Sunday, 17 May 2009

Friday morning, Sennen Cove

Wild Morning, Sennen Cove, oil, about 14/15 ins square, Vivien Blackburn

I'm back from a week at Sennen Cove with the family - 4 generations so lots of juggling of interests. Making painting time sometimes meant getting up very early.

I had been hoping to get into Falmouth to the Beside the Wave gallery to see Sarah's work for real but didn't make it :>( Next time I'd like to go down with friends and spend the time painting and gallery hopping. It would have been nice to meet up but I knew with only a week and all the family there it wouldn't be possible :>(

One gorgeous place that I must go back to is the Cot Valley - a beautiful steep V of a valley with a narrow road leading down beside a tumbling stream that ends at a gorgeous little rocky beach. I have to go there and paint.

I was driving down the narrow lane to Porthgwarra (isolated beach) another day, with flowers and ferns touching each side of the car from the hedgerows - primroses, bluebells, cranesbill, wild geraniums, ragged robin, wild garlic, violets and much much more - when I came face to face with a huge oil tanker coming the other way. Not only were the hedgerows right up to the car but just beneath the flowers is a stone wall. It meant I had to reverse for half a mile - so not fun. I'd been lucky with all the other narrow lanes and only met other cars so that the occasional passing places were suitable and reversing wasn't too far. Following the tanker, when I got back to a gateway to pull into, were a tractor, a crane and a few cars. I'm afraid I gave up on Porthgwarra. Did I miss much Sarah?

I'll do a slide show of some of the photos in another post later.

These 3 are oil paintings done on Friday which was sunny but very very windy so the surf was high and crashing over the harbour wall. Absolutely beautiful :>)

Cornish sea is the most beautiful colour in almost any weather - a day before in the sunshine it had been vivid translucent blues and viridians. On this day the viridians were still there but quieter, more muted. As the waves rise, the under side is like translucent glass with the light shining through. The swell rises, the crest starts to break in several places and then they rush to meet in a crash of spray. On the rocky reef beyond the harbour wall they crash and bounce huge sprays upwards. Every so often a huge swell comes rolling in and the waves pour over the harbour wall.

(These were done in Griffin Alkyds which I always use for plein air oil painting. I wrote more about using them on my blog if anyone is interested).


annie said...

I love your slide show of water. One gets that sense of space and breadth, and the sense of waves coming on... and on... and on...

Pam Johnson Brickell said...

Vivian, these paintings are outstanding! Your colors, the motion, and I can hear the waves and feel the mist. So many patterns of wave and water to capture. Bravo!

vivien said...

thank you annie and Pam :>) I'm so glad that what I was trying to put across worked for you :>)

I love the sea (as long as I'm on dry land!) and when it's wild like this it's even more interesting

Anonymous said...

These are wonderful; the water looks so cold and the waves are crashing in. But as for backing all that way down a narrow lane? Rather you than me ;-)

vivien said...

thanks Kath - I'd rather it had been anyone but me - especially backing all that way under the beady eye of the tanker driver looming over me!

Sarah said...

At least you backed up! Many folk visiting cant seem to manage it. Love the paintings, it would be nice to meet up one day.

vivien said...


I try not to be a grockle or an emmet!!!

(insulting names for tourists in Devon/Cornwall for those who don't know)

It would be great to meet up some time

Jeanette Jobson said...

Beautiful images of the sea. The sense of wind and ocean are magical.

Grockles....haven't heard that one in a long time. :)

Making A Mark said...

These are wonderful paintings of the sea Vivien - very atmospheric - I can hear those waves crashing

The lanes down in the southwest at this time of year are idyllic with all the flowers.

I don't mind reversing cars too much - but half a mile is a bit ridiculous! I'd have ended up with a severe case of neck ache!

Lindsay said...

These are just beautiful and express your long looking and love for the area. I agree about the expressiveness of the motion! Really wonderful,

vivien said...

lovely expressive words aren't they Jeanette!

I mainly used my mirrors to reverse but the worst was the rotten tanker driver looming over watching every move!

The flowers at this time of year are really special :>)

thank you Katherine, Jeanette and Lindsay :>)

Gesa said...

These are great... I love the variation and similarity you manage to keep with them. I can just about imagine the difficulty of juggling different interest. One other person is often enough for me :)
Are you going to do something more with these?

vivien said...

Yes other people can be difficult! imagine not wanting to sit on a windy clifftop while I paint ???


I want to do a large 40 inch square canvas from these

and other canvasses from other sketches

Laura Frankstone said...

What great movement and energy! Yes, yes, yes! I'm going to look into your alkyds, too. Congratulations on these beautiful paintings, Vivien!!