Thursday, 3 September 2009

Night Painting

Helford Regatta. Watercolour. 40cm x 40cm or 16 inches x 16 inches.

Helford Fireworks. Oil. 15cm x 15cm or 6 inches x 6 inches

Here we go again, with the old oil or water question, actually its not much of a conundrum for me this time, the watercolour has won. I have been trying to paint water at night, with the aid of fireworks!
This time of year, down here by the sea, there are a lot of carnivals and regattas. When all the games and sailing competitions are over, after a lot of fine Cornish ale, the evening is usually rounded off with a fantastic firework display. I needed to do some night painting and this provided just the right challenge. With night painting I find that the best thing to do is to fill your senses, pack it in, think, think and feel. Then rush home, or into somewhere that you can see, and scrawl a lot of notes.
The paintings are essentially memories. I found doing these that watercolour won hands down, it provided the exuberance that I felt watching the display, it showed the colours in the water the best, it gave me the accidental marks that I was looking for. I am however slightly seduced by the bit of pink smoke by the trees in the little oil...
I am working on a few more night pictures, there is a full moon coming up in a couple of days and I have plans, quite sneaky ones which, hopefully, I will achieve without being eaten by guard dogs, arrested by police for trespass or falling over and breaking my neck...
or meeting any ghosts!

15 comments:

Julie Broom said...

These arejust wonderful. You've really captured the energy and vibrance of the firework display beautifully. I don't know how you managed to do this from memory - very impressive!

magsramsay said...

The oil for me has a more mysterious, abstract quality that I really like. I once sketched at night in Greece in a cafe overlooking a harbour -it's amazing how different it looked from in daytime, how different things stood out - and the in dark, dark blue of the sky...

Annie of Blue Gables said...

OH I am in love with the watercolor. It totally brought back memories. Great job on both!
~a

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Wonderful paintings Sarah - and I agree I like the watercolour better although both are excellent!

Katherine Tyrrell said...

PS Thanks for the description of how you tackle these

SJ said...

I love your watercolour. It's the enrgy and freshness - for me it really captures the excitement.

And hello to all of you - I read your blog, I just haven't commented before!

vivien said...

hi SJ :>)

These are great, they catch the excitement and dazzle and movement

Gesa said...

Wow - these are fantastic! I was curious about your nocturnes and the prospect of some more is exciting. We're off to some fireworks tomorrow for my dad's birthday, but there's no water nearby. The reflections in the water are fantastic.

Exuberance is a very good word to use!

Tina Mammoser said...

No one has said Whistler? *grin* These are gorgeous and remind me of his paintings too (very different, but I so rarely see fireworks paintings I guess).

Definitely can see why you went with the watercolours, it has just that ethereal movement that the fireworks have - you've captured it perfectly!

Laureline said...

Glorious, just glorious! I said of you, when I nominated you for an award on Making a Mark a few years ago, that you are a painter's painter. And you are and these are perfect examples of why I feel that way. You're a wonderful inspiration to this painter!

diddamsdigitalart said...

I especially like that big watercolor. It evokes the excitement and a bit of the mystery that is the night.

Jeanette said...

Wonderful! The splashes of colour and reflections in the water are very well done. It really gives a feel of the moment and brings the viewer there.

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

Wonderful work Sarah..I like them both, can't pick one over the other!
ronell

Robyn said...

Sublime watercolour!

Lindsay said...

Very beatiful mark making. You have the night time drama in all of your nocturns.