Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all...

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Before the questions start coming in no it isn't a photograph... the above was done using a combination of Cinema 4d R15, Maya and Autostudio.

Seathwaite in summer, oil painting

Detail from "Tumbling into the pool", Seathwaite, Cumbria.
Oil. Alistair Butt © 2013 -
#AB 021374

A hot summer day was spent exploring the River Derwent near Seathwaite, Cumbria. It's one of the valleys at the head of Borrowdale and as mentioned before in previous posts, it's one of the better known starting points for the walk to Scarfell.

Having crossed the river a number of times I came up to this deep pool, some children had been jumping into it from the rocks on the far side, it was a delight to see all the colours and crystal clear water, as just below and above the river was more rocky although this was mid summer and had been dry for some months, therefore the water level was lower than normal.

Frost morning in the Lake District, this time Watendlath Beck

Detail from "Frosty start to the day", Watendlath, Cumbria.
Oil. Alistair Butt © 2013 -
#AB 021373

Watendlath valley is a wonderful off shoot of Borrowdale which is over to the right hand side. A steep climb via a single track road from Derwent Water leads you past the famous Ashness bridge - much painted and even more photographed. A Google search will bring up many images if you haven't seen this bridge before.

A little bit further along the road is 'surprise view' a well used spot with a great view over Derwent Water, there is a National Trust car park at the location so no need for the walking boots...

Many turn back here but if you head along the winding road it leads to Waterndlath, with its delightful tarn and small collection of farm buildings and cottages (nice tea room) plus a packhorse bridge -great if you are lucky to see the local Herwick sheep coming across it.

To this painting, I managed (just) to cross some ice covered stones in the river, not always the best of ideas, to get this view point just as the sun climbed from behind the left hand mountain - the small amount of warmth from the sun was more than welcome on what was a very cold morning but it all combined to provide a wonderful subject, great light both on Watendlath Beck, the frost cover ground and the last of the autumn colour on the trees.

Now back across those stones...

Winter afternoon in Langstrath - Oil painting

Detail from "A late winter afternoon in Langstrath", Langstrath, Cumbria.
Oil. Alistair Butt © 2013 -
#AB 021372

A few days before this valley was covered in deep snow but a combination of strong winds and a few days of sunlight have removed most of it...

It was mid afternoon due to the low sun angle (it was heading behind the right hand side) even at 3:30 to 4:00 PM a valley floor (like this one) can be in deep shadow and that time wasn't far away.

It was the large stone that I wanted in the painting along with a nice lead in by using the river, although getting to this spot wasn't that easy, even with walking boots on, wellingtons would have been better as there was lots of water running down the slopes (from the snow melt) and almost every step went deep into the mud/wet ground. Although less water running down to the river, it can be same even in summer.

The remaining snow on the flanks of Bowfell added some interest to the background, although sunny at the time it wasn't very warm and wouldn't like to think want it was like on the top.

Royal Institute of Oil Painters (ROI) annual exhibition at Mall Galleries

The nights are drawing in and Christmas is just around the corner; let the Royal Institute of Oil Painters bring a splash of colour to your home this December.

Selecting the best of contemporary oil painting, the Institute's annual exhibition has almost 300 paintings in oil on display, all of which are for sale.

Works are available to Browse & Buy  online now.

As the only major national art society that is devoted exclusively to oil painting, the exhibition features a wide variety of contemporary landscape, figurative and still life paintings by some of the finest established artists working in oil today, alongside work by non-members, all of whom are eligible for the several prizes and awards on offer, including the Phyllis Roberts Award of £2000 for a promising young painter and the Winsor & Newton Oil Painter Awards for artists aged 35 or under.

For aspiring oil painters, there are a number of workshops and demonstrations to get involved in during the exhibition, details  of which can be found on our website:

Exhibition open: 11 to 21 December, 10am to 5pm

Mall Galleries,
The Mall, London SW1
Admission: £3, £2.50 concessions, Free to Mall Galleries Friends, ROI Friends, National Art Pass holders and under 18s.

Still some autumn colour to be found...

The silver birch, well those that I found, still have lots of leaf and more interesting good colour. These are part of Sherwood forest and on both days seen in the evening light.

As per normal, unless to know the area it's lots of walking around until a good view is found...

Summer Afternoon - Ullswater, Cumbria

Detail from "Summer Evening at Howtown", Howtown, Ullswater, Cumbria.
Oil. Alistair Butt © 2013 -
#AB 021369
As a contrast to the current falling autumn temperatures, this painting was from a rather warm day in mid summer. The view is from Howtown, the Ullswater ferry landing stage in just in the trees, looking across the lake to the Knotts (Private).

As it was a still evening some wonderful reflections presented themselves, helped by the odd cloud being caught by the evening sun...