Where the pheasants live

There are many pictures I should be sharing with you just now, all sports inspired, but every now and then a picture comes to me almost by accident – they don’t ‘fit’ with the sports work that I usually make but they do ‘fit’ together -since mostly these oddities are made under the same circumstances – in the early hours before it’s quite light – or even in the dark – and I make them because I have woken early and can’t get back off to sleep.

I work as quietly as possible, so as not to disturb everyone else, and use the daylight table light, which bends and stretches to light exactly what needs to be lit and nothing else – I make a picture or two, half asleep almost, leave whatever I have made to dry and go back to bed – usually to sleep fine after that. Making art is a great cure for my occasional sleeplessness, I have to say.

So, it happened last night, (this morning) and I found a piece that I had started and left, not knowing what to do with it. I put on the daylight lamp and only had a few things to hand, a lovely ink made by Diamine called ‘onyx black’, a couple of Derwent Graphitint pencils, ‘Dark indigo’ and ‘Meadow’ a couple of pastels of mixed origin, probably Schmincke and Sennelier, grey and white and some System 3 white acrylic.

These photos give you an idea but it’s a bit tidier now than at the time – I was half asleep and no camera!

What emerged from my marks and spatters were the trees and hedge at the end of our garden – I look at this view a great deal and the hedgerow is a haven to wildlife, especially pheasants.

Normally, our regular visitors are two males, who we call Philip and Phineas – occasionally there is a third, Felix – (Phelix??) and sometimes one or two females – but lately, there have been lots of them, – (a nye?) – of at least 12 , in the garden finding food to eat – and they are lovely to watch.

Philip and Phineas
Philip and Phineas
The gentlemen and ladies…

The marks that came reminded me of the trees and hedgerow where they come in. I reckon the next step is to draw them during the daytime when we are all awake together!

The hedgerow to the field

So here, from my reverie, is this night time piece, from memory really, showing where the pheasants live…

Where the pheasants live... mixed media art by Maxine Dodd
Where the pheasants live… Mixed media

Tour de France 2020: Coming tomorrow…

Hello and bonjour! The last day before the start of this year’s Tour de France and another post of some of my favourite images over the years inspired by this great race.

This first set shows the organism that is the peloton, weaving its way through the landscape. Chasing down, pulling back, from every view, the peloton is great to watch…

Tour de France, Cycling, art, Sunny peloton, by Maxine Dodd
Sunny peloton
cycling art, tour de france
Stage 7 – A long day! Peloton closing in, 29.7km
Following the Peloton
The Peloton- View from the back
cycling art, tour de france
Stage 18 – Départ réel – A long peloton

These images show the landscape itself, so diverse and beautiful…

Peloton and outriders on a long road

Next the landscape itself, beautiful and diverse…

Cycling art, Tour de France, Watercolour painting Les Gorges du Tarn, Stage 14 by Maxine Dodd
Les Gorges du Tarn, Stage 14
Cycling, south of France, Mediterranean sea
Impossible roads!, £250
cycling art, tour de france
Annecy, the road by the lake
The coast road, by Maxine Dodd
The coast road
Cycling, art, Tour de France
Twisting road
The long road
Cycling art, Tour de France, Watercolour painting Chaos on the mountains, Allez! Stage 19, by Maxine Dodd
Chaos on the mountains, Allez!

Next, the rain! It’s lovely to draw, not so great to ride…

Tour de France, cycling, art, Maxine Dodd
The last climb!
cycling art, tour de france
Stage 17- Feel the rain!
Torrential rain!
Poor visibility
cycling art, tour de france
Stage 17-Départ, Majestic trees

The cities and towns….

Stage 15 – Carcassonne, pink rooftops and green trees
Riding into a sunny town
Tour comes to Mont St Michel

The flags and animals…

How did they get that up there? Lacets de Montvernier, Stage 18
Tour de Horse!

The descents…

Descent from Tourmalet
Bardet climbs Lacets de Montvernier, Stage 18

The stars…

Bardet goes for it!
Brilliant Barguil!
Chris Froome sets out
Stage 20 – Nibali crosses the line!
Sylvain Chavanel – Stage 2, 17.9km
Second for Sagan; First for Van Avermaet
Descending like a skier, Sagan, Stage 16
cycling art, tour de france
Stage 18 – Brilliant descent – Bernal!

