Euros 2021: Good luck!

England in the final against Italy at Wembley – what an outstanding achievement – Fingers, toes and anything else crossed! You’ve come such a long way… nearly there!

What a journey!

Euros 2021 - Ukraine v England, Leaping header for Harry!
Euros 2021 – Ukraine v England, Leaping header for Harry!
Euros 2021 - Ukraine v England, Shaw's pass to Harry!
Euros 2021 – Ukraine v England, Shaw’s pass to Harry!
Euros 2021 - Ukraine v England, Onto Maguire!
Euros 2021 – Ukraine v England, Onto Maguire!


Euros 2021-Ukraine v England, BigHugs! Maguire and Shaw
Euros 2021-Ukraine v England, BigHugs! Maguire and Shaw
Euros 2020 England v Scotland - Flowers of Scotland
Euros 2020 England v Scotland – Flowers of Scotland
Euros 2021 - Semifinal, England v Denmark: Phenomenal Pickford Original watercolour painting Maxine Dodd
Euros 2021 – Semifinal, England v Denmark: Phenomenal Pickford
Euros 2021 - Ukraine v England, Kane goal No1!
Euros 2021 – Ukraine v England, Kane goal No1!
Euros 2021 - Semifinal, England v Denmark: Saka to Sterling!Original watercolour painting Maxine Dodd
Euros 2021 – Semifinal, England v Denmark: Saka to Sterling!
Euros 2020 - Sterling puts England 1-0 up!
Euros 2020 – Sterling puts England 1-0 up!
Euros 2021 – England v Germany, Sterling GOAL!
Euros 2021 – England v Germany, Kane that header!
Euros 2021 - England v Germany, Grealish Pass, original watercolour by Maxine Dodd
Euros 2021 – England v Germany, Grealish Pass
Euros 2021 - England v Germany Sterling Strike!, original watercolour by Maxine Dodd
Euros 2021 – England v Germany Sterling Strike!
Euros 2021 - Semifinal, England v Denmark: The Penalty, Part 1, Original watercolour painting Maxine Dodd
Euros 2021 – Semifinal, England v Denmark: The Penalty, Part 1
Euros 2021 - Semifinal, England v Denmark: The Penalty, Part 2, Original watercolour painting Maxine Dodd
Euros 2021 – Semifinal, England v Denmark: The Penalty, Part 2
Euros 2021 - Semifinal, England v Denmark: The Lions Roar! Original watercolour painting Maxine Dodd
Euros 2021 – Semifinal, England v Denmark: The Lions Roar!

Euros 2021: Semi-final: The Penalty

The match progressed, with great persistence from both sides, but the commentators kept saying that a goal would come, the pressure was coming from England… all the things that wind me up horribly! Curse of the commentator and all that.

So full time comes and extra time commences, just adding to the torment … I am praying that it doesn’t go to penalties, and then a penalty is awarded!

Kieran Trippier can’t look, which was a surprise, but he wasn’t alone! Leicester City fans know the abilities of the Danish goalkeeper, Kasper Schmeichel who is very likely to save it.

Euros 2021 - Semifinal, England v Denmark: The Penalty, Part 1, Original watercolour painting Maxine Dodd
Euros 2021 – Semifinal, England v Denmark: The Penalty, Part 1

Bless him, Kasper gets there, no less than I expected, but on the rebound, Harry blasts it home – Kasper reacts immediately – and is actually there – but the shot is too strong to resist.

Euros 2021 - Semifinal, England v Denmark: The Penalty, Part 2, Original watercolour painting Maxine Dodd
Euros 2021 – Semifinal, England v Denmark: The Penalty, Part 2

Wembley erupts! The Lions roar!

Euros 2021 - Semifinal, England v Denmark: The Lions Roar! Original watercolour painting Maxine Dodd
Euros 2021 – Semifinal, England v Denmark: The Lions Roar!

England 2-1 up and with a place in the final on Sunday – today! I can’t believe it!

Immense and outstanding, from both teams, who played their hearts out.

Wow!

Euros 2021: Semi-final: ENGLAND v Denmark – Saka to Sterling

England in the semifinals were a goal down, but how would they respond? The wonderful thing this England team didn’t do, was panic or lose concentration.

Euros 2021 - Semifinal, England v Denmark: Saka to Sterling!Original watercolour painting Maxine Dodd
Euros 2021 – Semifinal, England v Denmark: Saka to Sterling!

Quite the opposite – Bukayo Saka, the nineteen year old, showed the coolest head and when the chance presented itself to him, struck a lovely cross to my England favourite, Raheem Sterling, but sadly for Denmark, captain Simon Kjaer was put under immense pressure and forced the ball into his own net to provide England with a vital equaliser before halftime.

Euros 2021: Semi-final: ENGLAND v Denmark – Damsgaard Strike

England in the semifinals was an amazing feat, could they go a step further? The next series of posts show that the answer to that was a resounding ‘Yes!’

