21 September 2021

White flowered dresses, three sisters at the Ball


Evening Prayer Brunswick Heads, 18 September, 2021 oil on canvas board, 30 X 25 cm

Evening Prayer Brunswick Heads, 18 September, 2021, oil on canvas board, 30 X 25 cm

           Evening Prayer Brunswick Heads, 18 September, 2021, oil on canvas board, 30 X 25 cm

I arrived somewhat earlier than usual and set up on a very windy dune. The beach was almost deserted save for three or four kite-surfers who were cutting up the sea. The sky was slowly filling up with cirrus clouds full of tiny holes, and the deep blue sea looked scratched with broken whitecaps. They appeared, then disappeared. Just to watch was exhilarating. These studies came in quick succession the other night. I believe they are in order of when they were painted from top to bottom.

I jumped into the skies as soon as the palette was ready, and I didn't think much at all which is always wonderful. "In the groove" is what everyone says while in such moments; lost but then found again. Time evaporates temporarily.  

To be honest, I had been a little out of sorts over the previous few days for a number of reasons. Thankfully, these shadows rarely lasts long anymore. It is a great privilege to be able to go out to paint at the sea; a privilege to escape my mind even for a few hours. These are beautiful skies and I regret any day I miss them. 

There was the waxing moon which always disrupts this lovely 'bloom' or 'blush' in the sky, so I had to quit earlier than usual. But because it had clouded over, and the moon was briefly obscured, the whole sky suddenly turned the colour of red plum but only after I had already cleaned up the palette. Sadly, I had to watch it glow for a little while longer before it went deep, deep blue. But I was happy to have these three studies to carry home. 

I am beginning to really love these pale evening clouds at the very end of daylight when all colours and forms merge. This night they appeared almost like embroidery with soft, delicate patterns as if made for ball gowns from another age.                                                                                      

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