This is a view from the East Hill in Hastings, over the West Hill and town, and out towards Beachy Head in the distance. A view of my youth, and one I always try to see when I am in the area. As I walk over this sandstone butte, which marks the eastern end of the town, I have John Martyn’s song ‘Over the Hill’ ( from his Solid Air album which contains the song May You Never that Clapton later recorded) in my head. Martyn lived at the foot of this hill and he is referring to the walk over the West hill – seen with the houses in the middle distance, which he had to negotiate getting from the railway station to his home.
Martyn had a reputation for altercations with the local fishermen who frequented the many pubs at the foot of the hill in the Old Town of Hastings.
I recall an instance of him, in the mid seventies, taking over the local folk club to try out one of his albums – probably One World, before going out on the road with it. The club featured quite a lot of traditional A Capella, hand to the ear, singers and to walk in to see Martyn with his amplifiers and synthesisers was a pleasant surprise. I had an enjoyable evening at least.
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.
I had a bit of time to get out and do some sketches in the last few days. This one is a view from Bexhill to Hastings, in the distance, on a bright summer’s evening after the dark clouds had passed.
This is one from Hastings of an old lighthouse ( built around 1850 to replace an earlier one) which stands on the West Hill over the beach where they pull the fishing boats up on. There is also another light below it on the beach. The idea is returning boats line the upper and lower lights up as they approach the beach which means they have a safe passage past the submerged rocks. Now they beach on a different location and this lighthouse is redundant.
Here is one of the fishing boats on the beach waiting for the tide or fish quotas to reset before setting off again.
I wanted a break from the landscapes I am painting for an upcoming exhibition and had some images of when I went back to my home town of Hastings a couple of weeks ago. We stopped off in the old-town and had some lunch at a small café and there was this couple seated across the café, next to the window, which I thought might make a good subject.
Other acrylic paintings of café scenes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com
I was cycling into Hastings, my home town, and I saw this fishing boat coming along the coast with me. I arrived at the harbour before the boat. I had my painting gear, but decided that trying to get this fast moving scene down would be too much, so instead I took some pictures, as they hauled the boat up the beach with the winch. I then walked over to the other side of the beach and painted some fishermen setting up their boat and nets. At least they stayed almost in one spot for the duration.
It was a lovely morning and I cycled back to where my dad now lives feeling I had done a bit and it still wasn’t ten o’clock.