A question of attitude

"A New Dawn"  watercolour    26 x 33 cm   © Elizabeth Tyler 2017.

I began to paint this watercolour of the view from my cockpit while anchored in the bay of Dokos island in Greece. The sun was about to rise and sent a bright yellow glow across the sky, splitting up the dark clouds of the night. The hills were still in darkness but it was possible to see the sparse vegetation on the slopes. The sea reflected some of the light that was promising to brighten the day.
When I started the painting I was in a very sad and pensive mood, absorbed in deep and serious thought about my life. I was soon to leave my boat, my friends and Greece for the year and, at this age, could not know for certain if I would ever return. Not only was the summer but also, I felt then, a period of my life over.  I painted the clouds even darker than they were and the hills as silhouettes in ivory black. The sea was only suggested with a few strokes of grey.
After returning home to Sweden I left the painting out of sight for a couple of months. I considered it a worthless failure, which also reflected my mood at the time. However after gradually and step by step regaining a grip on myself I took the painting up again and used it as a kind of therapy. I lightened the clouds, brightened the details and created more light by washing the darkness away.
A promising new year was about to begin.

I thought about attitude in general.
Either you only see the threatening clouds, the dark landscape and the murky water, or you see something quite different;
The promising sunlight, the warm glow, the fascinating landscape and the refreshing water.
It’s the same scene but it’s your choice how you look at it.


New video

During the summer months, as often before, I spent my time living aboard my boat in Greece. This time I concentrated on writing a book about painting the sea. It's still not finished but it will be soon, I promise!
In the meantime I did do some sailing and in order to document it with a video I had the help of a friend who filmed my boat under sail from a distance. Also I had another friend, Kirsten, who joined me for a week so we could paint watercolours together.
We didn't do much painting but we had a great time! She managed to film some sequences during very hard weather, something I couldn't do while I was steering the boat. 
The last voyage of the season was a nine hour journey from Poros to Kilada. After a good night's sleep I painted and filmed the work in progress of a watercolour of the bay before dawn from the boat.
This is the resulting video.

My watercolour painting " Before the dawn"

World Wide Watercolour exhibition

My painting "On the rocks" at the World Wide Watercolour exhibition in Hillerød

It was a great honour to be invited to participate in the World Wide Watercolour exhibition in Denmark, so I travelled from my boat in Greece to be there for the opening. I am so glad I did because I not only had the pleasure of meeting old and new friends amongst the visitors but also fellow artists from all over the world. I wouldn't have missed this for the world!
Here is a link to Marianne Gross blog with lots of photos from the exhibition.

About the exhibition:
Denmark's first truly international watercolour exhibition;  World Wide Watercolor opened at Annaborg in Hillerød, Denmark on the 19th of August and will continue until the 1st of October. 
Never before has there been an international watercolour exhibition with such diversity on Danish soil. The audience can see works by 32 artists from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Germany, England, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Serbia, Thailand, New Zealand and Canada. The exhibition is composed so that it shows a wide variety of expressions as well as subjects, techniques and sizes. In total more than 125 works are displayed on two floors.

Over the years, Hillerød Art Association has built a reputation for arranging Danish and Nordic watercolour exhibitions of high artistic quality. This time the field expanded to this international exhibition featuring high-ranking artists from several European and even overseas countries.
The artists Mona Sloth and Marianne Gross, both from Holte, have curated the exhibition for the art association. They have their background in the international watercolour scene, both from private contacts and from their involvement in the Nordic Watercolour Society.
The artists are, in alphabetical order:

Annette Bryne,  Ingrid Buchtal,  Austin Corcoran,  Anet Duncan,  Per Henrik Eriksson,  La Fe, Graham Flatt,  Lilianne Goossens,  Marianne Gross,  Lars Holm,  Leila Hunter, Margaretha Jansson,  Hanne Julie Johansen,  Karin Keane,   Inge Mette Kirkeby,  Arto Korhonen,  Lars Kruse,  Jonina Ninny Magnusdottir,  Jan Min,  Derek Mundell,  Peter Vilhelm Nielsen,  Maija Närhinen,  Endre Penovac,  Lars A Persson,  Jonas Pettersson,  Esther Sarto,  Måns Sjöberg,  Mona Sloth,  Hazel Soan,  Monique Tevenie,  Elizabeth Tyler,  Piet van Leuven.
Opening hours Thursday 15-18, Friday, Saturday, Sunday 12-16 in Annaborg, Frederiksværksgade 2a, Hillerød. There is a free entrance.
Waves over rocks  watercolour 54 x 37 cm
 At the opening the visitors were encouraged to hug an artist. This is me hugging a fan; Christian Lemée
Surf over stones  watercolour  54 x 37 cm


A new book emerging

In case anyone’s wondering what I’m up to I thought I’d better publish an update.
After months of hard work with paintings and exhibitions it was time to take a break and do something else. Something I have wanted to do for quite some time.
So I am now sitting on my boat in Greece writing a book. This time the book will printed on real paper and not an ebook.
Actually “writing” is not really a description of the work I’m doing as the book will mostly be comprised of photographs of my artwork. There will be short descriptions of each piece and small anecdotes about the work. The theme of the book is the sea, so as I sit here surrounded and inspired by the sea, the book is gradually taking shape.
Bit by bit, page after page the layout is created on my computer with the over one hundred photographs of watercolours and acrylic paintings. 
I know I can’t keep away from the actual process of painting for very long so I’ll get back to that in due course but until then I spend every day in front of the computer.
Sitting in the shade in the cockpit of my boat, creating the layout for my new book.


Sea birds

Final approach                                              Watercolour 56 x 75 cm                                       © Elizabeth Tyler  2017
In these latest watercolour paintings I was inspired by the seagulls I have often seen along the coast of southern Sweden. Sea birds are often considered a symbol of freedom and this was very much the case for me. I grew up in the middle of England, as far from the coast you could possibly be. We didn't see the sea at all most of the year so it was a great treat and part of the wonderful feeling of being on holiday when we could take a trip to the coast. On the way the whole family would compete with each other by spotting the first seagull. Then we knew we would soon see the sea.
In the first painting "Final Approach"  I have tried to capture the moment when the seagull lowers it's "landing gear" and prepares to land on some rocks on the breakwater. I liked the combination of rocks, seaweed and calm water with the seagull suspended in air for just a moment.
Seagull in Storm                                         Watercolour 56 x 75 cm                                       © Elizabeth Tyler  2017

At my favourite location Kulla Berg I encountered another seagull suspended in air. In "Seagull in Storm" the bird was seen against the backdrop of dark granite cliffs. Although the seagull was actually quite still, balancing in the wind, the sea and spray was in violent motion. I purposely painted the background out of focus with no sharp contours to create a feeling of distance and movement. This was done by using the wet into wet technique, layer over layer while the bird was masked out. After all was dry I painted the details of the seagull and softened the edges.


New video on youtube, sailing and painting.

Although this video starts with clips of me solo sailing in Greece it is also about how I find inspiration for my paintings and some of the techniques I use. In this case it is a watercolour painted from my boat at a mooring off the island of Poros. Hope you enjoy it.
click here: sailing on single handed
Early morning on Poros                                             watercolour                                       © Elizabeth Tyler 2016