Home beyond Range
Threading through the hinterland steeps & drops reawakened a reverence for this kind of country. Far enough flung from the hubbub, gilt & gaudiness of the burning beaches roll these mountainous seas of emeralds, beautiful chaos of thick proud trunks stretching to the heavens, sprays of ochres, flashing smiles of things aflower; the graceful natives to the tart bursts from the new-comers. Work saw me out to the country over four days this past week to make an appearance for the Kenilworth Arts Festival. I can't recall the last time I was this far west. Kenilworth is only about an hour & a half in from the coast (two and a bit in my lovely Juanita). Quaint little country town she is with the pub, the servo, post office, newsagent, a hairdresser, general store and that'll about do it for Kenilworth. Nice to visit a place that is comfortable with it's own self-identity, not needing the garish peversions of big business. Keeping it family. The start of the week we'd bustled up early enough to jumble together our make-shift shop inside the local school's manual arts building. After a half hour of brisk morning trade before the classes started there was bugger-all to do but drink tea, play cards & paint. Watercolours & gouache for the first two days and began slapping on the foundations for a larger oil canvas on the last. First time for the watercolous & gouache but its certainly something I've wanted to play with for a while. It was odd to keep white-space in mind as you wash in the colours - really jags the awareness to maintain focus on light sources & reflections in the composition. I found mixed results & mixed emotions in the bold & delicate swabbing; there's a lot to commit when laying down the shapes. Sure you can 'lift' somewhat the colours that may have slid awry but layers left to dry and layered over and layered over and over... Focus! Keeping track proved a challenge for the stroking. Such lovely soft washing colours; they lend themselves very well to the ideas I've in mind. A lot more time to play is looked forward to. The hills are trying to seduce me & the week's flirtations may kindle a further affair.