Description of Artwork

VICTORIA'S WORLD ART PAINTINGS Click here to view the gallery

ENGLAND

Winchester The Glorious Cathedral

In November 2015 I began my set of paintings of Winchester, where I have lived since 2003.  I sat on a bench in front of this iconic, famous and historical building on a cold November morning, and started a drawing of the West Window.  I never know how a painting will end up when I start, so it was interesting to watch it develop.  I like to create my own interpretation of a scene, and not be too architectural or realistic, and this painting certainly captures the majesty of the building with its stonework and intricate carvings.   

I love the story about the West Window which recounts when Oliver Cromwell's army smashed the West window into smithereens, the locals collected up all the pieces of coloured stained glass from the ground and stored them safely until they could be replaced.

Sometime later the locals returned all the broken pieces of stained glass back into the window, but there was no record of the image of the original window, so all of the pieces were replaced and now the window is just a random mixture of pieces of coloured glass!

Winchester The Social Square

I sat at Café Monde and painted this local square near the Cathedral which is full of shops and cafes.  The house of John of Gaunt is the turreted building. Lots of locals stopped to talk to me about the painting.

Winchester Charming Cheyney Court:

At Easter 2016 I sat on a bench in front of these historical timbered houses which are full of character, old doors, mullioned windows with different panes of glass in diamond, square and oblong pieces. It's not until you sit and observe something closely that you notice all the intricate details.  I enjoyed painting the colours of the timbers and the plasterwork with warm tones of beige and terracotta. This painting is showing as unfinished but I like the effect of having it part painted and am intending to also finish the original and make prints of that as well.

Dorset, Christchurch, Highcliffe Castle Tea Rooms

In Summer 2016 I visited Highcliffe Castle and sat in the outdoor café and started drawing the visitors to the Tea Rooms enjoying the grounds in front of the castle.  While I was drawing, I was attracting attention from some of the staff who came to look at my drawing, and kept an eye on progress, and the Café Manageress Andrea ordered a print of the painting before I had started to paint it! A few months later once the painting was finished, I delivered a framed print back to Andrea, who with her team, had purchased the print for the café owner as a retirement gift!

She was delighted with it!

FRANCE
NORMANDY, FRANCE

I love France and in 2015-16 I visited Normandy, and created a set of paintings in the coastal towns of Honfleur, Deauville, Trouville and further inland in Rouen. I made a departure from my usual style of imaginative painting, and following the example of the Impressionists I sat outdoors and painted 'en plein air' in front of my chosen scene.  
 

Les Maisons Fantastiques de Trouville

My first 'plein air' painting was in Trouville, where I sat in a beach café and painted some amazing grand old houses on the beachfront.  These types of beach houses along the coast are traditionally the holiday homes of Parisians who flock to the beach in July and August to escape the heat of the city.

These houses really are rambling and quite quirky with yellowy green moss growing on the rooves and large shutters which are thrown open onto balconies with fancy ironwork railings.

People have described the style of my painting like gingerbread houses?!  I found that while concentrating on my painting, my hearing became very tuned into the sounds around me, and I listened to the sounds of seagulls flying overhead, children playing in the sand, ladies gossiping at tables nearby. People stopped to talk to me and 'ooh and aah' at my painting, and asked me questions about my methods, and about the watercolours, and to have their photo taken with me.  

It's amazing how many people tell me about their own art and how they can't paint but I always encourage them and tell them not to be afraid to try.

Les Parasols Fantastiques de Deauville

This was my second 'plein air' painting and I sat on the beach in the very fashionable resort of Deauville, where the annual film festival takes place.

The beach is famous for its colourful parasols with ties of contrasting colours and these parasols feature heavily in local art!   This painting looks from the beach with its parasols and beach huts, out towards Le Harvre and the ferry to Portsmouth.   In the BLOG section of the website there is a short video of me dancing on the beach which has been called the Deauville Dance!   I love to engage with people who stop to look at my art and talk to me and a group of school children approached, while their teacher explained how I was using pencil and watercolours!

A man with a gallery in Paris also stopped by to marvel at the colours and he said I was a very good colouriste!

People often talk about use of colour above everything else.

Le Quai Charmant d’Honfleur

I sat on the ancient stone steps of the old Bassin in Honfleur, which is a marina surrounded by amazing bars, restaurants, cafes, shops, old timbered churches and I painted the Quay with its colourful parasols and tall thin houses.   The old wooden church of Saint Catherine is 14th Century and there are quaint fisherman's cottages.

Le Quai Charmant d’Honfleur avec La Lieutenance:

This watercolour is a continuation of the Quai St Catherine to include the Lieutenance building, which is a former customs house and now a focal point of the Bassin area.

Le Quai Charmant d’Honfleur avec La Lieutenance:

This watercolour is a continuation of the Quai St Catherine to include the Lieutenance building, which is a former customs house and now a focal point of the Bassin area.

GREECE: Greece, Magical Ancient Messini

In 2016 I visited the ruins of Ancient Messini on the Peloponnese peninsula which was founded in 369BC.  It is an ancient site sprawling over a hillside, which still has an amazing large amphitheatre with pillars still standing.  

SPAIN, CANARY ISLANDS: Lanzarote, The Coastal Footpath at Playa Blanca

In January 2016 I visited the Canary Islands for the first time and stayed on the volcanic island of Lanzarote at Playa Blanca.  The hardened black lava is scattered all over the island and is used as a building material in walls and paths.  There is a coastal footpath which runs for miles, I guess all around the island, and visitors use this footpath for daily exercise, walking along by the sea, taking in the fresh Atlantic air!  I painted a small section of this footpath at Playa Blanca, and have included elements such as the sea, the boat to Fuerte Ventura, the palm trees, the plants and cacti, and the town of Playa Blanca itself.  

