Later that first morning we went down to Aldeburgh’s shingly beach. Typically it was sunny and dry but with a cold north wind. The purpose was to paint en plein air, something I don’t normally do since I don’t need to be looking at something to be inspired to create a painterly image. There are also practical issues – the wind blowing the paper away, for example.
Anyway, while the others sat down to paint specific objects, especially the fishing boats, all very attractive but artistically cliched, I tried to sketch the outlines of a possible abstract by concentrating on two poles of of blue marker-flags leaning from a pile of kit on the left-hand side of a boat (not included) outwards into a dramatically empty scene of shingle, sea and blue and white sky.
Thus was rapidly converted into an acrylic-wash version:
Which was in its turn developing luridly in acrylic into a visually dramatic scene belying the actuality in front of me when a gust of wind grabbed it and deposited it upside-down, of course, on the shingle.
We then adjourned to lunch. That was the only outside painting we did over the weekend; the others’ results were far better than mine but for me the interesting point about this mini-experience was that it took me half an hour to wander around and find a potentially abstract view and 25 minutes to knock off the sketches above.
Part (3) follows in a separate post.