Saturday, 20 August 2016


For those of you who are in doubt if they should join the trip to the Turner exhibition in Aix: GO! It will inspire you... Here's a 2012 Aquarellista blogpost about his life... The trip is on 16 September, by comfortable bus and the cost is only 45€ for Hangar members! 
Contact Marijke Obbink to subscribe

William Turner (Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1775 - 1851) was an English watercolourist, a predecessor Aquarellista! In the next post I'll write a bit about his style, in this one more about his life.

Turner was born into a middle-class family in London. His father was a wig-maker and barber. His mother died while he was quite young. William Turner was sent to live in the countryside with relatives who soon discovered that he was very talented: he painted this castle when he was 10 years old:
Unbelievable... he could definitely observe...

He joined the Royal Academy of Art at the age of 14 - and, surprise surprise, he excelled. He left London in 1798 "with little more than a borrowed pony and pencils" and started painting a series of landscapes around Wales...
This work he made as a 23-year-old in his Hereford Court sketchbook. It fetched up £500,000 at a Christie’s auction...

Turner had success and made a fortune when he was quite young. That gave himl the opportunity to innovate freely.
Young William Turner - selfportrait as a bit of a dandy

Turner travelled widely in Europe, starting with France and Switzerland in 1802 and studying in the Louvre in Paris in the same year.
He also made many visits to Venice

As he grew older, Turner became more eccentric. His paintings changed in style and his audience struggled to understand his vision. He had few close friends except for his father, who lived with him for thirty years, eventually working as his studio assistant.
Old William Turner - in his atelier

And the atelier once more - look again - and you'll see how impressive  it is... especially if you realize that this was painted in the 19th century!

William Turner died on 19 December 1851 and lies buried in St Paul's Cathedral. He left his money to support what he called "decayed artists". He designed an almshouse for them at Twickenham, with a gallery for some of his works. But some relatives contested the will and part of his fortune was awarded to the family. The rest went to the Royal Academy of Arts who still from time to time award students the Turner Medal...

NB: I have used pictures from the Turner special in the Figaro - to have a look inside, borrow it from me or order via


For those of you who are in doubt if they should join the trip to the Turner exhibition in Aix: GO! It will inspire you... Here's a 2012 Aquarellista blogpost about his work.. The trip is on 16 September, by comfortable bus and the cost is only 45€ for Hangar members! 
Contact Marijke Obbink to subscribe

Turner is known as "the painter of the light" which I think is a very well-deserved title. To me his work was a true inspiration, I remember going to an exhibition of his watercolours in London when I was still in art school. I realized what is possible with aquarelle and it actually made me decide to concentrate more on that medium.

sketch Turner made of the cathedral in Rouen - look at the combination of ink and watercolours

His work is impressionist (although in his time that didn't exist!). In oil as well as watercolours Turner was the first who didn't try to achieve complete realism, but gave that away for atmosphere and emotion.
I read somewhere on the internet  that Constable once said about his work "he seems to paint with tinted steam, so evanescent and airy"... In this day and age we would consider that a compliment! But it was meant as a sneer (compare "Fauvism", now a much loved painting style- but the terminology was first used to degrade the painters as wild animals...) England (the world) wasn't ready for full-blown aquarelle and impressionism yet!

In this aquarelle (Ewenny Priory, in the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff) Turner used perspective and light to achieve a sense of vast space

Sunrise, 1845 - Made during the Industrial Revolution: it has been suggested that the pollution might be reflected in Turner's paintings

Turner died 76 years old (a respectable age in those days). From what I found about him he was slightly crazy, but a good person, and we should be thankful that he left us so much fantastic and inspiring work! Like all great modern artists he researched, in his case for possibilities to express atmosphere, emotion, scale, vastness in a painting. He didn't just use watercolours, his oils are also very very impressive, but hey, we're aquarellistas! Below two more extremely beautiful - and clever - watercolours...

Thursday, 28 July 2016


Throughout August, 2016, The atelier libre oil painting group of the Hangar, under Nelly van Hijfte, will be exhibiting in the Salle des Mariages of the Mairie in La Roquette sur Siagne.

On Friday, 5th August at 18.30, there will be a Vernissage to which you are cordially invited.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Tout au long du mois d'août, 2016 le groupe de peinture a l'huile "atelier libre", dirigé par Nelly van Hijfte, exposeront leurs œuvres dans la Salle des Mariages à La Roquette sur Siagne.
Vendredi, le 5 août, a 18.30, il y aura un Vernissage, auquel vous êtes cordialement invités.

Nous attendons avec impatience votre visite.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016


In August the classes will roll as follows:

Drawing outside with Pim on 8 August and 22 August
No life drawing
No Afternoon abstract Class
Evening abstract class as usual
You can reach Pim on 06 33 80 57 08 for more information

Oil class as usual
Watercolours: Atelier libre. Bring your own materials!
Cathie will organize this you can contact her via

Acrylics all day (no change)

Celina will open the doors from 10am - 4pm on 4 August

No activity

Acrylics with Pim in the mornings (no change)

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Open air drawing: with Pim

Fabulous drawings were created outside on Monday 25 July, with Pim. The challenge must have been to 'stylize the landscape' and here is what happened... What a variety of interpretations and SO well done! Compliments for both teacher and students...

We will be back shortly with the Hangar Summer Schedule,
watch this space if you want to know which classes are continuing!

Monday, 25 July 2016

Design your chair - in Aquarelle

 FAbulous chair by Elia B.
Last Tuesdayy in the Hangar, the Aquarellistas decorated chairs. On paper, with watercolours. Almost everyone participated and we are truly happy with the results! They are original (I would like all of  them in my house) and -as always- they are so surprisingly different in style! Look for yourself...:

 Agnès' version of Rococo

To warm up, Liz practised with a simple painting of a real chair in the Hangar...
...and proceeded with this luxurious Chesterfield

Tana's design, classic look with a happy pattern - in Payne's Grey

 Super soft stripe by Carol
 A beautifully painted chair by Linda! She liked it better without patterns - and started those seperately. Clever!

Superb armchair by Cathie. Not yet finished - already stunning...

 Brenda's hip and happening modern fauteuil- for the gameroom?

After painting a very good and lifelike chair Linda worked on an Amaryllis pattern... Just feltpen -  colours to be added...

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Gilles - Monday's live Model

Last Monday we had our last live model session of the summer.
With a new star modeling for us: Gilles. A lovely guy.
We did the same drill as always,
6 different poses of 1 minute, then 6 of 2 minutes, 3 of 10 minutes then a nice coffeebreak.
And one long pose the rest of the time.
So, nothing new there, but still everyone agreed that is was so different to draw a male model.
It was an excellent morning, rewarding for all and the results are interesting!
The model group won't work in August, but Pim will have the drawing class from time to time
I will definitely keep you posted on that.
I wish you all a fantastic summer...
...and if you miss the classes, go to the beach (or your pool) and draw the people there