Tag Archives: river

Chelsworth Open Gardens

The last day of June was a stunner. If only the other 29 days had been as good. I went to Chelsworth in Suffolk for the wonderful Open Gardens day. This was painted on a little island in the River Brett while I listen to a band playing in the grounds of the nearby pub, The Peacock Inn. There is a short video clip below where you can hear the band and listen to water.

Chelsworth Open Gardens P1070850Oil on board. 12 x 10 inches.


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A day by the coast

Rye Harbour, oil painting by Roy ConnellyRye Harbour, oil on board, 8×10 inches.

Rye Harbour summer afternoon, oil painting by Roy ConnellyRye Harbour – Summer Afternoon, oil on board, 6 x 10 inches

painters at Rye Harbourpainters at work

Five minute sketch at Rye HarbourA five minute sketch in oil on board. 6×8 inches

At the weekend Karl Terry invited a group of friends to join him for a day’s painting. He arranged access to a private stretch of the river at Rye in East Sussex then, in the evening, showed off his skills at the barbeque.

The 5 minute sketch above was the result of a challenge.  We all went over the time limit Рthis one took me about 10 minutes.


Thanks Karl ūüôā

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Spring is on its way

Painting in the Chess Valley near Sarrat

small bee on paint brush

One advantage of working outside throughout the year is being aware of the changing seasons.  It definitely feels as if spring is here at last.

I thought I would share a few of the photos I have taken while out painting over the last few days.

Clockwise from top left: The Chess Valley, Richmond Bridge, A friendly heron at Richmond, a tiny bee that settle on my painting kit.

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Strand on the Green

River Thames at Strand on the Green

I worked pretty fast on this 24 x 30 inch canvas to try and catch the light before it changed.  The whole scene became gradually more blue as the sun moved around and I stopped work just before lunch.  After a bite to eat with friends at a nearby cafe I returned to my easel just before the rapidly rising tide reached it.  I will go back to the location tomorrow to finish it off Рlight permitting.

I returned the following morning hoping to finish it off but the light was totally different.  I worked a little on the foreshore then left it to finish another day.  I am now waiting for a day when the tide is lowest at 11am and with a clear sky but before the leaves come out on the trees.  Hopefully that is not too much to ask for.  Below you can see the picture as it is at the moment.

Strand on the Green - oil painting by Roy Connelly

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Cover Prize Shortlist


My painting Wittering Light has been short-listed in a competition to choose a cover image for the next Ken Bromley Art Supplies catalogue.

To see all the shortlisted images¬† click here and don’t forget to vote for your favourite!

Another of my paintings, Watching the Thames,  has also been long listed for the London Lives painting competition.

Update: This picture has now made the shortlist and will feature in the exhibition at Bankside gallery in September.

Watching the Thames

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London to Venice in 20 minutes



I have work in two exhibitions in London at the moment.¬† ‘London Seen’ is a group show of London paintings at Llewellyn Alexander Fine Paintings.

‘Venice in Peril’ is also¬†a group show,¬† in this case featuring paintings of Venice.¬† This popular annual exhibition, at W.H. Patterson in Albermarle Street, helps to raise funds for¬†restoration projects in that most beautiful city.

At Venice in Peril there are works by Ken Howard, Auguste Bouvard, Ivan Lapper, David Sawyer, Robert E Wells, Roy Connelly, Jonathan Trowell, John Stillman and other talented artists.

London Seen features Tom Coates, Bruce Yardley, Roy Connelly, Liam O’Farrell, Terry McKifragan, Robert E Wells, Fraser King and others

If you fancy seeing both wonderful cities in a day, its only a short 20 minute walk between the two galleries.

London Seen Llewellyn Alexander Fine Paintings
11 January – 10 February 2010

Venice in Peril W. H. Patterson
13 January – 5 February 2010

The paintings above show the view from Riva Degli Schiavoni in Venice with San Giorgio on the left and the Doges Palace (under scaffolding) on the right,  Santa Maria Della Salute is in the distance.

Below that is a view of Cleopatra’s Needle by the River Thames in London.

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A work in progress




Earlier this week I was painting the River Thames at Strand on the Green.   The top picture shows the painting a couple of minutes after I started.  I have used very thin paint to draw in the basic composition. 

The middle photograph was taken twenty minutes later.  With a dramatic and fast moving sky I needed to work quickly to capture it.  The trees are a little more solid but the river is still almost untouched.

The last photo shows the painting an hour later.  The trees and river have been worked on together, with a little more work on the sky. By this point the day was starting to brighten up and touches of blue were appearing in the sky.  It was time stop as I did not want to end up with one scene painted on top of another.

I was working in oils on an 8 x 16 inch board.   Click on each image for a larger view.

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Fleeting Effects

South Bank Summer Evening
South Bank Summer Evening

This picture was painted on the South Bank of the Thames in London yesterday afternoon.  It was painted very quickly to catch the effect of the light reflecting off the water between the bridge supports.  It is an effect that only occurs for about twenty minutes so it was necessary to work fast.

The background was painted rapidly in thin paint and the high lights off the water painted next in thicker paint – fat over lean as they say.

The figures were painted on location but after the sun had moved around and much of the sparkle had faded.  The shadows had to be moved back to match the position of the sun when the sparkle was painted.

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Big Ben Paintings



Big Ben is one hundred and fifty years old. On this day in 1859 the Great Bell was struck for the first time.  Originally it was only the bell that was known as Big Ben but most people now use the name to refer to the clock tower as well.

Painting outside in London, I have painted the clock tower many times and it can can be seen in the back ground of the pictures above.

French Impressionist Claude Monet painted Big Ben when he visited London the 1870’s. You can see his picture The Thames Below Westminster¬†at¬†the National Gallery in London.

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Recent Painting trips

I have been very busy recently and thought I should post a few photos from my recent painting trips:

Working by the Thames at the Henley Regatta…

Henley Regatta

Waterloo Bridge at sunset…


Painting a stately home in Oxfordshire last week I had to retreat into the¬†temple to avoid the rain…


Painting Waterloo Bridge and the city from¬†Hungerford footbridge…


A closer shot of the painting in situ…


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