Summer became a bit abstract … at least while painting in the hills. Maybe the real hills lost their appeal or I couldn’t hear them calling any more. After Cornwall the sea has been in my ears and a September visit to Skye with unexpectedly lovely weather meant that afternoons and, even better, evenings could be spent perched on the rocks wrestling with slippery oil paints while the silvery light took on pale colours. The first pictures were sketchy but the paintings changed as the days went on, leaving me a bit exasperated that I had to stop at the end of a week spent getting going. The sea project will be continued though.
Back at home our flat seemed to have developed its own affinity for water as the walls became damper and the atmosphere more dank. In October it was too cold to move around and the backs of some of my canvases were suspiciously mottled. Perhaps the sea business was going too far? It felt like it had invaded the fabric of my living space. Some kind of balance was required. I bought a small robot machine, a dehumidifier, and set it humming away to itself in the heart of the flat. It seemed to draw the sea into itself and I emptied waves of crashing water down the sink every evening. The Cornwall and Skye paintings looked brighter on their respective walls and the air felt warmer and more pleasant.
So where is the sea? In Cornwall, in Skye, in my mind or inside a whirring water collector? Maybe all of these places. It certainly hasn’t gone away and the sketches feel as if they are leading somewhere. A large canvas is taking shape on the easel but it feels, at the moment, as if it’s treading water.