A good start to 2010 – in watercolour

Well the year is off to a good start.  I have started working through “Walking in this World” by Julia Cameron to try to deal with the frazzle of last year.  Three pages a day, an artist date once a week and a walk.  Well today I went out to the coast just this side of Koeel Bay for a walk and to take some photos.  There was a hot dry wind blowing and the sea sparkled in blue and green.  A great stroll.


I sat and painted a watercolour of view looking towards Rooiels before walking back to the car.  Here is the view:


Isn’t it just stunning?  I consider myself so fortunate to have this on my doorstep.  And here is my set up:

Here is the drawing:


It was really hot and dry so I motored through the washes and did not take an interim shot.  Here is how it looked before the finishing touches:

And here is the final version:


So there we go.  I am pleased with this as a start to 2010.  I am not big on new-year resolutions but I am keen to put 2009 behind me and prepare my soul, my body my business and my watercolour world  for this new year.  And just for that here is the view up the coast towards Gordon’s Bay, from the path down to the sea from where I parked – mooi ne?:


I have painted the rocky bay in the lower foreground a few times and tucked away in the shadow on the right there is a fresh water fall which fills a small pool.  There is a couple fishing and crayfishing on the rocks.


8 thoughts on “A good start to 2010 – in watercolour

  1. Hi Stephen. Your painting is gorgeous. What I am noticing is pretty significant and that’s the change of colors to the land as well as the sea. The seasons create a drastic difference in the colors of your scenes. You seem to be doing an excellent job of capturing this. Are you noticing this in your work? Happy New Year!

    • Hi Leslie – thank you for this interesting observation. I think the light is much brighter in Summer, without overcast skies. I am also saturating my colours more as I paint, being more bold. The paintings I do out there often have quite a zap to them these days. Thanks for your visit. I am constantly amazed at your consistency and insight as I know this takes a lot of energy. I am not sure how you manage to reply to 40 or more comments on your site. But I love to hear from you too. Another year of growth hey…

  2. When I blogged about suffering from ‘creative block’ an artist friend sent me “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. Although her writing style doesn’t appeal to me, what she was advocating certainly worked – got rid of all my angst and I started to have fun.

    With all that incredible scenery around you, it’s no surprise that you favour painting outside most of the time. You’ve captured the exact colours of the scene before you – really like the bolder look, both in stronger colour and also brush strokes.

    I agree with you about Leslie – don’t know how she keeps up…and glad you’re listening to your body/mind/soul – take care of yourself.

    • Thanks for the care June. I would not like to idealise Julia Cameron but in using her material I initiated a major gear change in my life some years ago. I worked through ‘The Artists Way’ when I was in a deep deep career hole in the corporate environment. At the end of the first year I held my first exhibition, in which I took almost 80 watercolours to Swakopmund. And at the end of the next year I presented a paper on ‘Change in Teams’ at a conference in Brussels. Heh heh – it was the first time I had ever traveled overseas. I remember watching Will Smith in “Wild Wild West” – in French – because I did not know about the language change button in the arm-rest. I also branched off on a path less-traveled, leaving the corporate environment, passing briefly through a consulting company till I told myself I could do it on my own. And here I am older, bearing more stripes and wiser. Starting morning pages again has a familiar, optimism about it.

  3. Hi Stephen!
    What a great start for 2010. I love your bold colors, and the movement in the way you do the rocks.
    I am also working through the same book! I think neither you or I have a problem with the walks !! The morning pages can be a challenge for me: the first thing I do when I wake up is go to my table and paint… the next thing I know, I have to dash to get ready for work !!
    Next month, I am starting a series of hikes for artists and “doodlers” that I will be leading for the Sierra Club (an American organization to preserve the environment); We will hike 2 to 3 miles, then stop an hour or two to paint, then come back. I will let you know how it goes. Have a fantastic 2010 !

    • Thanks Isabelle – all the best to you as well for this new decade.

      I like the insights and thoughts for reflection that Julia Cameron offers.
      You are right. I often get up and walk and reflect anyway, and I have been doing some good artist dates.
      My morning pages are a bit of a struggle as well.
      Though I must say I don’t know a better way to sort through the flood of inputs and thoughts that present themselves to me.
      So – definitely a worthwhile activity.

      Your painting hikes with the Sierra Club sound absolutely wonderful.
      What an enriching contribution to be making to peoples lives.
      Jolly well done.
      Imagine if you were to photograph everyone’s work, collect some stories and photos and put them on a new blog – heh heh

      Anyway I look forward to seeing how this unfolds on “Not a boring day” (o:

  4. YOu are so fortunate to have such stunning scenery. The point of view you are working from is quite unique. I like your photo that captures the feeling of looking straight down the cliff – a long, long way down!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s