A series of studies on paper made during and after Emily Ball’s February 2022 Paint Fit course, along with some small paintings on board.
Whilst I love wild places and rolling landscape, I also find that industrial locations can offer interesting juxtapositions of shape, and unexpectedly beautiful colour combinations and texture.
Docks and harbours have a particular draw for me. I have a sketchbook containing drawings I made a few years ago of Falmouth Docks, it is an area that I am familiar with, having visited all my life, mainly looking from a small boat at the outside, and so I leaped at the opportunity to draw it from the inside. The subject still excites me, the strong verticals in the structure of the wharves, the railings, sheds, and strange grace of the cranes. Pops of incongruous colour provided by containers, forklifts, ropes, buoys, chains, and other marine ephemera. The looming presence of enormous ships, especially when viewed close-up from a small sailing boat through the eyes of a child, I am in awe of their vastness and weight, and yet somehow they float.
Whilst the first small series of paintings made from the dockyard sketches were semi-representational, there is so much for me still to explore in this subject.
In these studies, I am experimenting with marks and colour, trying to evoke the experience of being there, not just the visual sense, but the sounds, smells and touch, oil, rust, and salt in the breeze, and the thrill it ignites within me.
The small paintings on board evolved from the studies, perhaps they point the way forward to the next set of paintings.