Yesterday I set up my paint box in the effort to paint something constructive toward the Lake Series. What I ended up with was a small banksia painting.
There was a mass of cormorants on the edge of the lake – black shapes against the ochre of the bank and blue. Perfect. I sketched for a while, took down some notes on the form of the birds- especially those airing their wings. They flew off in a round-about way when disturbed by a couple of lakeshore dogs. It was quiet and no-one else about, just one guy practising his reel casting technique in the park. I guess he was a self-conscious of his habit as I am in mine.
I sat at the picnic table in the sun and the view was through the barbecue shelter toward the industrial north. Great shapes. I painted till I felt I was fiddling without giving anything more to what I was doing.
I loaded the car and was about to hop in when I was distracted by the banksia tree I was in front of, I decided to grab a bit to take back home and paint or sketch.
A great afternoon of bits and pieces, banksia, cormorants, lake and pink gouache.
Seven Mile Beach is spectacular when you round that bend and catch that first glimpse. I always feel a sense of inadequacy when I realise I will be painting the landscape. Will I do it justice? What will I do? How can I share the passion of what I see? I sort of had a general sense of something coming. I had experimented last week with fluro bases. I wanted to take this further, see what happened to colour. I returned to my nest of banksia babies, still untouched, set up the gear and got down to the business. The beautiful subtle greys and umberish colours over the fluro seemed a travesty but for me it was the discovery of colour and edges. The gradual intrusion of fluros is everywhere -signs, vests, cyclists. It needs to be dealt with – the same way Corot dealt with industry in landscape, it’s there and rather than ignore it, work with it. Sue had brought pikelets, just warm with jam. Maybe my colour solution is as simple as pikelets -use everyday ingredients to come up with a treat -colour.