Today the Picknick Painters returned to Seven Mile Beach. Reiko wanted to finish her oily work. Cobalt skies and bird sounds gave me the breathing space once again. The last day had been one continuous ring tone, official letters and very unartful. Today was clarity. I set up in a sunny spot and began with just a drawing with graphite -trees and sky. We were excited by Anne’s return and squealed when she pulled up spouting brochures of galleries and museums in London and Amsterdam. Andrea had made a wonderful fruitcake and I offered the usual cupboard reject food- Beetroot Corn Chips – they would have made better paint scrapers than morning tea. It made me think of the trip to New York and that feeling of return. The bush. The blue.
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.
Painting at Seven Mile Beach was a great distraction from the Lake. I felt like I had saturated myself. This week in the National Park grounds with filtered light and angular gums was a really welcome change. I focussed on some cut trees, where the shapes were interesting and nestled in the open wound someone had laid Banksia babies like a nest of some strange bird. Last weeks hyper-flouro colours of floats, buoys and signs had become a nagging thought. With a link to Kandinsky’s exploration of undercolour in a painting, I had put down a ground of fluro yellow on my page and wanted to incorporate it into a new landscape. It seemed such a jarring anti-organic basis but was interesting in overlaying subtle greys. There’s something there that needs more….once again you get a little comfort but more questions. We swapped cake, ideas & nuts. Home grown Kiwi fruit and tamarillos fresh from the Valley.