St Abb's National Reserve

St Abb's National Reserve
View from my office

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Well, I gather the storms, this weekend, put pay to alot of holiday plans, but I get a real buzz seeing the sea so wild and messy.

The kids were prised from the sofa, and we all went to sit in the car, at Bamburgh, to watch the sea. The car rocked with the wind, and foam blew onto the dashboard, each time I opened the window to take a picture.

My partner and I ventured out, to lean into the wind. I wasn't as intrpid as some: I watched a figure, tripod and camera at the ready, heading down to the stag rock.

I've never seen the water at Budle Bay so close to the road, and so choppy; small waves carved their way along the bank, which is usually grassy and exposed.

Unfortunately, I lost all of the photos I took, that day, due to a misunderstanding between myself, and my newly repaired laptop. I did visit twice more, though; On Saturday we drove up the coast, looking at Embleton, Beadnell, Annstead and Bamburgh. The wind had dropped, it was sunny and the waves were more defined. I began painting on Saturday afternoon.

I like elements of the sketch: I like the immediacy of the brushstrokes, and oil suits the subject matter, for me. It slicks onto the surface, and I feel I echoe some of the movement of the water.

I want to work more en plein air- these are from a photo, and feel I can get alot of information, about the shapes the water makes, and the texture, which satisfies my need to own these beautiful patterns, but I enjoy the energy and unselfconscious mark-making of the en plein air work. I think the studio studies help me build an understanding of the patterns and shapes made by the sea's energy, but the process of working outside, and even just spending time watching the water, adds the energy to the paintings. I don't want to lose the movement and power, which I witnessed first hand, this weekend.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

I've been a bit under the weather. Trying not to bump into too many folk, and have to go into an explanation about my shoulder-in-spasm, (Sounds like an unpopular relation.) as it inevitably forges a pattern for the rest of the conversation...Still, (and I have been, very still.) I'm on the mend, able to put on and remove my own clothes (could have been quite sexy, but for the shrieks of pain- mine, not his, and my insistence on a little attention to detail- 'No, the other way round...)

March, I find, is a funny month, anyway; Nature stirring: lambs, daffs, birds, yet my own sap seems reticent to rise at the same rate. 'Perhaps when it's warmer/less windy/not raining- Oh, is it April, already?

I'd be lying if I said I hadn't done a stroke, this year, but I do feel something has got away from me in the past week; Outside the window, stuff happens- bursts, buds, blossoms, squawks, shags, while I have to content my drug-addled brain with Series 1 of Green Wing and a hot water bottle. with eagerness I anticipate another round of acupuncture; and with less enthusiasm, a round of muscle prodding and shoulder manipulation.

Friends call. (Call yourself a friend? Ringing me up, in my misery to tell me how many exhibitions you're booked to do, how well the painting's going?) I execute a range of moves, set to increase my range of movement, guaranteed to make me look like a duck defending its nest.


Never mind, My dear old Ma would say, never mind. How about a nice cup of tea? That'll do nicely, for now.

Wish me speedy recovery, folks.