Euros 2021 - Semifinal, England v Denmark: Dansgaard Strike, original watercolour painting Maxine Dodd
Euros 2021 – Semifinal, England v Denmark: Damsgaard Strike

Denmark opened the scoring with a huge strike from a free kick by Mikkel Damsgaard, an absolute beautiful shot that flew into the goal, putting Denmark ahead in emphatic style.

Euros 2021: Semi-final: ENGLAND v Denmark – Phenomenal Pickford

England in the semifinals was an amazing feat, could they go a step further? The next series of posts show that the answer to that was a resounding ‘Yes!’

Euros 2021 - Semifinal, England v Denmark: Phenomenal Pickford Original watercolour painting Maxine Dodd
Euros 2021 – Semifinal, England v Denmark: Phenomenal Pickford

Back from Rome to Wembley, with great opponents, Denmark had played with huge strength of character following the traumatic start to their campaign. Sixteen minutes in, goalkeeper Jordan Pickford leapt into the air with John Stones to push a great shot on goal away to safety. Playing a vital part of the team’s performance, Pickford was assertive and strong.

Tour de France 2021: Stage 14 – Solo win! Bauke Mollema

Tour de France 2021 - Stage14, Solo win! Bauke Mollema, original watercolour painting Maxine Dodd
Tour de France 2021 – Stage 14, Solo win! Bauke Mollema

The stage was taken in fine solo style by popular and talented rider Bauke Mollema – the Dutchman broke away from the rest of the breakaway group with 42km to go and won his second Tour stage with over a minute clear, a lovely ride. Cavendish completed before the cut-off time which is all I needed to know!

Now, it’s time to divert back to Wembley for a special football match tomorrow…

My pens are a-quiver!

Tour de France 2021: Stage 14 – Poursuivants

Tour de France 2021 - Stage14, Poursuivants, original watercolour painting Maxine Dodd
Tour de France 2021 – Stage 14, Poursuivants

Here is the group again, from the back – and against the light (contre-jour), which I love! Just played with the light and colour here and let the paint do its thing! You can see how the electric pink of Higuita’s jersey ‘ran’ to the left – When watercolour decides to do this, there isn’t much to stop it but I rather liked the effect here…

Tour de France 2021: Stage 14 – The Higuita group

Tour de France 2021 - Stage14, The Higuita Group, original watercolour painting Maxine Dodd
Tour de France 2021 – Stage 14, The Higuita Group

Another group which featured today included Sergio Higuita, Guillaume Martin, Patrick Konrad, Louis Meintjes, Bauke Mollema and Omar Fraile – A strong band of climbers.

Tour de France 2021: Stage 14 – The Musketeer

Tour de France 2021 - Stage14, The Musketeer, original watercolour painting Maxine Dodd
Tour de France 2021 – Stage 14, The Musketeer

The first stage heading towards the Pyrenees – a tough four days ahead, no doubt. The pace is high, starting at the beginning with this man, Julian Alaphilippe – one of my favourites – He rides with great style and flair. Something of a swashbuckling approach, he’s never dull but rides most selflessly for his team when he needs to.

Definitely the approach of a musketeer!

Tour de France 2021: Stage 13 – No34 – Legend! Mark Cavendish

Tour de France 2021 - Stage13, No 34 - Legend! Mark Cavendish, original watercolour painting Maxine Dodd
Tour de France 2021 – Stage13, No 34 – Legend! Mark Cavendish

This is a first response to Stage 13, which saw Mark Cavendish take his 34th stage win. It was not an easy victory – and very tight and technical all along – I have so many pictures I want to make from this stage, but football and the Pyrenees are calling, but this image is the first that I am pleased to publish – What a brilliant win!

Incredible – the best sprinter of all time!

Tour de France 2021: Stage 12 – Win! Nils Politt

Tour de France 2021 - Stage 12, Win! Nils Politt, original watercolour painting Maxine Dodd
Tour de France 2021 – Stage 12, Win! Nils Politt

With all the beautiful scenery and scent of lavender, it’s important to remember that there is a race on!

The stage was won by Nils Politt who took a solo victory, while Tadej Pogacar retained the leader’s yellow jersey.

Politt broke away clear with 12km left on the 159.4km run to Nimes after being involved in a long-range 13-man breakaway. It was great compensation for his team Bora-Hansgrohe, who had seen the retirement of team-mate and three-time world champion Peter Sagan prior to the start, through injury.

Sad for the Tour to lose Peter, but Nils was a delighted man and lovely to see him on the podium.

Tour de France 2021: Stage 12 – Summer skies and the scent of lavender

Tour de France 2021 - Stage12, Summer skies and the scent of lavender, original watercolour painting Maxine Dodd
Tour de France 2021 – Stage12, Summer skies and the scent of lavender

The last scenic painting for now but I really couldn’t resist this view – No mistaking where this is at all! We always think, traditionally, of sunflowers with the Tour de France – and of course, with good reason, but to suddenly see the lavender fields and this beautiful shot from the Tour camera of the peloton riding past these deep violet flowers was something I had to paint.

I can only imagine the scent as they rode past – possibly made everyone just a little drowsy – but must have calmed the nerves, if only for a few seconds?