Sunday 12 May 2013

PAPping in Porthleven

The Bath Prize Plein Air Painting Prize - a week B&B for 2 in Porthleven with studio facilities: Fantastic!
The reality doesn't quite live up to expectation as Yolanda couldn't come and the weather for the week is looking pretty rubbish. That said, it's still a week in Cornwall with free lodging and let's quit with the whinging [steady, let's not totally break with tradition] and get on with it:
12/05/13 pt1 - I set the alarm for 5.30 planning an early start - what was I thinking? It's a god awful time and there isn't any sun so I go back to sleep. I do find myself standing painting by the harbour at 7.30 which is still pretty impressive. It's all a bit different - grey skies (well not that), bobbing boats and constantly moving water and .... dammit, I've misjudged the temperature. It's fine to start, but then the wind picks up and it's bitter. [Think about the cooked breakfast, think about the cooked breakfast.] I think about the cooked breakfast and I just about make it to the end. Throughout it all I'm worried it's going pear shaped, but in the end it doesn't turn out so bad.
I make it back for the well earned (!?) cooked breakfast (although it turns out you can have it any time before 2 in the afternoon, which is more accomodating that your usual b&b). Sausage (am I still allowed sausage?), bacon (I'm sure there was something about bacon), fried egg (let's not start on that) and toast - every day for a week? - what the hell. 

Friday 10 May 2013

Gallery News


3/5/13 pm

Can't stop now - it's still sunny. Well, almost. It's sort of clouding over, but the sun peeks out every now and again. I try Margaret's Buildings as a location, but [gasp!] the Lime Lounge has gone! The lovely bright splash of colour half way done has been replaced by some sombre grey cafe. I'm sure it does a lovely cup of coffee, but it's not working for me compositionally so I head back to the crescent.

The tree guys have finished. All that remains of the drumandbass guys is a plastic bag full of empty beer bottles. Ah, lovely. Just the occasional thwack of a football and a "pass the ***ing ball you ****er, you ***** ***** *****" - an idyllic scene. 

I have to remember the sunshine most of the time, but it seems to come out okay and at least I brought my brushes.

Saturday 4 May 2013


3/5/13 - am

It's a sunny day - exclamation mark. And it's a painting day - double exclamation mark. This could be the summer, so I've got to make the most of it - a three month hiatus from PAP is inexcusable. In my haste to get going I leave all my brushes in a nice little pile in the studio. I only remember this after I've walked up the hill and set up my easel and paints. On my way I pass Mr Walkanddrawbath who I've never met before, but have heard of through the wonder of the web. He sets up over there in the middle of the grass while I am standing on the road in front of the Royal Crescent. Without lifting a brush (because of course I haven't brought any) I have to pack up and slink away - 1-0 to Mr Walkanddraw.

I go back to the studio and get my brushes (all neatly in their pile) and return to the scene. This time I do actually paint a picture and it doesn't turn out too bad. Mr Walkanddraw packs up before me and comes over to say hello. He seems quite nice, we have a bit of a chat, he's going to message me. While distracted the wind picks up, and blows my easel over. I try to rescue it with one hand (the other clutching my palette and brushes) only to smear the painting across my jumper. Mr Walkanddraw politely leaves me to it - 2-0 to Mr Walkanddraw.

I make some attempt at repairs, but the light has moved too much. Godammit.

Other things:
  • There's loads of flies on the walk past the allotment - must be the first warm day for ever that's brought them all out at once or there's a big pile of manure the other side of the hedge.
  • There's some tree guys chopping down a tree.
  • I get stopped by some school girls doing a survey about Bath - the last question is, "what do you think would improve Bath?". I struggle with this one, knowing that their survey is going to make all the difference and finally, unhelpfully, come up with, "Better weather."
  • The yellow lines by the crescent must have been repainted they seem particularly vivid today.
  • Some older boys (students?) arrive in the park and sit down just near me. No problem, but for the hardcore banging drum and bass tunes they start blasting out. What with that and the chainsaw from the tree guys there is no peaceful vivaldi moment. 
Regardless, spring has definitely sprung.