Chris Fothergill’s BLOG

Recent commissions, urban sketching and creative projects

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Painting of the week 7 June 2010

From ‘Impressions of the Cities of Umbria’ In the city of Orvieto, Southern Umbria, Italy I had to admit I was lost. The twelve sided tower of Sant’ Andrea was what I was looking for, and although I had been there earlier in the day, the light had been against me. Now... read more

Plantec Distribution Warehouse

OK so it’s a factory! But it’s a commission from a company who wanted a couple of paintings of their holding centres for a new showroom/lobby. So how to make a painting from an unpromising photograph? I enjoyed depicting the smartness of the building front to the... read more

The High and Queens College, Oxford

It’s usually sunny in my paintings, but here there are people with umbrellas, and the mood is restrained and a little damp! I found a line drawing of this view in a drawer, which I drew many years ago, and realised that I never actually turned it into a painting. I... read more

2 La Giralda

I slept like a baby. I don’t know why people use that expression to describe deep, refreshing and uninterrupted slumber; my experience of babies calls to mind continual waking in the night accompanied by crying, chewing of blankets and uncontrolled pooing.... read more

Painting Water and Bridges

This is an unusual subject for me – a bridge on Exmoor, (but do you know which one?) It’s a famous one, and very old. I was commissioned to paint this as a birthday present for someone. I used burnt sienna as a base wash behind much of it which gives it the reddish... read more

St. Andrew’s Church Chedworth

At last a sunny day that is warm enough to lure me out into the open air with my paints! I don’t mind a bit of outdoor sketching with a pencil when it’s freezing cold in the winter, but sitting on a painting stool for a couple of hours trying to abstract my mind is... read more

Canal View of Venice

Today, after a recent experimentation with acrylic paints and more adventurous brushstrokes, I have returned to my traditional watercolour style, to paint a view of Venice; the canal (Rio dei Mendicanti) by the Campo SS.Giovanni e Paulo. I have drawn the view on the... read more

Chipping Campden in Snow

The recent snow has inspired me to paint a number of snowscenes, and in this depiction of the Almshouses in Chipping Campden, I am revisiting a scene I have painted before. This is partly to contribute to an ‘Artist’s Guide to the Cotswolds’ on which I am working, and... read more

6 Cordoba

From an early age, the sound of the Classical or Spanish guitar has had a profound effect upon me, evoking moods or even memories, of places to which I have never been. I am not talking of the rhythms of Flamenco, but rather the more restrained music of the classical... read more

Creating a Japanese album sketchbook

Creating a what? A Japanese album is sometimes known as an ‘accordion’ album, as the pages are joined zigzagging continuously throughout the book. This means that the whole album can be folded outwards to form one long strip of paper. Moleskine make them... read more

Sunday 23 May Return to Todi

Writing this back at Perugia Farmhouse in early evening, sitting on a chair in bright sunshine overlooking a magnificent hilltop view across Perugia and the hills. Awoke this morning to a clear blue sky, and a warmth that was to last the day. I decided to return to... read more

7 La Mesquita

Showered and refreshed, I emerged back on to the street, bordering on to the railway sidings that my modest hotel overlooked, in what was clearly an unfashionable quarter of the city. Just as when you bang your head for long enough against a wall, it’s lovely when you... read more

5 Plaza d’Espana

The first day had been a great success by my standards. My first painting was not a disaster, and I had two other drawings under my belt, which I liked, and could later paint from, in the studio. Giddy with my success I hopped out of bed the following morning, and... read more

On the fun of sketching from life.

I was in London a week or two ago, seeking inspiration for painting. It must have been the only day for weeks that was NOT sunny! But still there is something about drawing directly from life in cities that I love to do. These are three of the sketches I came up with,... read more





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