Towards the Cape, Morning, 13th June, 2017

5.45 am

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


8.00 am

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

Two sketches attempting to catch something of the early morning light on the Cape and Kenidjack Valley. By 8.00am broken clouds had formed overland towards the east and as they obscured the early morning sun their shadows slowly drifted across the landscape. The last vestiges of autumn colours in the underbrush are now being rapidly submerged beneath the bright greens  of unfurling bracken fronds. In a few short weeks the valley walls and floor will become an unbroken ocean of green.


Morning and Evening at the Cape

After a day of unremitting, heavy rain and high winds, today dawned rather hazy. The sun quickly burned off  any early morning cloud to give a warm spring day but the hazy conditions remained. By early evening cloud had returned, the edge of the cloud ceiling gradually lowering as it tracked the passage of the setting sun. By the time I had finished the latter sketch and was making my way home the fog had lifted to reveal a perfectly clear sky: to the west the beautiful pastel colours of dusk, and pointing my way home, a bright gibbous moon alongside the planet Jupiter in the east. Birdsong, the whirring wings of a passing moth, and the gentle tearing of grass by grazing cows in the fields alongside the only sounds to accompany my passage home in the growing darkness.

9 am

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

9 pm

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

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.


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.


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!