Tuesday, 30 March 2010
Brim-fooster - sound of sea breaking on sunken rock · Burrik - a sharp sea or tide lump ·
Augmenting - increasing swell · Djoob - ocean · Draag - the drift of a current · Drittsleng - the roll of the sea · Gro - a swell · Gruttie - ebb tide · Hak - broken water · Jap - short sea ·
Ludder - spray or foam · Mader-dye - under swell · Saule i da sea - heavy ground swell · Snarr - a turn or whirl of tide · Soal - swell occasioned by breeze · Tove - a short, cross, heavy sea
Observations from the sea, chalk, charcoal and graphite on paper
Thursday, 18 March 2010
Having returned from Shetland and re-established myself in my own studio, I realize how much I still need to do. All the work I made whilst at the Booth is staring at me in anticipation. Surrounded by all the other paintings that I was making before I left and that are now also demanding attention, it is difficult to remain focussed. However being sent lots of information about recent extreme waves and sea storms certainly helps to galvanise me (thank you Andy and Kristian). I have been working on a series of paintings that I started whilst at the Booth studio. These reflect a change in use of colour – the strong turquoises that appear as the waves turn and break, and the creamy-white - sometimes pinks - that appear in the foam.
I have also begun making some larger-scale drawings and will be developing these over the next month, so will post them as they emerge...
Thank you to all the people on Shetland that helped/advised me, and invited me out: Billy (creel fisherman), and the Scalloway Harbour office staff; Kristie, Christine, Rob, and Roxanne from Veer North; Mark from the Shetland Times; Clair at Shetland Arts; David at NAFC; Angus, Joanne, Carol and everyone at the Shetland Archive; story-tellers Lawrence and Davy; Robert at Unst Boat Haven; Neill on Barr, and the lovely lady who runs the fantastic Scalloway fish-shop.
Wednesday, 17 March 2010
My solo show of Seascapes starts at the St Giles Gallery, Norwich this Friday (March 19th – April 24th), so I have been busy preparing for this since my return from Shetland. Although not related to the Shetland project, these are sea paintings from my time spent walking and gazing at the Atlantic Sea at Cill Rialaig artist retreat in S Ireland, so set the scene of my obsession with the sea. (St Giles Gallery, 51 St Giles Street, Norwich NR2 1JR).
Monday, 1 March 2010
My attempt to leave the island on Friday night and experience some rough seas was thwarted by the cancellation of the NorthLink ferry to Aberdeen due to inclement weather. So unpacking my drawing materials and waterproofs I went walking the cliffs of Burra in deep snow and freezing wind, but a stunningly beautiful jagged coastline, with late afternoon sun on sparkling snow, deep blues and turquoise water, and otter tracks to follow (they might have been rabbits..). Having watched a fishing boat making very slow progress of rounding the coast in the heavy swell, before turning back, perhaps the ferry captain was right.
Saturday the ferry sailed, so after a night sea voyage – also prolonged due to heavy swell in Aberdeen harbour – on Sunday night I finally made it home. Having a cabin to myself on the boat meant that I was able to sit and draw out of the window – which meant that I was much closer to the water than when standing out on deck with all the smokers. This was the opportunity I had been waiting for – a moonlit rough sea and to feel as well as see and draw the movement of the sea. It meant that I had far less sleep than I should have done given the ensuing long drive back down to Somerset, but feeling the boat rolling I couldn’t bear to miss the sight of waves swelling and breaking around us. Spreading chalk and charcoal over everything, it was a fitting trip back.
My blog will continue from Somerset... but I am returning to Shetland in October for a month. Prior to this I will be travelling to Norway to visit my Norwegian oceanographers and mathematicians partners to talk extreme waves.
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