The last image is of the current champion, Egan Bernal, the great young rider from Colombia. Wishing him and all the riders the very best for a safe and spectacular 2020 race!

Stage 13 – Bernal-Gomez

Tour de France 2020: Coming soon….

Hello and bonjour! Only a few days to go before the start of this year’s Tour de France and another post of some of my favourite images over the years from this great race.

This set shows some team time trials, which is a feature of the race I love to draw. It’s the chance to see the team race as one unit and the best have a lovely rhythm to their riding which is great to watch.

This image of Omega Pharma Quickstep was made during the Team Time Trial in Nice in 2013.

Omega Pharma Quickstep

This year’s race returns to Nice and it will be great to see the lovely city and glimpses of the Mediterranean Sea that I personally have missed greatly!

Here are some more of my favourite images and my favourite teams. I hope yours are there too! Have a great Wednesday!

Garmin Sharp, £350
Tight unit, Team Sky
BMC, Stage 1
BMC, World Champs
Tinkoff Saxo into the sun
Lotto Jumbo, Stage 1
Lotto NL Jumbo
Stage 2 – Ineos – Attention!

Tour de France 2020: Coming soon…

Hello and bonjour! After all that has happened in 2020, it’s hard to believe that this year’s Tour will start at the end of the week.

To whet your appetite, I will share some images that I have made over the years and that I hope you will enjoy…

This first set shows some of the crowds and bystanders who are so much a part of this race. I wonder quite how this will be in 2020?

Look at all the people!
Stage 11, Leaving Albertville
Stage 19 – Hard going
Coming up the hill, part one, Stage 16

This is a special favourite, as the photographer in the Hull FC shirt is a pal. I really loved making this one, thank you Mike and Judy, 🙂

Coming up the hill! Col de la Forclaz – SOLD
Stage 21 – Think he might just be from Oz!
Fans on the mountains! Stage 17

I also love to see the fans from all round the world…the Dutch have their own place, a vision of orange, love them!

Orange! – Dutch corner
Dutch corner, Stage 20

Drawing August: Fingerprints and all!

Gladioli pastel by Maxine Dodd
Fingerprints and all!

Second drawing for this year’s Drawing August online event. This is pastel on Ingres paper. I used Schmincke and Sennelier here; the pigments are so strong and vibrant, they are always exciting to use.

Pastel is possibly the purest form of painting – we work with pure pigment and little else!

Amanda McLean

Soft (chalk) pastels were the first medium that hooked me into art properly. I made a picture when I was at school using pastel on black paper. It was a revelation, the colours and contrast were something wonderful and that was it, I was off on my journey. Lovely memories!

Tour de France Revisited, 2013 – Givors – Mont Ventoux

Bonjour! Happy Bastille Day – This look back through the Racing Lines archive brings me to ‘Green Sprint’, which I made during the 2013 Tour de France.

Tour de France 2013, Stage 15, Green Sprint, watercolour by Maxine Dodd
Green sprint

2013 was a special year for the Tour, as it was the 100th running of the race and Stage 15 was particularly special – it was the longest route that year from at 242.5 kilometers, or 151 miles and, as if that wasn’t enough, the stage climaxed with a climb to the summit of Mont Ventoux. The route was lined with so many people, often with their own bikes, trying to ride the gruelling climb themselves.

Even more special, it was 14th July, Bastille Day and I wanted to reflect this with a lovely big French flag! (If you know my work, you’ll know how I love to paint flags!) The image shows the Intermediate Sprint, through Malaucène, won by Peter Sagan. He was in Green and the route through the leafy trees in the afternoon sunshine was lined with people and flags – Perfect!

Since it is Bastille Day today, it seemed a great way to celebrate and remember the joy shared by fans of the great race on this most significant day in its long history. This year will be so different but there are wonderful memories, which live through everything that Life brings.

Have a lovely Bastille Day whatever you are doing and wherever you are! 🙂

I am offering this picture for sale through my Racing Lines Boutique set up so I can support the #ArtistSupportPledge. It is mounted ready for framing and postage is included to UK destinations. Thank you for your wonderful support 🙂

Photo of Maxine Dodd's painting, 'Green sprint'
Green sprint

Artists supporting artists during the pandemic crisis, for every £1,000 sales, the artist pledges to buy a work of art from another artist. Anyone can buy artworks offered in the pledge and to encourage sales, the works of art featured are no more than £200.00 (plus postage and packing)

You can find out more about the Artists Support Pledge here and follow the hashtag #artistsupportpledge on Instagram and other social media platforms.

