Sunday, 26 June 2011

Distant lands

 For today, I offer you a glimpse of what to me is another land; a distant land, almost another planet ! Last October, we went to the Azores, way out in the middle of the Atlantic. It's the most beautful place I've ever been, with Capri and Venice an equal second. The islands sit on the junction of the African, American and Eurasian tectonic plates and so are of geologically recent volcanic origin. We travelled to two towns on the main island of Sao Miguel, built in two of the three main volcanoes: one is still active and the other contains two adjoining lakes which appear to be eerily different in colour: one green, one blue. Absolutely stunning.

So the place is very special to me and I wanted to try to capture some of my memories of that beautiful place in oils. On our last full day, we took a whale and dolphin watching trip with a lovely skipper who spoke almost fluent English. This painting is based on a photograph, from the many I took on that trip, taken as we were arriving back into the main harbour of the island's capital, Ponta Delgada. The mountainous backdrop is full of calderas, some  small and cone shaped, some flatter and more vast; quite a contrast between the humble modern concrete towers of man's creation and the massive ancient mountains of nature's creation.

The food and local wine was absolutely gorgeous by the way ! Hopefully off to the coast with sketchbook and beach-hating Louie the Beagle today so no more blogging for me for a while ;). Have a happy Sunday :)

Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel, The Azores - oil on paper, 7" x 10"

And finally, Louie wanted to say 'Hi' in his inimitable way!

I ain't going to no stupid beach today!


  1. Beautiful painting of a beautiful place! Love all those blues!
    Enjoy the beach, Louie too! And happy sketching!

  2. What can I say? Another small masterpiece! Have a fantastic time! :0)

  3. Judy - thank you! Just getting ready to go now - but what to take (sketching wise)? :)

    Sandra - thank you for all your lovely comments. I will check out your link later. Not sure about knife painting but might give it a go ;)

  4. Fantastic painting! The water looks like you could dive right in!

    Which poor Louie may want to do if the temperatures hit the 90F they've been talking about. Stay snoozing Louie - and dream of your own chair ;)

  5. This is a very beautiful painting.

  6. Beautiful sea! Capri is way up there as one of my absolute favourite places too!

  7. What beautiful place, the color of the water reminds of the west coast here in Florida, Your really good with these oils ... don't stop now ! And Louie is too adorable.. love him... BJ

  8. Wow, lots of lovely comments to come home to - wonderful :)

    Pat - thank you. Louie made it to the beach and although he was a bit of a wuss about paddling with me, he seemed to enjoy relaxing on the sand and walking through the dunes, although it was baking hot today as you know and, like all dogs, he doesn't do hot :)

    Renske - thank you very much. It really makes my day to get such lovely comments on my work :)

    Anita - I enjoyed the whole piece but the sea was fun. As you will probably know it tends to be more inky than cerulean but I turned up the turquoise a little because the Atlantic is full of hints of these beautiful colours. Yes indeed, Capri is absolutely gorgeous and I would live there at the drop of a hat :)

    BJ - thank you for your encouraging comments. I will do more I promise! Yes, the Eastern seaboard of the USA is beautiful. I loved North Carolina, Atlantic Beach, New Bern, Cape Hatteras when I was out there. You are so very lucky to live in Florida. Louie says Hi, thanks for the comment BJ :)

  9. Michael, another Brilliant painting. Love your colors, the water looks so cool and inviting. Oh, I am with Louie, think it's time for a nap.

    All the best to you,

  10. Hi Joan and thank you for your lovely comments here and on your own blog too :) As for Louie, it's a dog's life and he loves every minute of it !

  11. Hi Michael.
    This is a brilliant and beautiful oil painting. Probably better to look at than the photo. Please Michael, more Oil paintings please. Lovely story to this post also Michael, well done. All the best.
    P.S. We had a beagle at one time, he was a killer with his own mind. Point your finger at him and he would grab it. just hold it in his mouth, no pressure thank God.

  12. Hi, Vic.
    Thanks for your kind comments. I'm not abandoning watercolours and pastels completely but I certainly intend to 'make hay while the sun shines' so yes, more oils to come.
    I can imagine a Beagle doing that - mine is such a comedian!

  13. Beautiful work Michael! I love the colors in the ocean, it looks like heaven! Hope you had a great time at the beach and this is me saying hi to Louie!

  14. Thank you Crystal, that's a lovely comment and yes, it was a heavenly place! The trip to the beach was good and even Louie enjoyed it - He says 'Hi' too!

  15. Fabulous painting Michael. I think you have got the sea colour just perfect.

    Poor Louie I can empathise as I'm not a beach fan either.Hope you both had fun regardless.

  16. Thank you Sue. I remember being amazed by crashing waves of pure turquoise and thinking "but this is the Atlantic" ! Quite moving to see that. Not a sun worshipper myself - prefer to walk about and see, smell and taste the location :)


No silly verification words here - all comments are appreciated! Thank you :)