Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Wishful thinking

It's behaving like a tumble-dryer outside - hot dry wind blasting - and Vivienne's little sketches of bluebottles made me hanker after some cool damp sand and sea and gentle breezes. I did this large watercolour (37x55cm - I've very badly joined different scans together as you can see) after collecting the shells on a holiday in the Eastern Cape, where shells and sponges and corals are varied and plentiful - or they were last time we looked. I tried to reproduce the patterns they made on the sand as the waves pulled back, but I couldn't make it look wet and glistening and sparkly as it should be. It's not very successful as a painting - I think I might cut it up into pieces and make smaller compositions for cards or little gifts. I love painting shells... I still have a bag of them somewhere. All the talk on blogs I've been reading lately has been about
working in series, which I think would be an excellent idea for me, as I'm so artistically scattered (and scatty!) at the moment.
But shells in hot dry highveld Johannesburg - perhaps not!


10 comments:

Kari Gibson said...

The background makes me think of fishermen's netting, which fits the subject. I like it as a whole, but I also like the smaller selections too and can see how effective they look.

Vivienne said...

It's a great collection, though I like your idea of the small vignettes too.Zoo dept would snap up your illustrations (cheaply, I fear).You have got the pull of the sand so well, it would be a pity to lose that by cutting up. Very VERY clever to do that, though you make it look easy. Really, I am in AWE of the patterning in the sand. Memories of those bullea snails appearing and disappearing with each wave, their big fanning foot-muscles working away. Haven't we had great holidays to remember?

Cathy Gatland said...

Thanks for your comment, Kari, I might do small versions separately - it seems a bit drastic to chop up the big one when I think of it!

We have indeed had great holidays Vivienne - wish I'd done more sketching and painting of them throughout the years - but probably not that viable with children, fambly and socialising they icluded - which were also of course the stuff of wonderful memories!

Gillian said...

Thanks for taking the mind to lovely places and times. I agree with V, the pattern and pull of the sand by the current is clearly there. I can feel it disappearing under my feet! Pretty shells by the delicate touch of your brush. Heavy sigh!

africantapestry said...

You're awakening my desire to try some shells too...they are nice to paint with all sorts of squigles and lights and darks...Love your shells.
ronell

Teresa said...

I love this! The shells are so beautifully colored and the piece has such a light sunshiny feel to it.

Cathy Gatland said...

Now, GPH, no heavy sighs...happy memories! Happy! And there will be more...:-)

Ronell, I'd love to see shells (she sells sea shells!) done by you - I bet they'd look ready to walk (crawl? scuttle?) off the page.

Thanks Teresa - it was a light sunshiny time!

Hélène Glehen said...

I like. Great job, Cathy

vivien said...

these are lovely :>)

I think shells are not at all easy to do and you've made it look easy!

janabouc said...

These are lovely and the light in each painting looks so beach-y. I have a collection of seeds, stones and pits I saved from summer fruit (don't ask me why) that I plan to draw and seeing yours gave me a good idea how to tackle the project.