22 February 2017

The green sea

Evening Prayer Brunswick Heads, 15 February 2017, oil on canvas, 21 X 26 cm

From about a week ago comes this study from a dune at the beach where I work most nights. Its a very banal beach scene until the sun begins to set, then, all hell breaks loose.
And it's a great meditation on the sea and clouds.

20 February 2017


Evening Prayer Brunswick Heads, 5 February, 2017, oil on canvas board, 21 X 26 cm

I am woefully negligent in keeping up this blog but hopefully I will get back to it on a regular basis.

I have been working from Nature, specifically at the beach in front of an immense sky and   thick band of sea. One could say it is a 'banal' vision of unordinary beauty. A beach and sky is all it is. And I use the word beauty with care because it is such an emotionally charged idea for so many post-modernists. However, beauty is a deeply personal concept, if one can call it that. It is certainly more than just a word even as highly over-used as it is. It is right up there with genius in its overuse. After all, John Keats did say in Ode to a Grecian Urn 'Beauty is truth, truth beauty'. Obviously, being a romantic, I am from another planet when it comes to all this. But I am a painter who too, who in front of Nature simply wishes to transmit an emotional feeling to another human being. But this is not the reason I paint. I paint because it makes life more real for me, and I live better each day as a result.

About a month ago I began a series of small studies done just as the sun has dropped back behind the earth's horizon. It is that time of day when Nature prepares for sleep commonly know as Twilight, or Dusk; both equally sensual in meaning and in sound. It's a time of day when I finally awaken. The French call it 'l'heure entre le chien et le loup' The hour between the dog and the wolf, otherwise known simply as 'the hour of the wolf'. But I am not really comfortable with this. For me it is a time when everything moves with delicious speed. The colours in Nature prepare for death it could be said, and felt. At the sea, with my back to the setting sun, I witness this moment when all colours in the sky correlate chromatically with those of the sea below. One has such a small window within which to operate. And, indeed I often feel like a kind of solitary surgeon desperately trying to keep a small painting alive as all hell break loose in front of me. It is for this reason that one works. Turner, for whom I have always felt an affinity, loved the wild and destructive force of the sea, and it is known that he had himself even attached to the mast of a ship during a storm at sea. 

In any case, at the end of a long day, painting these small things is a ritual of great importance for me.

More to be revealed.