Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Ian Sidaway R.I.

Ian Sidaway's huge dirty paint box creates luminous watercolors.
I first met British watercolor artist Sidaway through a series of small food books by John Midgley - love at first sight. Later I found Ian's landscape watercolor book... We met enfin the flesh at a watercolor workshop in Poppi, Tuscany. Yesterday I visited his Richmond studio. Ian's a master of layering, color, values. He paints full across the page back to back...
Ian plots out his paintings in thumbnail sketches first.
Ian's done at least 90 painting books on all mediums.
Piles of watercolors fill his workshed.
Breath-taking no?
The garden looks to have escaped from his paintings...
An artists dream house.Surrounded by wonderful English antique trash. 


  1. Justine2:52 AM

    However does the man get such gorgeous watercolors from that filthy paintbox?
    A miracle no doubt...
    Merci for this-I'm instantly in love too!!

  2. That is SOME king-sized watercolor box in the studio photo!!! Oh, to be PB visiting the artist and master chef - and thumbing through all those yummy notebooks!
    And I must have the trash can from the garden!

  3. beautiful watercolors!

  4. haha, is "master chef" code word for "wife?" :)

  5. the paintings are so gorgeous!!!
    I want a masterchef too!!!

  6. Thank you for introducing me to Ian. I love him already!

  7. How wonderful that you met and "talked shop" with another artist! Those meetings are priceless!!! His work is very nice...great post.

  8. Oh, THANK YOU, Carol--I love Ian's work, and this is great fun seeing him in his home element. God, that lunch looked fabulous. Way to go--his palettes are gorgeous, too.

  9. what a great post, love watercolors, oh to be able to paint!!! and that garden and a master chef to boot....goodness what a life.
    best to you
    enjoy you everyday

  10. Anna-Marie in Anglet9:41 AM

    Simply fabulous!
    Such luminosity in Sidaway's watercolors and the design!
    Awesomely beautiful!
    Lucky you to see them up close and personal.

  11. Oh, to have just a tiny bit of artistic talent! Thank you for a lovely "visit."

  12. I also have that beautiful book, A Sprig of Coriander! Bought it at Heal's long ago.

    But wait, there's more. I also have another beautiful book, The Goodness of Beans Peas and Lentils, that is also filled with Mr Sidaway's paintings.

    These books are treasures that have long graced one of my bookshelves. I am going to have to look for some of Mr Sidaway's watercolor books.

    Thank you so much, Carol, for allowing me to make this connection.


  13. What a wonderful commentary! Someday . . . someday . . . I will get the guts to get serious about continuing my watercolor envy. I keep saying that, but where is the action that should accompany this desire?.
    Thanks for the inspiration.
    Hugs, rk

  14. Debra P.10:31 AM

    Carol, inspirational post for me, as an artist/mom, I have let the art part go for so long and am trying to get back to work. I want to pick up June Artist mag. Now, I need to put everything aside and concentrate. thanks again.
    PS My daughter wants the Sonia bear very badly. do you know if it's possible to buy? I looked on-line, but could not find out.

  15. Oooooooooh .... just when I thought you can't top it, there you go, fantastic, I am floored. I am in love with these Moleskins and the paintings and I want to come to London and have dinner with Lydia (I could make Apfelstrudel!).

    Lumincance! Has Ian ever taught photographers? I have followed him thanks to your enthusiastic posts and now I understand what is so fascinating about his work: Luminance and layers.

    I have to click on Amazon right now and see what essentials I need. Merci beaucoup for this wonderful post,

  16. Have I mentioned that I could go gaga over an Aga cooker? I imagine a rhubarb strudel coming out of the oven, the thin butter bottom crust caramelized with the rhubarb juices calling loudly for a scoop of vanilla ice cream ..... *faints*

  17. FoodWalker12:03 PM

    Oh, Carol, his paintings are captivating. So happy for you to be with him.
    What a gorgeous place they live in.
    And, oh, that stove, Lydia is working on.
    I rode home from Paris, one time, with the old man who's family makes those.
    He was adorable and fell asleep on my shoulder.
    All Louis Vuitton luggage and plaid plus fours and riding in coach!

  18. Superb watercolours. I've never heard of him so thanks for the introduction.

    And here's one for you.

    We've got two of his paintings and he did one of our barn and haycart a few years ago which sold within minutes!

    Bonne chance pour ce soir.

  19. Carolg T.12:04 PM

    wow...have been adoring your london visit (we spent the last two years of our euro-life in Fulham (Parson's Green) just off King's Road) so I walked this area non-stop. walking in fact was usually much faster than the doubledecker #19 that came into chelsea and Sloane Square. i assume you've been into Bibendum to see the fish display as well as flower market in front. and the P. Treacy hat shop? there are so many visual joys in London. I saw you found Roccoco early on..that was always my go-to for Easter and special gifts.

    Enjoy every minute..especially loved your visit today w/Ian and wife. Fabulous watercolours!


  20. I too am enjoying your London visit and taking notes. Thank you for introducing me to Ian.

    I have a master chef, I call him my husband. He unfortunately does not have a master painter for a wife.

  21. This is a fascinating post! :o)

  22. Wow, he is amazing!
    I can't draw, so I'm always amazed by people who can...especially those who do it with excellence.

  23. I've popped over by suggestion of the lovely Merisi and I am so glad I did! Fabulous art and food. Wonderful post.

  24. Wow: paintings. Wow: moleskines. Wow: lunch!

    You lucky Mademoiselle you!

  25. I didn't know you were still in London doing viewings!! If only I saw your post yesterday!!! Are you doing any more private viewings this week before you go?

  26. Love this post. what fun to get to meet him and see his studio. This post makes me want to take up watercolors. Now I must go check out this artist I have never heard of and will plan to know well. :)

  27. I think I'm in love - don't tell my husband!

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  29. Wow, what a treat - I hadn't been visiting in a while and I was so enchanted by all of your posts! It's nice to see London again, it's been so long. All of your photos and captions are very interesting and many are so humorous. Thanks for sharing it all with us.

  30. Jessica Caffe6:38 AM

    Dear Carol, I LOVE YOUR BLOG and Bless God I have all yours Paris adventures in my eMail ! Everytime I open My e mail its so great have Paris in ! Im Brazilian and I live and Im in love for Paris ! Ur look from the city is amazing!


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