In the end I plumped for something upbeat to start the new year with; the summer days to come – well at least for us poor northerners. This was taken from a place where everyone is currently luxuriating in hot summer holiday days.
It was either this painting or one of a hyena. I might keep that for the Chinese new year, well it is the year of the dog.
I did like the way the primary colours of the sunshade blaze out against the dark sea and the shaded figures contrast against the dry, hot sand.
Down to Plettenberg bay. We had a 10k walk along the Robben Peninsular which, I was told later, a few dont return from. At the end it was hard going but we made for a pristine beach where the breakers pounded in and I rested my weary bones and did this sketch after cooling my feet in the crystal sea.
Another sketch from the same area on a different day. The cliffs tower above you though I think rockfalls are rare, they do occur from time to time.
I put this out in October 2015 on this blog and then entered it into a number of local exhibitions but there were no takers. It also resided on my websites for a year and a half and with the lack of interest I decided to replace it on my main website, but last week someone saw it on one of my other websites which I dont update too often and they bought it. It just takes the right person to come along and see it and you have a sale.
It has made me resolve to check what I do have out there on the web as it might have been embarrassing if I had cut it up and used it as scrap paper which I am prone do when practising techniques or developing paintings.
Other seascapes and watercolours are available on my website. Get them whilst you have the chance : grahammcquadefineart.com
I must admit to losing interest in this painting midway through, though I do love the cluster of readers under the umbrella. I noticed that there were a lot of these small libraries on beaches in Normandy, France. This was in Fecamp and there was one in Etretat. The hut had the label: Lire a la Plage and people came down and read in the sunshine. It seemed amusing to see people fully clothed clustered in a group reading, ignoring the temptations of the beach.
I may have another go, focussing on the people and cutting out the bulk of beach and cliffs, though the shadow of the cliffs gives a good counterpoint.
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.
I was watching some TV about seabird colonies in Scotland and the scenes of the wild sea made me want to try some techniques I saw in a book by Nita Engle. There is no brushwork in this painting except to use them to flick paint onto the paper and a little bit to finally render the seabirds. She actually uses an applicator to squirt the paint onto the paper so that you can get regression with the waves – a degree of control that you cant achieve by flicking.
I did a second painting – Headland – which more reflected the programme, although the headland just appeared out of the marks so I did use a bit of brushwork to bring it to prominence .
I might use some pipettes I have to mimics the spray application and gain a bit of control with the waves. However I do love the wildness that this approach brings. So I might bore you with another one soon.