Tag Archives: rain

see, the sea… [yet again]

Monday 26 May 2014

sea notes: striations of agitated sand[banks] beneath the sea’s surface, a thin tapering line of violet-grey marked the horizon on one side, the sky palest blue to mauve…

seascape sketchbook drawings

and then there was the shimmering expanse of a pearly viridian sea green, as sunbeams filtered by clouds moved over the flat mass of water…

i am trying to recall something of the experience of watching the sea change colours, over the course of an hour or so [quick sketches, in graphite].

seascape sketchbook drawings

it was a bright and breezy afternoon by the sea… and it rained.

with the sudden deluge of rain my sketchbook and i were all too soon drenched. the pages swelled up into the shape of a concertina, all crinkled and kinked – and i dropped it right by the sea while putting on my rain mac…

oh the irony! sea drawings united with the sea!

there was a similar downpour of rain a day or so later, further down the coast, when i took a quick detour on my way home, to see the sea, once again. i thought this diversion might help a little with some of my paintings.

i met a man with two ladders painting a fisherman’s hut. i remarked favourably on the crackled patina of the encrusted black paintwork, what a shame it was to have to paint over it. he replied that he had been given strict instructions NOT to paint over it by the owner, and was only re-painting a small side window. i thought more about the two ladders – from prior experience painters and decorators will carry at least two ladders at all times – and came to the conclusion the roof also needed fixing. i also learnt from the brief exchange that the fisherman’s hut belonged to a very well-known painter – nice studio!!

the sky soon turned very dark and i knew it would rain eventually.

i walked close to the waves, watching the tumbling coils of dark water, the creamy-coloured spume frothed and foamed – [as it does!].

sea waves drawings

the sea rippled and scurried to the shore, waves rolling in, crashing, drawing back – [as they do!].

more sea waves drawings

sea scatters, glistening shingle along the foreshore, large pebbles deeply embedded in the smooth wet sand. i want to prise some of them out, or skim a few small ones back into the sea…

sea waves drawings

these quick sketches were done while walking and just watching the waves, the drawing and mark-making imprinting a memory of sorts.

sea drawings

most of the sketchbook i have since had to tape or glue back together. it is now in a slightly wonky state, but its temporary union with the sea has given it some character.

[more thoughts] when i look at the sea i don’t always experience it as having a history or a story to tell, how others might have lived or died by it. the sea is the element, in the moment: timeless, vast, powerful, dramatic, dangerous – but also reassuring in its vitality and constancy. then there are the issues of coastal erosion, rising sea-levels, pollution, the litter and debris, sea-life… i do think about these things too.

whenever i feel on edge [stressed] i have a desire to go to the edge, the edge of the land, that is – as if it will help to disperse the issues on my mind because they are quite literally behind me.

a trip to see the sea is seen as invigorating, good for the constitution. stormy changeable weather discourages the tourists. a walk to the end of a pier at on a blustery day and it can feel as if you are on a big ship, sailing the high seas…

twenty sketchbook sea waves drawings

[perhaps i should have taken some photographs instead]

The real sea is cold and black, full of animals; it crawls under this thin green film made to deceive people. The sylphs all round me have been taken in: they see nothing but the thin film, that is what proves the existence of God. I see underneath!

[Nausea, Jean-Paul Sartre]

and yet another waterlog

Sunday 17 March 2013

and yet another water log

norfolk field rain flood winter landscape

[the footpath was out of bounds, a lakeside view]

river rain flood landscape winter

[flooded meadows, next to the river, above the waterline]

winter landscape flood meadow norfolk

[flooded meadow, approaching snow island, calm waters]

norfolk landscape flood path rain winter

[flooded path near the river, no right of way]

norfolk field rain flood winter landscape

[another day, another meadow, choppy waters, no sea legs]

flood meadow rain norfolk winter

[see… someone left the flood gates open…]

another winter, in pictures

Friday 1 March 2013

another winter stuck out in the sticks; or how i have endeavoured to evoke a fleeting sense of this winter landscape, in pictures.

what follows are some of my small sketchbook paintings (on paper) from the months of january and february.

flooded field landscape sketch painting

[flooded corner of a field, sketchbook painting, acrylic on paper, 7″ x 10″]

these small paintings will probably mean very little to those who do not live or work in the countryside, but perhaps to some of those who do, it might look slightly familiar: of dreary rain-drenched days, the flustering blustering wind which blows this way and that, or the earthy dampness of a foggy grey morning, the veil of mist or frost on fields, or days when the air is piercing and clear, freezing the landscape into a tundra-like quietude.

winter landscape sketchbook paintings

[sketchbook paintings]

i am always drawn towards the skyline, where a thicket of skeleton trees or the raggedy fringe of a hedgerow meets the open skies.

and how, at this wintry time of year when this landscape seems even more bleak, earth and sky are still ever-changing in their hues (because of the weather)… on a bright winter’s afternoon when an expanse of dark brown field turns a shade of rippled bronze, or when a sulky leaden sky flattens the mired landscape with a melancholic hue.

dark dusk field hedgerow sketchbook painting

[dimly dusk, sketchbook painting, acrylic on paper, 5″ x 7″]

marsh rain landscape painting sketch

[rain on the marsh, sketchbook painting, acrylic on paper, 7″ x 10″]

it is also curious how the rural landscape in winter can give a [false] sense of being in a wilderness, because there are few houses, and in these modern times, very few people are needed to work this agricultural land.

this landscape can appear desolate at times.

winter landscape sketchbook paintings

[sketchbook paintings]

remains of snow field landscape painting

[remains of snow, sketchbook painting, acrylic on paper, 5″ x 7″]

it’s always the little things that catch your eye: the vibrancy of green when framed by the gap in a spindly hedge, a puddled corner of a field glinting silver in the low sun, or the last traces of snow melting in the long shadows… insignificant, transient things.

anyone who cares to notice might want to tell you about these incidental things, never mind trying to take a picture…

suffolk winter landscape painting sketch

[snow melting, sketchbook painting, acrylic on paper, 5″ x 7″]

 field hill landscape sketch painting

[sketchbook paintings]

winter landscape sketchbook paintings

[shingle hill, sketchbook painting, acrylic on paper, 7″ x 10″]

each painting ‘sketch’ took about fifteen minutes, so cumulatively this amounts to only three hours of field work.

here, inside the pages of a sketchbook (or two), i was aiming to express, very loosely in paint, what the rural landscape looks and feels like on some days in winter, from observation, memory and experience. everyone will have their own point of view: nothing really changes, every day it changes.

it is interesting that buildings and people (or animals) do not interest me here, so perhaps i was only looking to seek that elemental sense of a wilderness in winter, isolating the isolation, finding solace in the solitude.

this is what i find myself returning to at odd moments when it seems i have made little headway in my other work. i hope one day to get better at expressing the thoughts and ideas in my head…

Where little pictures idly tells
Of nature’s powers & nature’s spells,
I felt and shunned the idle vein,
Laid down the pen and toiled again

[John Clare, The Progress of Rhyme]