In June, we visited an old friend from early 80’s Brixton days at his house at Waikawa Bay in the Marlborough Sounds – a world away from South London to say the least! A perfect mid-winter afternoon idling on the deck with Moa ale and the view, with the old pa site on the point and the various ferries and boats going by.
I drew this in ink 30 years ago for the invitation card for their wedding here, that one from the lawn below with the old whaler’s pot and the same ti/cabbage tree. The composition is still a challenge with its 180 degrees of sky and hills, the long stretch of water and wide foreground – the first 3 photos are the core but still only 1/2 of the sweep of it. I’ve seen various attempts to paint it all that look like the Uzbekistan flag, 3 horizontal sections of sky, hills and sea that run off the page on each side – doesn’t usually work, for me at least.
Initially I tried it as a sunset in red-yellow plus blue/green acrylics on coarse hessian – it’s OKish but yeah, nah… then as a tripytch in oils on loose canvas, 900mm x 600mm. The left-side sea level should have been lower as in the attached sketch – but otherwise its largely what I was after, particularly the limited palette (not sure that the orange /pink in the sky comes through in the photo); curving the walls (at the risk of being a bit early-70s!); and the red island crossing the 4th wall as a focal point. I may do a variation – first, what do you think? What works or doesn’t; what might?
My 50th post! alistairsart is now on Facebook. Check it out, and maybe give it a cheeky ‘like’ to stay up to date with the latest work –