Tour de France Revisited: 2016 – Stage4 Saumur to Limoges

Another look back to the Tour de France, this time to 2016 and Stage 4, a long route, ‘through luscious countryside and warm sunshine’ as I wrote at the time.

Tour de France, cycling, art, Riding in the sunshine by Maxine Dodd
Riding in the sunshine

The route was suited to sprinters but held a twist at the end, with an unclassified climb

Tour de France, Cycling, art, Sunny peloton, by Maxine Dodd
Sunny peloton

This suited the bigger riders and there was remarkable sprint finish – even closer than Stage 3, ‘A cat’s whisker’ said the delighted winner, Marcel Kittel. Fantastic!

Tour de France, cycling, art, So close! by Maxine Dodd
So close!

Artists Support Pledge

Artists supporting artists during the pandemic crisis, for every £1,000 sales, the artist pledges to buy a work of art from another artist.

Anyone can buy artworks offered in the pledge and to encourage sales, the works of art featured are no more than £200.00 (plus postage and packing)

Here are five pieces of mine offered on my new Racing Lines Boutique set up so I can support the pledge.

They are all memories from the Tour de France, especially sweet while we wait for this year’s race! If you see one that you like, click on it to view or go to the Racing Lines boutique option from the main menu. Postage to the UK is included on single items. I hope you find something you like and will buy to support artists and makers at this time.

Postage is free to UK on single items I can quote separately for carriage outside the UK

I will share with you the progress I make, and tell you about the works of art that I buy if I am lucky enough to reach the £1,000 target.

I will add new artworks as pieces sell, so there will always be five items to choose from. Thank you! Have a great weekend 🙂

You can find out more about the Artists Support Pledge here and follow the hashtag #artistsupportpledge on Instagram and other social media platforms.

Sunshine inspiration…

In January, there is nothing better than reminders of sunny days. Looking through some of my pictures made in Mallorca brings back good memories and inspiration for the year ahead…can’t wait! Wishing you sunshine inspiration too…

Cycling art, MallorcaCycling art, MallorcaCycling art, MallorcaCycling art, MallorcaStage 1, Mallorca, Blue Skiescycling art, Mallorca

A new departure…

This image evolved from a chance mark made with the palette knife, I could see a red sail clearly and the rest followed. It’s lovely to let the paint take the lead every now and again… you never quite know where you’ll end up, but it’s always an adventure! 🙂

A New Departure, painting of yacht at sea, Maxine Dodd

A New Departure

'A new departure' painting by Maxine Dodd, shown on the easel

‘A new departure’ on the easel

A new departure

The picture is currently drying and so still fixed to the support board.  The image size is 20cm x 22 cm / 8in x 8.5in.

Once dry it can be mounted or framed ready to send…’

For all enquiries, please  click here and complete the picture enquiry form 🙂 🙂

Are you ready? SOLD

Still on the easel, but ready to go!

This is another foray into acrylic, which I have enjoyed using for a change. I have found them difficult in the past but have discovered that I have been using them incorrectly! I have always used a tiny amount of medium with a lot of water.

This is bad for the paint which can ‘split’. It is a polymer, so needs the medium to stretch the paint and allow it to flow. I now use plenty of medium with very little water and it works so well.*

This painting is the result of this learning, so it was great to make it!

Postscript 1/11/19 – I’m delighted to report that ‘Getting ready’ has now sold.

* Footnote: Advice on the subject of acrylic medium from Winsor & Newton:

Tips on using acrylic mediums

Super Sunday

Well, what a day yesterday was? I wonder if you have recovered yet? I’ve never known a Sunday quite like it – so much phenomenal sport to enjoy.

Like many people, I was juggling viewing between the Tour de France, the Men’s Singles Final at Wimbledon, the Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone and the Men’s Cricket World Cup Final between England and New Zealand. So much drama at each event, giving great excitement for some, bruising disappointment for others. All of them entertained!

Here are some of the sketches and drawings I made while watching – with ideas for further pictures to come. I think I have my work cut out for some time … I love July, but Sunday 14th July 2019 will live long in my memory. Have a great week, Best wishes, Maxine 🙂