Travel Sketches from Holland

Joel and I have spent the last 3 weeks touring the Netherlands sketching, painting and sightseeing. There is a lot to see. The Dutch and Flemish Old Masters are probably some of my favourites in art history. We were fortunate to see famous paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer and van Gogh, as well as lesser known painters (but equally amazing, in my opinion) Frans Hals, Peter Paul Rubens, Jan Brueghel, Hans Holbein and originals by illustrators Rien Poortvliet (more on this in another post), Jan Voerman Jr. and Anton Pieck. Joel and I are saturated with art history and I can honestly report: it is a good thing.

The weather was fantastic for plein air sketching and so Joel and I did a fair bit of it on this trip. We even painted a straight-up landscape, which is something we normally don’t do. I was very distracted by ducks and geese while sketching on this trip. There are tons of them because of the canals everywhere and they would often come really close and quack at you!

Most of these sketches are available as prints in my shop.

 

 

 

Rhiannon

In preparation for mine and Joel’s trip to Wales this spring, I have be re-reading the Mabinogion (collection of Welsh folktales). I’ve always been inspired by Celtic mythology to create my illustrations, so I’m hoping that a trip to the actual place will add another layer of inspiration to my work.

This is Rhiannon on her white horse when she is first glimpsed by Pwyll.
rhiannon_2015_web

Provence

Here is a little study of a door in Provence, France. The goal here was to create texture without becoming too painterly, therefore using black and sepia inks in addition to watercolour to try and achieve that.

porte_provence_web

Foxhounds

 

 

Here are a bunch of new pieces. I went through a couple weeks lately where I needed to flex the compositional muscles. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy drawing for Papillon Press cards but it’s also nice to get some actual backgrounds in some illustrations.

foxhounds_web springshowers_web motherhood_web

Summer Plein Air

 

 

 

 

 

Every year September rolls around and I go “What? Already?!”. This summer was a good one for plein air drawing, even though Joel and I always feel like we could do more. Plus, he just bought me the artist-quality Winsor-Newton compact watercolour set for my birthday and I haven’t tried it out yet!

 

The following drawings were done in and around the Westport, ON area and on our Pacific Northwest road trip.allanmill_web vistahouse_web gypsy_web perth_web

bowesmill_web