The View From My Window - Amalfi #1
“The View From My Window – Amalfi #1” – original artwork by Julia Barnickle

I recently came across the website of Tara Leaver, an artist based in Hove, on the south coast of England – and at the beginning of September I joined in Tara’s 7-day “Paint a Series” challenge.

For some time I had wanted to paint a series entitled “The View From My Window” – with views from my various travels – but I always found something else to do. Tara’s challenge seemed the perfect opportunity to start, even if I were not able to complete more than one painting. Sometimes it’s more important to get started and not worry about the outcome. In fact, it’s nearly always more important!

During the seven days of the challenge, I did only complete one painting – seen above – a view of Amalfi, in Italy, where Paul and I had a wonderful holiday many years ago, when I first started learning Italian. I chose to paint it in a semi-realistic / semi-impressionist style, similar to the view I painted on the wardrobe doors many years ago!

the stages of painting
the stages of painting “The View From My Window – Amalfi #1”

My inspiration for the painting was a photograph which I took during one of our walks in the hills surrounding the town of Amalfi. Having sketched the outline on the back of an envelope(!) and transferred it to a sheet of watercolour paper, I used acrylic inks to block out the shapes of the mountains, sea, sky and the town. I quite liked the simplicity, and I felt rather sad as I painted over it with acrylics – but it did give me an idea for another version of the painting (see below).


The View From My Window - Amalfi #2
“The View From My Window – Amalfi #2” – original artwork by Julia Barnickle

For the second version, which I completed yesterday, once again I started out with acrylic inks – having traced the outline from the first painting. My inspiration, style-wise, was the painting “Open Window at Saint-Jeannet” by Raoul Dufy and a poster of “Auckland – City of Sails” by Rowan Forbes – not that my painting looks anything like either of them!

The detailed work was done with Posca paint pens, and for the tree and window I used acrylic paints.

the stages of painting
the stages of painting “The View From My Window – Amalfi #2”

When I signed up for this challenge, I had no idea that I would end up painting two versions of the same view – I thought I would paint different views. But it took longer than I had anticipated to finish the first painting, and I also wasn’t sure whether I wanted to continue the series in that style – hence the experiment with the second painting.

I’m still undecided about which style to adopt for the series and am thinking of doing a third version in the coming weeks, in a more abstract style…

4 thoughts on “Paint A Series with Tara Leaver

  1. The first picture is nice but your second one is special. Really wonderful. It has a touch of Caulfield to it but is entirely your own which is why it’s so extraordinary. Keep going! Very inspiring.

  2. Julia Barnickle

    Thank you Lynn! I had to look up Caulfield, and I can see the similarities, but I’m glad you think my style is entirely my own.

  3. I love what Tara inspired in you! I like each version of your view. I’m especially drawn to the second one. I think Tara is very inspirational, I won her book Creative Spark a while back, it was such a treat. What you have done for me today is inspire me to revist her book and spend some time creating. I tried art journaling not very long ago and found it to be very enjoyable. Your advice to “just start” was something I needed to hear today. Thank you.

  4. Julia Barnickle

    Thank you Tracie! I’ll have to take a look at Tara’s book. I’m so pleased that my advice to “just start” was helpful. Enjoy your creating! 🙂

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