Today on the beach at Swakopmund on the Atlantic seaboard and a day off from the tour, having spent the last few days in the Namib Desert climbing dunes and doing the odd bit of painting as can also be seen below. I might even get to do some of the animals if they stand still long enough.
I was playing around looking at creating surfaces in abstract ways using tone and colour temperature, but drifted off when things didn’t go as planned and playing around came up with this. As it was quite small and on paper I thought about trying it on a 50x70cm canvas.
I liked the juxtaposition of the organic/formless aspects and the hard defined shapes which I then played around with, breaking up edges and working into. The canvas version is below and I think that it has some merits, although I couldn’t get the mixing I got on the paper – the weave of the canvas preventing it. What I could do is coat the canvas with gesso and sand down. I have found seven applications and sanding gets a flawless surface which might emulate paper and allow me to get the effects I got on the paper. Or I could just go with paper, but then I would need to think about the kind of support I would need.
I will be pondering on this. Meanwhile, other abstract paintings are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com
We only went for a few days to Dieppe, mainly to pick up some cider and salad dressing and allow for my wife to use a bit of the French she has been working on all year long. This sketch was done by a small village stream whilst we rested during a walk we did, picking up a grande randonee (long distance walking track) out of Dieppe. We didn’t have a map so it we didn’t know where it was going. I had hoped it would take us along the cliff-tops, but it veered off into the country and took us here instead.
As the wife went to the market I took a few minutes on the beach, as the mist started to come in. Just enough time to get the distant cliffs before they disappeared.
We have taken a trip down south and I have had some time to do a bit of sketching. This one is from the cliffs at Entretat in Normandy, France. The one below, and less successful, is from the other side of the channel near Beachy Head, close to Eastbourne in Sussex, done a couple of days before. I just like the juxtaposition of the two sketches and the fact that despite the fifty or so miles of sea in between, the topography is identical.
Before my hip operation I tried to get out and about and do some plein air painting whilst I still had my mobility, but the weather quickly deteriorated towards the end of May so here are my only offerings. Ironically just over the hill and trees in this painting is the hospital I had my operation in.
Actually when I came out here I thought that there were some better views, but as I walked about, what I thought could be subjects weren’t that good. This seems to be one of my problems with painting outdoors. Eventually I settled on this view, though I did enjoy painting in the late evening sun.
I walked over the bridge and came down onto the canal bank and saw this narrowboat that I thought was mooring for the night. The low sun on it against the dark background was very alluring, so I set up to paint it. I got my initial drawing done, catching the owner on the back of it. I hadn’t even finished the drawing when the guy opened up the throttle and my subject sailed away. So I had to make it up and in so doing I think I lost a lot of impact. If only I had taken my camera. Another of plein air painting’s perils.
Two more from my painting trips of last week. Since then I haven’t been out as we have been getting a lot of much needed rain. Presently I am working this sketch of a tree up into a small painting, so I’ll be putting that on the blog soon.
I might even work this one up as well. There is a great view on the other side of the cottage and the overhanging tree and cable poles give it character. Hopefully the good weather will make a comeback, but at least I don’t have to water the garden.
Well, the sun continues to shine, so I’ve been out on my bike again. This is an old track I used to ride down a lot on my way to and from work. I loved the variation of the trees and the line of reeds. After painting this I went back to where I painted Down Holland Farm (earlier post) and found my metal pallet in amongst the stinging nettles.
This one is an old cobbled canal bridge, looking into the sun. I had to stand in the middle of it to paint in order to see the buildings and light on the hedgerow. It is a bridge from an old farm track over the canal to nowhere (I cant understand why it was built) yet as I worked 3 dogwalkers came past, then a pony and trap and finally to people riding horses. Each time I had to move my gear to let them past. It’s tough out on the road, or bridge in this case. Though I might develop this further as I liked the scene and I haven’t done justice to the main tree.
Out in the early morning: this was a bit of a problem, as although the sun was shining, the air temperature was around 2oC. So the washes didn’t try very fast so I did a lot of pacing around whilst the painting sat drying on the grass in the sun. Still it’s great to get out and as I returned home I saw a couple of sites well worth painting on another visit. Always good having somewhere to go rather than wasting time looking around for a subject.