Monthly Archives: June 2019

Painting in and around Bardi

June 12, 2019

Houses by the Castle, Bardi

This post shows some of the delightful work accomplished by students on the painting holiday at Casa Bezzia in the Parma Appenines. More at home with sketching and painting in acrylic, the group made some great paintings outside in watercolour, and by the end of the week became confident at tackling the challenges of working in a big landscape. The flowers were painted on the one really rainy day and afforded a good opportunity to experiment with colour mixing and brushwork.

Colourful Houses, Bardi

The Ceno at Ponte Lecca

The Ceno at Ponte Lecca


The Ceno at Ponte Lecca

Calves at the Vischeto Cheese Factory

A View from Pianiletto

The Mountains from Pianiletto

Derelict House at Pianiletto

Flowers from the Meadow, Pietracervara


Great brushwork

A Paeony from the Garden

A Posy from Pietracervara

Meadow Flowers with Blue Gromwell and Honeysuckle


Rain on the Ramparts, Bardi

Between the Trees


The Installation View!

Jo Hall at the SGFA Centenary Exhibition, the Bankside Gallery, London SE1 9JH

June 10, 2019

Jo is delighted to be showing five works at the Society of Graphic Fine Art’s Centenary Exhibition and would like to thank the SGFA President Les Williams and the Council, for putting together another brilliant showcase of Member’s work.


Haggling over Sheep, Tafraoute, Morocco

Jacaranda Time in Nice

Ancient Olive at Domaines des Colettes, Cagnes-sur-Mer

Springtime at Domaines des Colettes

Notes on the works;

“Dream” tells a story in mixed media drawn over a thin veil of Pan Pastel.

“Haggling over Sheep” is composed in watercolour and pencil from sketches made at the sheep and goat market in Tafraoute, Morocco .

“Jacaranda Time in Nice” is a view from the Chateau Gardens where the cliff falls steeply down to the old harbor with gullies filled with Jacaranda trees.

The “Ancient Olive Tree” was found in Renoir’s garden at Domaines des Colettes at Cagnes-sur-Mer, just outside Nice, and the medium is graphite pencil over a layer of pale green Pan Pastel.

“Springtime at Domaines des Colettes” is a rather fanciful interpretation of the view from Renoir’s garden toward the castle at Haute Cagnes and is in pastel.

The Society of Graphic Fine Art Centenary Exhibition at the Bankside Gallery

The next few days are the last chance to view this exciting exhibition of fine art drawing created by Members of the Society of Graphic fine Art, which closes on 16th June.  For more information about the SGFA and free demonstrations at the exhibition visit

Wild Flowers in the Parma Appenines near Bardi

June 5, 2019

The Monkey Orchid: Orchis simia rare in the UK but more abundant in Italy

Two weeks ago I returned from tutoring a painting holiday at Casa Bezzia in the tiny hamlet of Pietracervara in the Parma Appenines.

In early May just across the road from the studio we found ourselves in an exquisite flower meadow with a backdrop of mountains.  From my previous visit in November I had no idea how colourful it would be in May.

Blue Gromwell: Lithospermum purpurocaeruleum

The bordering copses were spangled with bright blue Lithospermum purpurocaeruleum (Blue Gromwell) and wild strawberry flowers, and we found rocky crevices filled with cushions of pale magenta Saponaria ocymoides (Rock soapwort).

Rock Soapwort at Ponte Lecca

Rock Soapwort near Pietracervara

Rock Soapwort: Saponaria ocymoides

The following pictures show just some of the colourful plants we saw during our delightful stay. Do let me know if you find mistakes in the identification of the various species as my days as a Botany student are a little distant.

Sainfoin: Onobrychis viciifoliaoften cultivated for fodder

Lotus corniculatus and Trifolium dubium

Polygala amara near Pietracervara

Polygala amara

Believe this image and the one below are of the Lady Orchid: Orchis purpurea

All found in the meadow and grassland at Pietracervara

Trifolium pratense with it’s pearls of dew looking just as beautiful as the rarer plants!

Cerastium arvense

Salvia pratensis

So on the one rainy day we had wild flowers to paint!

Salvia verbanaca

A “clock” of Tragapogon pratensis larger than the Dandelion and known as Goat’s Beard


The goats beard is also called Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon as its flowers open early and close at midday.

Tragapogon pratensis fully open

More clocks in the meadow. or contact

Sylvia Bell at

Tel.  +39 052571370