My trip last fall to Switzerland and the UK had me visiting with many old friends and staying in their wonderful homes. The few days I spent with Angela and Michael in their somewhat (very) - in my eyes :) :) - spartan old farmhouse in North Wales was sheer pleasure as I relaxed and enjoyed the beautiful scenery that is so prevalent in the British Isles. Angela is not only a gifted artist, earth mother and superb chef, but a documentarian who produces cartoons chronicling her day to day activities in a small sketch journal. http://www.angelajsimpson.com
Michael picked me up at the train in a lovely, GENUINE '53 Citroen Traction Arant as driven by - take note you mystery fans - Maigret! Lots of clashing and grinding of gears...To cap it off - hehheh - he wore a French beret to accentuate the mood. We were a sight to elicit cheers and much waving as we passed through charming small villages with friendly pub-hopping patrons gathered outside. And no, he really didn't have an American flag flying from the roof!
Here you find us comfortably ensconced in front of the telly with a large dog on one's lap - an English (and Welsh) tradition. I believe we were happily wallowing in the second episode of Downton Abbey - Season two!
A British Picnic!
A very familiar scenario from my early years in Jolly Old. And, if any of you watched the Queen's Jubilee River Thames flotilla on June 3rd, you will recognize that neither wind nor rain will deter the Brits from having a smashing time in the pleasant and verdant countryside - or - in the Jubilee case - city! You might also note that, although our hair is blowing in one direction, Ned's (the aforementioned dog) ears are blowing in another..... :)
Art finally cannot be denied!
The sun came out and Angela and I settled down to paint their lovely lily pond. All very Monet.... And while I happily dithered about experimenting with colors Angela was half way done - speedy and accurate - it is baffling just how much she can do! But due to her timely accomplishments I was the beneficiary of several lovely steaming cups of tea followed by a delicious lunch "sur l'herbe". A heavenly way to paint!
My new Escoda - Nick Simmons watercolor brushes have arrived! A trial run has proved them to be of superior quality and I am ecstatic with the points! I have attempted to highlight the magic tips with the photos you see here. Having only worked with rather inexpensive brushes I am delighted to be taking the plunge with these new lovelies.
My trip to Scotland this past fall was highlighted by the wonderful landscapes of the Northern Highlands..... The best pictures came with the interplay of light and dark - the sun and shadows that evolve from constantly changing cloud formations that seemingly move with great speed over the land. A wonderful feast for the senses and the eyes and I never tire of the beauty!
These pictures were taken with the vivid color setting on my Canon Powershot S95. No photoshopping was done.
These photos are copyrighted Nancy Lee Galloway
There were virtually no cars on the road when we came around the bend and face-to-face with - as it turned out - NATO troops on maneuvers. It was a surprise to the soldiers and ourselves! This ship carried no insignia and so, we were unable to determine which country it was from.
Things got very surreal when we saw this sheep - a common sight in Scotland - standing in the foreground with the NATO ship cruising the loch behind!
Another lovely, lonely place
On our way down to Ullapool for a drink and dinner at sunset
A cable laying ship in the Cromarty Firth looking out from the Black Isle.
I was fascinated by the oil rigs in for repair at Invergordon on the Cromarty Firth
The beautiful and somewhat spartan landscape gets another surreal boost from more rigs in various states of disrepair waiting their turn
On the Black Isle at "Dolphin Bay"
Shame but we saw no dolphins that day!
Lighthouse at "Dolphin Bay"
The golf course sits right next to the beach at "Dolphin Bay"
In a happy and somewhat wine-fueled state placing the red dot on "Barcelona!"
(BTW, The title is missing an "!" turned upside down before the "B"...
I do not know how to effect that.....)
Kristin with the ceremonial placing of the Red Dot on "RM1"
Nick's self-portrait "Breathe" - pushing the envelope of watercolor world!
Moi, Carol Carter, Sandy Ashton, Sandy Cawley & Kristin Pauly
At last meeting the wonderful Carol Carter....
With great enthusiasm and anticipation three of my art-loving friends joined me for the Sunday afternoon trek to Bethesda to see the NAWA show "Stepping Over The Line" at Strathmore Mansion. NAWA features six of the premier watercolor artists of North America - Keiko Tanabe, Thomas Schaller, Carol Carter, Mark Mehaffey, Kathleen Alexander and Nicholas Simmons - who have formed a group - the only one in N.A. I am assured - to exhibit together both domestically and abroad.
All of these artists have a presence on Facebook and I am privileged to be "friends' with most of them. So it was very exciting to be able to actually meet them and to see their work in person! And what an afternoon it turned out to be. Overcome by the quality of the work and the quality of the wine (?) - two of us "got off our wallets" - as my Canadian friends used to say - and splurged on two wonderful paintings by my good friend and mentor, Nicholas Simmons. It was unexpected and even the realization that I, most likely, cannot get "Barcelona!" (sorry Nick, I do not know how to do an upside down exclamation mark which precedes the B in Barcelona) into my car has not dampened my joy at having purchased this beautiful painting. (Roof rack anyone??) My bank account on the other hand..... :)
All of the other artists had wonderful paintings on display - I recognized many of their works only previously glimpsed on Facebook - and I would have loved to have purchased a few more had I been able. Maybe the next show!