some more people – out there

When I started painting on site I used to tell myself that being there painting was more important than what I painted.  Yesterday we went to watch Sinead play hockey in Stellenbosch.  We had about an hour between games and I settled down to paint the beautiful school grounds under the mountains.  As I got started the plans changed and I was given ten minutes to finish and head back.  So I did this.  There was a team playing and I wanted to capture more of the action but did not have time.

I guess there are some good parts to it.

Today we did an adventure race at Lourensford which has to be one of the most beautiful valleys in our country.  Just before prize giving I wanted to paint the people and the mountains and sat just behind the speakers (kind of out of range of ear damage) and did this:

Also not bad in some places I suppose.  I would like to try using a smaller, higher quality sable brush for people.  Whatever – if I keep doing this, eventually it will come together.  I have been looking at my progress at the Pipe.  Since I started sitting there just over a year ago I have definitely improved.  So…

Now I am going to lie in the warm Autumn sun and read “Thinking Differently about Teams” from J Richard Hackman – sorry – Professor J Richard Hackman “Leading Teams”, which is the core piece for my research.  He sounds cool – in addition to being a prof at Harvard, he plays Bass Trombone in a community orchestra, and is a keen trout fisherman.


10 thoughts on “some more people – out there

  1. Stephen, I like them both very much. In the top one you’ve managed to capture the mountains in the distance beautifully. At first I thought the girl looked lonely, but when I enlarged it, I realized she was gazing out onto the field.

    I really like the spontaneity of the second one as well as the bright colors you used.

    • Hi thanks Carol – today I looked at a smaller brush I could carry in my kit to be able to capture more detail. I have offered to paint a watercolour of the longboard classic this weekend to be used as a prize for one of the events. Cool hey? Good marketing – (o:

  2. Stephen, The spontaneity is great. The looseness of your brush work is admirable. People would die to have such a looseness and still some specificity in their work. Keep it up.
    Though, I recognize your feeling whereby you finish one of these things and want to tighten and tighten, and then you all your frustration with painting it is felt.
    In these moments, I put the painting away for a week or more before I look at it again. Then, more often than not, I wonder (in a good sense) how I ever did the painting.

    I think it’s especially a part of working on the spot, because you can see the differences between what is out there and what is on the page… but once you are removed from it, your painting begins to represent the memory of it – and you will find that it is very good.
    Enough psychological clap trap. Enjoy your endeavors. They are all good.
    p.s.I’m partial to the second one with all the activity going on.

    • Hi K
      thanks for this considered response. I read a lot about simplifying what I see to paint a better watercolour and I think this comes with experience. I like your suggestion of putting it away for a week – I know you paint in your studio from memory of what you have seen on your walks in the bush and I like how you bring your own light to the work. I feel the empathy in your comments – what a great thing to be doing – sketching and painting.

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