her afternoon show on BBC Radio Oxford. I'd appeared there before in May 2009 when I started the Painting a Day project and was asked to do so again to see how it has progressed and talk about the recent move to France. 

7 December 2011

Punch at Swanage Beach

Punch at Swanage Beach. Oil. £99.
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Todays painting is a little off season but fun all the same.  I must apologise for being a little hap-hazzard with the blog posts at the moment, I am in the UK and do not have a consistently reliable internet connection.

The reason I am here, as I have mentioned on previous posts, is to set up a mini exhibition at Swalcliffe Village Hall, called 
It will showcase 100 of the Daily French Sketchbook paintings plus a few larger paintings which are taken from my other website nigelfletcher.co.uk.

The Exhibition opens at 9am on Friday the 9th and runs to 5pm on Sunday 11th, so only three days. If you are in the area it would be great to see you, and there is a little wine and nibbles event on Friday evening starting at 6.

6 December 2011

Garlic Cloves

Garlic Cloves. Oil. £99
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5 December 2011

Clementines and Silver Pot

Clementines and Silver Pot. Oil. £99 
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Off to the UK today for two weeks to organise an exhibition showcasing a collection of the French sketchbook mini paintings taken from the ARCHIVE on my website. The Exhibition is called 100 Small Paintings, ideal meethinks for Christmas presents! I'll continue posting and blogging whilst in the UK but after next week the subject matter will have an English feel!

2 December 2011

Three Juicy Pears

Pear facts:

Apparently there are over 5000 different varieties of Pears worldwide.
It's a member of the Rose family.
And one of the oldest fruits known to man.
The Pear doesn't ripen fully when left on the tree to mature.

Oh, and they taste delicious!

Three Juicy Pears. Oil. £99
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1 December 2011

Chateau Rocher

Some friends told me about this chateau but I didn' t expect to see such a spectacular building when driving around the lanes near St Mathieu the other day. No grand build up, no amazing landscape just a muddy damp road and turning the corner there it was. There is no information about the place, just a private dwelling part of which is open as a B&B. The gardens are overgrown and untidy and the building looks like it could do with some TLC, but I loved it for all that, I should take up residence in the west wing.

Chateau Rocher. Oil. £99
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29 November 2011

Chateau Rochechouart

Its been a cold misty Autumn the past few days and I was felling as miserable as the weather. But after a coffee at the Sports bar and a brisk walk around town amongst some happy smiley faces I felt completey different. The weather even looked appealing at least from a painting point of view, all the late Autumn colours were subdued and everywhere was dusted by a soft cool blue/gray light, turned out to be a good day after all...

Chateau Rochechouart. Oil. £99 
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28 November 2011

Lily Pond and Willow

Another image from the 'Lily Pond' near St Mathieu, I liked the way the Willow leaves were cascading down and onto the water which reflected the bright blue sky. Almost becoming abstract in its treatment and for me thats not a bad thing. I'm interested in producing a series of semi-abstract paintings of this pond, in fact I've bought the canvases just need the time now. But first things first; in to town now to buy some bread  and practice some French!

À Bientôt

Lily Pond and Willow. Oil. £99
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24 November 2011


I realise I havn't got much to say on this blog at the moment, a nasty virus is to blame! normal service will be resumed as soon as possible

Bill. Oil. £99
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23 November 2011

Last Light

Last Light. Oil. £99
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22 November 2011

Evening in Les Soumagnes

Evening in Les Soumagnes. Oil. £99
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21 November 2011

Burning Night Sky

Burning Night Sky. Oil. £99
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Two previous evening sky paintings from 2009:
The End of the Day.    Incandescent Sky.

18 November 2011

Lily Pond 3

I like painting this pond, or I like painting at the pond, because its not really the pond its what's on it or reflected from it I guess that interests me. Someone commented that they would like to see it in the depths of Winter, jokingly I'm sure, but I would too, and I'll definately be there when its iced over and frost is on the trees.

Lily Pond 3. Oil. SOLD
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Just for fun here are no's one and two


17 November 2011


Four gentlemen outside Dominique's bar in St Junien the other day, merrily enjoying
a pre lunchtime drink

Santé. Oil. £99
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16 November 2011

Christina's Field

This field is 100 meters from my house and where Jemima loves to be let off the lead to have a run, the path we take follows the line of trees from left to right and these tall rust coloured Birch stand majestically above us as we go.  Along the pathway is an old Lavoir which Jemima usually drinks from after her run.

Chistina's Field. Oil. £99 
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15 November 2011

Apples and Old Green Jar

This green Kilner Jar I discovered in a local Vide Grenier in Vayres, at last I managed to get around to painting it. I love it's rich green colour and even though the clip mechanism is grungy and rusty I love that too, it must have been hiding in the corner of someones garage until it was reborn as a still life and published in a painting!

Apples and Old Green Jar. Oil. SOLD
Click here to see ARCHIVE 
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14 November 2011

One Way Street

One Way Street. Oil. £99

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This is my nearest town, Rochechouart, a place with little streets and ruelles. I made this late in the afternoon after a day out painting, I was keen to capture the last of the light as it descended through the town, this street was still enjoying the warm afterglow. To the left is the Artisan Baker where I buy my bread in the mornings. Usually the baker can be seen atop the steps in the doorway beside the shop surveying the town as it wakes, he's been hard at work all night making the towns bread and pastries. Each time I see him I want to ask if he'd mind having his portrait painted...watch this space!

