Just two colours were used to paint this – a warm red and a cool blue. I wasnt sure whether it would come off, but after a lot of dry brushwork and the splattering of masking fluid, it started to take shape. I was pleased with the starkness of the image – you can almost hear the shingle being raked by the incoming waves.
And by way of contrast, a scene from the same beach, but with the tide out and the winter long forgotten.
This was an acrylic study and I used a few more colours here – but not many more.
The joke is that the sea goes so far out here, it always seems like low-tide.
I went down to the beach the other fine day to get some driftwood for a mobile I am making, which hopefully I will post shortly. There were some great cloud formations and whilst I was searching for suitable pieces I managed to find time to snap a few photos and later used them to give you a flavour of the beach here at Southport UK.
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.
I mentioned in my post of Birkdale beach how, if the marram grass doesn’t establish you get sand that extends into the sky. This is another painting for my upcoming exhibition on local landscapes. I originally did it half imperial, 52×36 cm, but wasn’t happy with it so I cropped it to 25x36cm. I think it says the same thing only more eloquently.
Another in the beach series. I wanted to do someone working on the beach, but I’m not sure about this – probably too much empty space. The guy is sucking up lugworms from their burrows with a pump device. You then use the worm for fishing bait. In my day we had to dig them out and you had to dig fast as they went down their holes as you dug. Still, if you dug judiciously you could dig down two holes at once and double your gain. It was certainly good for the biceps.
I have been playing with this idea of chasing the unattainable of late. It started with an earlier post – Evening on the Beach on 16th November –
where I had some images of a family on the beach. I added some gulls for narrative and I liked the notion of the younger sister chasing the older sister in her endeavours. The painting didn’t satisfy me and I thought of focussing in on the two children in their chase.
I began a painting in this vein but still wasn’t happy with the composition. Here is a half completed version still in a portrait format and very similar
I felt I wasn’t close enough to the action and needed to approach it differently to get some feeling of involvement. I had to find a whole new set of images to cobble together the composition. l also decided to dispense with the blocking approach I have been using with acrylics recently as I couldn’t get the textures I wanted for this piece.
I’m still not sure if it is complete, but I need to rest it for a while and look at it later, but I think I’ve made a few steps forward, or at least sidewise, crablike.