garden route – going small

Last week I went up the Garden Route on a consulting outing and had a short time to catch up on watercolours.  The first was yesterday morning in Wilderness where I had a short time at sunrise on the beach below the town before shooting into George for a meeting.

Mmm this is very yellow.  The sun came up to the left of the painting as a big red ball in the mist and went behind the dark clouds.  There were massive swells rolling from the South and the sea mist hung over the headland at the end of the beach.  All too soon it was time to pack and rush off…

I did not not take my watercolour box but had small cut-sheets in my sketchbook.  It was interesting going small again.  This is 190 x 280mm on 185gm Arches Cold Pressed.

Later I had time in Mosselbaai, a sheltered bay looking East.   Ships in the early days used to shelter here.  There is an old Milkwood where the sailors used to leave letters for ships passing in the opposite direction to take for delivery.  I was feeling  a little usettled and decided to sit and paint before I sat to work on other stuff.  There was a chilly wind blowing, bringing a few drops of rain now and again.  I found a place on the beach at Mosselbaai point, looking at the mountains across the bay, where I did this painting:

This is also on a 190x280mm (roughly A4) sheet of 185gm Arches Cold Pressed, taped onto the back of my hard-cover sketch book.

I did the painting backwards, starting with the dark rocks in the middle-ground and working down through the outcrop to the lichen covered rocks and the beach.  There was fine grass just in front of me that I started to put in then washed and blotted out.  Then I put in the waves, sweeping round the point and the distant shore and sky.  The rocks took a long time and turned into a meditative exercise that I found calming and centering.  While I was working, a guy walked past up the beach and waved a form at me.  I was not keen to be distracted so I shook my head.  He shouted “You are writing?” and I nodded so he came down and watched me work for a while.  Then he said how much he could see in the painting was there in front of us.  Nice friendly appreciation.  He didn’t mention his collection form again so as I turned to leave, I asked him what he was doing.  He said he was collecting for support of his group of Tenors.  A singer.  Charles the Tenor.  Apparently they sing at weddings and functions.  He was just friendly so I gave a donation.  And then I worked for a while longer to complete the painting before going up to ‘Delfinos’ for a hot-chocolate to do some other work.  I sat and read through the ten components of a Thinking Environment, in the book, Time to Think, by Nancy Kline.  A contemplative, caring approach to interpersonal interaction that kind of fitted with sitting and painting in the weather at the point.

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5 thoughts on “garden route – going small

  1. A Kaleidoscope of color, Stephen. This post reflects your balancing act between what you have to do and what you want to do. The color and the scenes of nature, I always read as your soul coming through. These are beautiful and meditative. I don’t mind that yellow in the first one at all. It reminds me of what the sun does, everyday in “turning on the lights”. The second one? I can hear the waves! All in all, a wonderful two paintings!

    • hey Leslie – I always find it good to consider your perspectives. Today I had an uplifting conversation with a good friend who consults on the topic of how we fill our days which gave me more food for reflection on the balancing act. Life is so full. And the relationships I am developing in both of my worlds are so enriching. Maybe one day they will fall in step. Till then I will continue to dance to two different tunes. Thanks for your comments on the paintings.

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