Towards the Cape, 29th April 2017, 4.20pm

Plein air, oil on board apprx. 15  x 20 cm

A day of rapidly changing light coupled with a gusty, buffeting wind making for challenging painting conditions. The rhododendron bushes are starting to flower now. In the valley below the strong purple colours of the blooms are muted and cooled by distance, yet when catching the light still manage to provide a nice foil to the increasingly bright acid yellow-greens of trees bursting into bud.

Wavelets

Plein air, oil on board apprx. 15  x 20 cm

With no wind to speak of the ocean has become a reflecting mirror of the sky; seen from the higher viewpoint of the clifftops at sunset, pools of glassy smooth water bounded by patterns of shifting wavelets trace the movement of the inshore currents.  A relatively unusual sight for this coastline, occurring perhaps only a few times a year.

Blossom

Plein air, oil on board apprx. 30 x 20 cm

I’ve been meaning to paint this very old, stunted tree for some time now, but I’m usually either too late to catch it in bloom or the blossom has already been stripped from the tree by the weather.  Sculpted and battered by the prevailing winds with only the relatively protected leeward side sporting any flowers or leaves there is no other example like it anywhere along the coast and it stands alone.

Plein air, oil on board apprx. 15  x 20 cm

A very quick cloud study done while a marvelous sunset was in progress.  It was difficult to know where or what to look at next, while trying to paint it!

Towards the Cape, 15th April, 2017, 1.30pm

Plein air, oil on board apprx. 15 x 20 cm

A day of quickly changing cloud patterns with long periods of overcast punctuated by equal periods of brilliant sunshine and clear blue sky. In the hour or so it took to do this sketch the sky went from overcast to brilliant sunshine and back to solid overcast no less than four times. It’s difficult to know what to settle on under these quickly changing conditions. It’s usually best to stick to first impressions and not try to ‘chase the light.’

Spring

Morning at the Cape, 8th April, 2017, 10.30 am

Afternoon at the Cape, 8th April, 2017, 4.00 pm

The first truly spring-like day of the year. As seems typical for this far west coast, there are now plenty of early spring flowers along the pathways — wild garlic, violets, and the first sea pinks, while most of the trees are not yet in in bud, in contrast with the usual situation further east where tree foliage is much further along and fruit trees are in bloom at this time of year. One thing however does seem to be is constant here; a breezy start to the day with the wind gradually increasing in force to a battering, gusty, ‘mistral’. Most of the hour or so it took to finish the ‘afternoon’ version was spent trying to hold my gear steady with one hand while painting with the other.