Sunday, 2 June 2013

Trip in Cornwall 2013 - Part 1

I just got back a couple of weeks ago from a painting trip in Porthleven in Cornwall. This trip was the prize I won last year when I received The Plein Air prize during the Bath Prize 2012 competition. Two other painters - Peter Nance and Ben Hughes - won the same prize and we all had a wonderful inspiring time. My "+1" guest was my mum, who enjoyed visiting local gardens while I was painting (she is a gardening journalist in Belgium). She was back in time everyday to feed me and carry my kit, the perfect assistant!

Here are below the paintings I did in Porthleven where we were staying at:

Boats at low tide, Porthleven harbour   10"x8"  oil on board

For this painting, I sat down on the steps leading to the harbour during the low tide. What caught my eye was the combination of the bright colours of the boats and the lovely grey muddy puddles on the sand. I was all set up and ready to start when I realised I forgot my brushes at the apartment so I had to pack up and fetch them before setting up again. But it was worth it as I really enjoyed painting this one.


The painting in progress


Detail


Detail

The painting below is the classic view of the harbour with the church in the background. The weather was quite cloudy but still with a bright light which made the white boats and houses stand out:

Porthleven harbour in the afternoon   16"x9"  oil on board

Why stand up while you can comfortably sit on a bench?



I soon realised that the bench I was sitting on was right next to the bus stop, as I had the chance to chat with various local people waiting for the bus and telling me all about how the place was 50 years ago, and how late the bus was. I must say all the people I met during this trip were so nice and welcoming.  


The painting towards the end


Detail


This painting below was done on a miserable rainy day. I couldn't face going out of the apartment and shamelessly spent all morning watching "The curious case of Benjamin Button" on TV. I forced myself to get out in the afternoon and found shelter in the covered empty fish market place. I did this little painting below:  

Porthleven harbour on a grey day   10"x8"  oil on board


The painting towards the end

Detail


Once I got home I got the lovely surprise to notice that my bags - which you can see on the floor below - caught the fish smell from the wet floor they were sitting on. Always nice to bring a little souvenir back home.



Seeing me wrapped up like this, you wouldn't think it was May!



The  painting in progress



Detail



The painting below was actually the first one I did on my arrival at Porthleven. And I must admit it was probably my toughest plein air experience so far! 

Porthleven coast on a windy day   14"x11"   oil on board

I set up on the edge of the cliff alongside the coast. It was a VERY windy day and I struggled to find any shelter. I was wrapped up like someone who would dress for a North Pole exhibition but was still feeling the cold wind. The dramas in order were: 1. my medium had completely leaked in my bag; 2. my chair broke and I fell on the floor; 3. It started raining and got my umbrella out but it broke because of the wind; 4. my painting started to get ruined because of the heavy rain. 

If a painting was to be priced by the effort you went through to produce it, then this one surely is worth a couple of million pounds!

I actually had to finish it in the studio because the conditions didn't let me finish on the spot.

The view from where I was sitting


Detail

I'll post soon my 3 last paintings of the trip, done in Marazion, near St Michael's Mount, where I was blessed with beautiful weather.


16 comments:

  1. All fantastic Valerie. All the best.
    Vic.

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    1. Thank you Vic! I hope all is well for you!

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  2. These are splendid Valerie! I'd imagined it was a bit of a washout but you got some superb paintings done. I love those boats at low tide..delicious in fact...full of energy and a really captures the essence of the conditions. The notes of colour are lively without screaming at you...very well handled indeed!. Your 'detail' shots are great, as always. I know I've said it before but they make fine images in themselves. Nice palette too, muted harmonies but all singing together. Some of the photos remind me of Lyme Regis and the near Arctic conditions we 'enjoyed' down there :) Well done for sticking through the windy day cliff piece...it was certainly worth persevering for the end result.

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    1. Wow, thanks David for this lovely comment!! As you know, this trip was a bit challenging at times and I thought I forgot how to paint so it is a nice boost to receive such a nice feedback. It is indeed quite close to our crazy rainy session at Lyme Regis. And I had in mind the great time we all spent together at Penzance/Marizion too while painting St Michael's Mount. I hope we can sort out an other painting outing soon.

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  3. Lovely pics Valerie - I can only echo David's comments, well said!

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  4. Again I've thoroughly enjoyed my trip to England through your paintings and photos. It does look like you are dressed for an arctic outing. haha.
    Doug

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    1. Thanks Douglas! Glad you like it and happy to bring you a bit of England in my blog! Hope you're well!

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  5. Inspiring stuff - my particular favourite 'Boats at low tide', you can make such great work from dull light. You are intrepid going out in such challenging weather!

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    1. Thank you Bob!! Glad you like them. If I had to wait for nice weather to paint, then I would produce 2 paintings at year:-) If they are not sold by then, you'll probably see them at our show in October! Hope you're well. I'm looking forward to catching up soon.

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  6. Beautiful paintings and beautiful post. Love your paintings and nice loose brush work.

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  7. Lovely work. Really captured Porthleven. Cornwall is such an inspiring place. Have you seen the courses at www.newlynartschool.co.uk ? Lots of well known landscape painters teaching at the art school. I'm looking forward to my next trip to Cornwall later this summer.

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    1. Thank you very much! I have heard of this school and it seems great. Enjoy your trip!

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