With family issues dominating of late I have had little time to paint. The day before yesterday we sat on Cooden Beach in Sussex and I sketched this scene with part of Beachy Head in the background – rather a sparse scene, I’m afraid, but time constraints pressed.
I also manage a couple of abstract pastel landscapes. I was just playing around with a loose idea, but when I reflected on the outcome, I was disappointed to see a woodland scene had evolved. Hopefully I can build on this – it certainly wasnt the vision I had in mind when I started. It never fails to amaze me how the mechanics of the process can take over and lead you away from where you wanted to be.
With so many distractions of late this painting was doomed. I debated long and hard about whether just to focus in on the party having afternoon tea, but the setting of the architecture also had appeal. In the end I regretted my decision as the pediments, columns and cornices just became a labour although I still like the contrast of the greys and whites against the corner of colour with the tea drinkers. Maybe its something to try again when things are a little less hectic. I might even have a go at the tea drinkers without the architecture.
I made this up from three photos. I loved the light coming in across the sea, illuminating the cracks in the groyne and making the wet pebbles sparkle. However the picture was a little dull without something else going on. I thought about putting some seagulls in, but decided upon the two guys who were fishing nearby who I had photographed, but with the sun. It meant I had to draw them the other way around and make up some shadow and highlights.
I have often walked in this direction in the evening on the Bexhill promenade in Sussex, England. The shapes of the buildings and the masts of the boats in the sailing club make intriguing shapes in the late afternoon light. I tried painting this but the large open space of foreground made it a little lifeless, even with the lead-in of the railings and beach huts on the left. In the end I added some figures. To some extent they seem to have taken over the scene, but I have tried to space them out so that the mass of buildings, masts and reflected light still make for a dynamic painting.
This painting is on my website grahammcquadefineart.com. Take a look.