... continued from last post...
Pintar Rapido turned out to be one of the hottest days of the summer. Lucky me being on Cadogan Pier - away from heat-reflecting asphalt and in the one place where a breeze blew and where even just the visual effect of the water was cooling!
Only one problem... the sirocco-like wind dried the paint on the brush before I could even apply it. It formed immediate skins on the blobs of paint which even the stay-wet palette doused in river water couldn't keep from solidifying.
The light changed during the day from early morning haze to picture postcard greens reds blues and whites and it was a staring eyed, sun-baked, heat-crazed artist who at the close of play, staggered, gasping and clutching a laboured, fussy daub, to Chelsea Town Hall . It was splodgy and much, much too pink. As I handed the horrible thing over, seasoned professionals glided coolly past carrying calm well drawn work, opulently framed in heritage colours. Grrr. If that weren't enough, a day spent on a floating dock was like a day on board ship at sea... delightful yes but every time I stood still, Chelsea Town Hall was rocking.... the tube platform at Sloane Square was rocking... and even in Leytonstone, where I slept that night, the room was - like Ted Highes' house in 'Wind' - ...'far out at sea all night.'
Of course the work didn't sell. Who would buy blotchy pink splodges? I now realise that probably plein-air isn't my forte; but the image above is what happened later in the studio after I took the work back to the simplicity of earlier morning views. In the end, the splodginess of the wind-dried paint was serendipitous, because it accidentally laid down an interesting base texture to work over.
Speaking of the river... this is what the string was for... I tied it round the rim of my plastic water jar and clung happily to a rusty old ladder on a massive and ancient wooden piling to dangle the jar in the flow of the water. Not only is the painting of the river it's really made 'of' the river.