Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Charcoal and grey

On route to the Outer Skerries, charcoal, chalk and graphite on
cartridge paper, 48"x60"approx

The large drawings I’m now making are based on experiences of travelling in various small boats and ferries in force 8 - even force 9 winds. Drawing whilst clinging onto the side of a boat in the middle of a heavy sea, and feeling sick, is a very different proposition to being on cliffs and rocks looking at the sea, even if it is blowing a gale. Surrounded by a living mass of water – by movement and sound; the horizon disappearing and reappearing, fear and exhilaration are simultaneously experienced. This is an experience of the sublime. And I realize that such experiences have affected the way I’m now making drawings and paintings. So too have the discussions oceanographers – to play with computer satellite weather programmes looking down through layers of cloud and wind to animated sea surfaces, to encounter terms such as ‘fetch’, and ‘confused sea’ and begin to understand the formation of waves, and their impact on ships and oil rigs – has made me far more aware of the dynamics and complexity of sea. In the course of making the drawings I realize that my attention has been drawn to the complexity of the surface of the sea; there’s a greater concern to draw the movement and flow of waves against each other.

These drawings will be shown at the Bonhoga Gallery on Shetland from June 25th – August 9th.

The poet Laura Friedlander who accompanied me on a wild ferry trip to the Outer Skerries, wrote this poem as a response to my drawing. She has kindly agreed to let me publish it on my blog.

I will draw a line here
like charcoal
where black sky
meets grey sea
or a reverse
blended with oil sticks
and messy memories
fingers curled into the waves
I see the sea
coming at me
the shore tugging at my feet
And fathoms
that I fight against
never to go under
I am waiting for time
While times waits for me
before I draw the line
and wash the sea across this page

Laura Friedlander (Scalloway/Skerries, October 2010)

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Solar wind stream

This was the night sky in Norway on the 4th February - A solar wind stream hit Earth’s magnetic field late on Feb. 4th, sparking a G2-class (Kp=6) geomagnetic storm. In Gimsøy, Norway, the whole world seemed to turn green.
check out the link to see a solar flare that was the cause of the northern lights on the 4th.

Extreme winds- 4th February

.....the biggest seas seen for a while pounding on the west coast…. winds of over 100 mph on late Thursday night, Friday morning and it was scary….
Many thanks to Debbie, and to Alistair (both on Shetland) for keeping me up to date with the extreme winds that Shetland caught on February 4th.

and to Ann Karin (Bergen Met Office and on extreme weather alert) re the high wind that the east coast of Norway was experiencing last weekend:
Models give waves from west up to 9-11 m Hs on the coast from Haugesund to Stad. At 12 UTC.
That is quite high, and when from west... probably out for extremes! There will be a combination of swell and windwaves, and some interaction between the two can give high, extremely high waves in between

It’s great to know that you all think of me when the weather turns rough!

Thanks for the photos and wave height chart Alistair – I’m pasting one of the photos and the chart here.

wave height chart, morning of 4 Feb

the sea from Burra, 4th Feb (Alistair Goodlad)