Tuesday, 19 August 2008

pochade painting at Ogmore by Sea

A severe weather warning for Wales gave way to the most beautiful evening last Thursday, and I rushed out with my pochade box, already pre-loaded with panels and paint, packed safely into my rucksack - how organised is that. I stopped only to make a flask of coffee, and headed off to the coast. I knew exactly where I wanted to go, having visited the spot many times in the past. I've photographed from here, gazed over the rolling headland as the sinking sun turned the cliffs to pink and orange, and irritated the hell out of following drivers by moseying along at low speeds, admiring the scenery.
Perched on top of the cliffs, nobody but sheep for company, I had my pochade box out in a jiffy, and aware of the need for speed in the evening light, rapidly put down the dark areas. Painting as small as this really makes me focus. There's no room for fiddling about with marks, you have to put the stroke down and leave it. Well, that's the plan anyway. The sunlight skittered across the water, leaving me dithering about lights and darks - "ooh, that's lovely....no, that's better, oh, cloud shadow hmmm, that's interesting" and so on. I did my best, had a quick coffee and a stretch, suprising how chilly you get sat in one position for half an hour (well, I have no idea how long I sat there, I seem to lose all track of time) Decided to do another one, see if I can distill the scene more effectively. The sun was beginning to sink, and the characteristic orangey glow lit up the cliffs, as I struggled to stay ahead. This time, my brush started to feel more familiar, I had more control over the colour mixing, didn't squeeze out so many diferent colours, and actually began to enjoy myself.

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