White Nothe Chalk Faces, Jurassic Coast, Weymouth,
25 – 26th March 2019,
150 x 220 cm,
Acrylic on Canvas
|Dimensions||100 × 80 × 10 cm|
Military explosions, two helicopters, Nick photographing Peregrines, 1,000,000 flying beetles, crows and one pheasant, blocking the view for the occasional walker, still, warm and one huge gust of wind,
This piece was painted over two days. At the end of the first day I wasn’t happy with the piece. Throughout the afternoon the bright sun (which was dropping behind me) had been ‘bleaching’ or over-exposing the white-chalk cliffs. The result at sunset was a flat piece which had been disappointingly over-worked or which lacked dynamics. I checked the weather forecast, left the canvas pegged to the cliff and calculated that as I was painting the view east-wards, returning before dawn would reverse the tonal dynamics and provide a new angle. I slept with a beautiful full moon over the bay and not being an easy ‘early-riser’, I struggled out of bed and back up onto the cliff before sunrise. As planned the sun rose behind the cliffs and almost the whole painting needed to be turned inside out – the white cliffs were in shadow, the dark sea was flooded with light. I love painting sunsets because the colours build into a dramatic crescendo and the dusk forces you to stop working so it is high energy whereas I struggle with sunrises because you start with the drama and then the colours and light settles down making it harder to find a natural conclusion to the piece whilst maintaining the excitement. However with my disappointment of this piece on day one but having the careful structures were in place I had nothing to loose. I fully re-worked the dynamic and the dialogue between the two days created an exciting final piece.