I think it is a fun painting full of life and sea breeze.

I found a wonderful bar just near my hotel, on the footpath, where I painted most days and used as my outdoor studio. The waiters kept an eye on progress and kept me supplied with drinks. One day a Pina Colada came dripping with
fruit, tinsel, tassles and the most enormous straw I'd ever seen!

Lanzarote, The Rubicon Marina

During my stay at Playa Blanca I visited the Rubicon Marina where there is a lovely weekly market.  Rubicon comes from the latin forred, and there is a larger mountain or dormant volcano in this area called Rubicon, so a lot of places are named after it.  I painted the market, the marina, the boats and some of the buildings and shops.  I do enjoy talking to passers by when they stop to talk and look at my work. 

Tenerife, Anthelia Hotel, Costa Adeje

In February 2017 I visited my second Canary Island, Tenerife!  I painted the Hotel grounds with the swimming pool area in the foreground, palm trees and cacti and red mountains in the background.  The trip was a bit of a pilgrimage as my Father loved Tenerife, especially the volcano in the centre of the island called Mount Teide. Teide is 3,718 metres (12,198 ft) at the summit and is the highest point in Spain, and the highest point above sea level in all of the Atlantic Islands!

As you fly in you can see the summit of Teide above the cloud line.  Teide is an active volcano and last erupted in 1909.  I went on a trip to visit Teide and the journey takes you through a vast flat caldera where Planet of the Apes was
filmed.

I went up on the cable car which takes you up the last section almost to the summit, and there is snow up at the top and its chilly and windy!

You get an amazing view of the caldera and a real feel for volcanic activity.  One day I may do a painting of Teide!

SWITZERLAND Lac Leman, Jet D’Eau, Geneva

In September 2016 I visited my friend Andrew in Geneva and took the opportunity to do some painting of the City.  I sat beside Lake Geneva, known locally as Lac Leman, and watched the amazing bird life– there were so many swans, coots and seabirds.  

I observed how swans rest on the water with one webbed foot folded behind it on its wing, which I had not noticed before.  I did some lovely drawings of the swans - look out for these in the gallery pages.  I also did a large painting of the lake with the very famous Jet d'Eau which is a large fountain and one of Geneva's most famous landmarks.   In 1886 the fountain was built to control and release the excess pressure of a hydraulic plant. It beca me a symbol of the city and was relocated to the centre of the Lake.  Its strong engine pumps 500 litres of water per second to a height of 140 metres.  You can stand underneath it on a walkway and get very wet! (I didn't try that!) One day I could not see the Jet d'Eau and then learned that in strong wind the fountain is switched off .

Place du Bourg-de-Four, Old Town Geneva

I love to paint parasols and cafes, and I love to sit in cafes and paint! I seem to have a parasol theme developing, as there are many parasols in my Honfleur and Deauville paintings.  I like to listen to the conversations going on around  me as I am absorbed in my art, and I like to talk to passers by who stop to look.  I sat in the charming historic Bourg- de-four Square which is Geneva's oldest square, is a celebrated place for shopping and dining, and is a great place to sit and people watch.

There is a lovely stone carved fountain, and the area is quite hilly, and a short climb up to the Cathedral of St Pierre with its pointed spires.  I did a painting of people enjoying the café in the evening sun, and I even sat and had a conversation with one of the men in the painting– the man in the yellow shirt, bottom right – after I had drawn him.  I must contact him and ask him if he'd like to buy a print!

Lausanne, The Cathedral of Notre Dame

While on my trip to Switzerland I visited Lausanne, because my parents honeymooned there and it sounds romantic!  I walked up and up to the top of the city and sat in a café and painted the Cathedral with its coloured spires. Construction of the Cathedral begain as early as 1170. It has a beautiful rose window.  The Cathedral also has a   Great Organ, which is unique in the world because it contains all four organ styles, classical, French symphony, baroque and German romantique.

VICTORIA’S INTUITIVE, NATURE, ANIMAL AND FLORAL PAINTINGS

I love colour, nature, animals, figure and portrait drawing, flowing lines and a lot of my artwork comes from my imagination and intuition. Paintings include Barrier Reef Colourful Fish inspired by my visit to the Australian Great Barrier Reef in 1990.

Magical River Tigers is inspired by my visits to the Malaysian Jungles when I lived there as a young girl.  I love Owls and am currently painting Owl Moon River a blue owl sitting in an oak tree, above a river glistening in by the light of a full moon.

The Curious Koi Quartet is colourful Koi Carp in a lillypond, painted in Messini in Greece.  

Field of Wild Flowers and Poppy Field are inspired by my love of flowers, grasses and wild meadows.  

Pool Pedicure is a study of my foot in a swimming pool in Turkey!

Christmas Eve Cat Attack was designed as my 2016 Christmas Card and is inspired by the fact that cats love
boxes!  These mischievous cats are opening presents under the tree on Christmas eve so they can curl up inside the boxes! I will create a new animal card for each Christma s and create sets of greetings cards for sale.  

My spiritual side is planning a set of 7 Chakra paintings.  Each painting will focus on one of the 7 main chakras, or energy centres of the body, and will be predominantly the colour of the associated chakra: red, orange, yellow, green/pink, blue, purple, white/gold.

Look out for these!

© Copyright Victoria Webb, maisonartsoleil.com