We flew into Hanoi and almost as soon as we arrived we were whisked off to Halong Bay. It was impressive, but very similar to Krabi in Thailand with less sunshine and even more tourists – this was industrial tourism.
I had wanted to get the limestone stacks in a sunset or sunrise. Unfortunately I was swimming at sunset and the sunrise was a cloudy affair. Still I did get some good photos.
As for Hanoi. We were only there for a matter of hours, staying near the old quarter. It was pandemonium. I would have loved to see more – but perhaps my health wouldn’t have taken it. We had to get the night train out and head south to Hue.
OK an old image for the New Year, but I wasn’t happy with my first attempt at ‘Entering Ainsdale Woods’. So here’s a second go and a title that saves overtaxing the troll’s sticky fingers.
I always have difficulties with light foregrounds against dark backgrounds and on the first one I had to resort to gouache to make some reclamations. I also felt the background tree trunks were too uniform and the dog needed repositioning. The first one looked quite good on the screen but the original didn’t stand up to close scrutiny – so that’s why you’re getting it again. This one has a lighter touch and brings out the sunlight on the autumn leaves which was something I was after.
So in compensation for repeating work, here’s a second painting, this time a repeat of ‘Receding Tide’. Hopefully I have now got the still wet feel of the shingle which I felt was missing on the first go and I extended the amount of shingle to break up the textures .
I wanted to try out some textures on this one with the sky, sea, rocks and pebbles all requiring different approaches. I would like to have added further detail and texture, such as building up the seaweed and pebbles, but was aware that I was getting too fussy. It was a good exercise and like so many paintings, you get to the end and realise that there were slicker and better ways of achieving your aims. So perhaps another go later.
After this dose of waveforms I will return to dry land on my next blog – promise. The handing in day for the exhibition is this Thursday, so I am still looking for a painting to replace the original wave I was going to submit, as I mentioned in my previous blog. After doing this one above, I realised that a simple waveform could convey more energy than the more complex one in my last post. I was certainly pleased with this and the serenity it conveyed but I wanted to have another go at the one with rocks and here it is, below.
So one goes into the exhibition, well to the selection panel, anyway.
I was assembling some paintings for the town’s big exhibition which takes place in the main Art Gallery. I had a few lined up for submission but last Saturday I got a call from my framer who asked if I still had my painting of a wave. This was going to be one of my entries. I took it around to my framer who duly sold the painting to a guy who had seen it when it was displayed there in March and who waited until now to make some enquiries.
It was a nice problem to have and I thought I would do another couple and see how they turned out. Above is the first one. A second is in progress. I included some rocks on this one and really like their warmth against the cool colours of the sea.
It may be a bit over complicated when compared to the one I sold ( and displayed in February on this blog). I certainly liked the first one’s simplicity, which is maybe why it caught the eye of the buyer – see below.
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.
On to the small seaside resort or Hermanus. The backdrop to this town is spectacular with it’s high mountains. Literature said that there could be sightings of whales from the shore, but I think we were a little late in the season and unlike the unpretentious town of Mossel Bay where you could watch dolphins cavort and surf in the waves here there were just a few fishermen catching crayfish.
However, the long walk along the front of the town was worth doing and this was where I painted the view above looking over the fynbos, which is Mediterranean type scrub, on top of the low cliffs back to the town centre.
This was the view from the hotel window, in the middle of the town, out to the new harbour. The waves crashing into the shore in the evening light were quite a sight which I havent really managed to capture.
We walked along the cliffs to the new harbour, but it was a rather sad affair. Hermanus is really missing a trick or two in not developing its old or new harbour areas. Maybe the town will wake up one day.