This is a scene from my hometown of Hastings, on the south coast of England. Here the fishing boats are hauled up the shingle beach and then launched into the sea by tractors. Even the local Lifeboat is treated similarly. There is a harbour arm, but I dont think it would afford much protection. So you can walk amongst the beached boats with all the paraphernalia of a fishing port strewn across the shingle. I saw this fellow sitting out of the wind behind two boats eating his lunch and there was one gull jealously eyeing his fish dinner.
So I added a few more – to up the tension – for as you know, there aren`t many things hungrier than a gull, unless, that is, it`s a man who has just lost his lunch.
Moving further south in Vietnam we arrived at Hoi An. There was quite a lot of charm about the place, but you still dont escape the crowds and hard sell. The town is situated on Bon river 4 Km from the coast. It is an old trading post with many influences and a number of old houses.
We walked through the very busy market, where fish and squid were being landed off boats and chickens were being taken away for the pot and walked along to the old French Quarter by the waterside. Here pleasure boats and fishing boats were moored and for once there were very few people. A great place to paint.
In the afternoon, after sitting in a cafe and watching a monk come in and scrounge some cornettos for him and his mates we crossed the river and I sat on a shaded bench and painted the waterfront. Mid way through an old woman came by. It was obvious I had taken her favourite siesta spot, but I wasnt moving, so she made do with an adjacent bench.
I was thinking about entering the marine artists exhibition in London. I had a couple of suitable paintings but wanted something a little different so that I could judge what it is that they are looking for a bit better and worked up this idea. Now that it’s complete I’m a little underwhelmed by it. I have got tighter than I would have liked. I’ll prop it against the wall and have a look at it over the next week or so and make my mind up. I have used motifs that I have used as subjects before, in case you are wondering whether you’ve already seen it.
I was caught by the orange hull against the blue of the water. I thought by bluing out the background it might further highten the effect of the light on the central boat. The painting is actually bluer than this image suggests. I also like the shot of red on the adjacent boat which brings in some dissonance to the basic complementary pairing and as such I haven’t echoed it anywhere else.