11 November 2011

Lily Pond No. 2

Lily Pond No. 2 Oil. £99
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I cant resist painting this Lily pond, and why should I. At the moment it's surrounded by golden trees and of course the colour is in the pond too, well on a sunny day!. While I was painting I became aware of footsteps crunching on the ground behind me, on looking around I saw an angry looking man approach, he started remonstrating with me about I don't know what, I supposed because I was trespassing on his land, I quickly explained that I was a painter and would he mind me painting his beautiful pond. As he got nearer he could see exactly what I was doing and seemed to relax a little, he pointed to the easel and mentioned fish, he thought when he saw me from a distance I was poaching his fish and that the top of the easel looked like a fishing rod!  He smiled and shook my hand, patted me on the back and left, maybe one day I'll ask if I can fish in the pond too!

10 November 2011

Golden Leaves

Golden Leaves. Oil. £99
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I painted this just at the foot of the Chateau at Rochechouart, the river meanders along the valley floor and disappears into the hills. My car in the corner of the photo

9 November 2011

Lilly Pond

Carrying on the Monet theme but in subject only, this pond I found near the village I go to for French lessons.  BTW is it Lilly or Lily?

Lilly Pond. Oil. £99
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8 November 2011

Oak Leaves in a Glass

Stage one

The first stage was to rough in the basic shape of the glass 
with diluted oil paint, just anything off the palette.
Stage two

Mark in approximately where the leaves will go and at this stage 
I am aware of the composition of the whole, why did I offset the 
glass so much? maybe because the leaves are sitting in 
the left part of the glass and pointing to the right.

Stage three
Block in the background with a mix of Ultramarine 
and Burnt Sienna

Stage 4, I Begin to work on the colour and form of the leaves, 
and wondering why I had started this!

Stage 5, shapes beginning to come together, tightening up
the outline of the glass...

Oak Leaves in a Glass. Oil. £99
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7 November 2011

The Track to the Woods

I can tell you it took me a very long time to paint this - endlessly scraping back the paint and re-applying until in the end I was ready to throw it across the room and forget the whole thing! I'd put too much paint on and had completely lost what I was trying to do. There was one last thing to try and it worked! I Tonked it! I laid a sheet of newspaper over the whole thing smoothed it over and pulled it away, did this about 4 times and - presto a completely different painting, I worked into it a little, adjusting highlights and colour accents for about half an hour until I had it. I'm really happy with the result and finally achieved what i set out to do... A Monet-esque contre-jour* landscape. I'm really pleased with it.

The Track to the Woods. Oil. £99
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Detail of above
* with thanks to Making a Mark

4 November 2011

Autumn Sunlight Near Verinas

Autumn Sunlight Near Verinas. Oil. SOLD
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I'm really having fun getting out and painting the Autumn colour at the moment, I'm consious that we might get a few days of high wind and it'll all be gone. This is about 1 kilometer from my village and where I often go with the dog, you can see how the tree on the left is south facing and shelters the ones behind which are still green. Again I enjoyed using very thick impasto brushmarks with this, I usually work through the construction and basic elements of the painting and look forward to the moment when I can let loose with the paint knowing that I've won.

3 November 2011

Falling Leaves

I loved this place, I'm off there again today with another canvas, the leaves shelter and filter the sunlight and form an orange glow to the whole place, the Chateau of Rochechouart is just above me to the left out of the pic, feels a bit wierd, but completely seductive to a painter. I just wish I could do it justice, I'm anxious to get back there before the winds pick up and clear all the leaves off the trees, photos are good but you simply can't relpace the thrill of actually being there and feeling the place, the painting is different too. Yesterdays was from a photo and todays isn't, see the difference? I'm pleased with them both but in different ways, this is a kind of warts and all painting executed in about an hour and a half, no time to fiddle and thats difficult when standing, yesterdays I was sitting and was able to fiddle, make tea and consider for longer what it was I was doing.

Which do you prefer?

Falling Leaves. Oil. SOLD

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Detail from above:

2 November 2011

Beside the River Glane

Beside the River Glane. Oil. £99

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Jean Baptiste Corot (1796-1875) a native of Paris spent many summers painting beside the river Glane near St Junien, my nearest large town. Friends of his built small log cabin for him so that he could stay in the area he loved to paint so much, it still stands today. In 1905 a bronze portrait was cast as a tribute to the man and his work and was mounted on a granite rock on the opposite side of the river. This is a beautiful place, especially at this time of year.

His rural landscapes offered a freshness and spontaneity that seemed too experimental and unfinished to the taste-makers his time. But their lithe, sinuous lines and gauzy, atmospheric tonalities charmed admirers then as they do now.

It could be said that Corot is a "painter's painter" 

A Meadow with two large trees. Jean Baptiste Corot:
Ville d' Avray. Jean Baptiste Corot:

1 November 2011

Under the Haselnut Tree

Under the Haselnut Tree, Oil, £99

This is my favourite place to sit in the garden, there are two Haselnut trees here and they form the perfect canopy on a hot sunny day, behind the fence is Rogers' vegetable garden with all kinds of veg growing, some of which is for the Lapin's he keep's in cages further back.  I really enjoyed making this painting I got lost in it, the composition is unusual but holds together well and the chairs are balanced with the darks of the conifer tree on the top right.  There are a lot of rich buttery brushmarks in the painting which don't appear in this image so I have taken a separate pic to show some...


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