I like to think of these as a collective portrait of Clontarf on a bright winters day. The two yellow bathing shelters are out on the Bull Island peninsular, the three green interior ones are inside a shelter on Clontarf road. I seem to have gone a bit Edward Hopper with the last three, with the simplified shapes, geometric design and careful placement of figures. Hopper apparently said his favourite thing was painting sunlight on the side of a house. I concur.
It seems a while since a day was so bright here. I’ve been reading ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’ by Jean Rhys. Its set in the Caribbean and the way she writes evokes all the colours and strong contrasts, of people and situations. Possibly this paragraph, which has stayed with me since finishing the book, made me want to paint a really sunny day… “Everything was brightness, or dark. The walls, the blazing colours of the flowers in the garden, the nun’s habits were bright, but their veils, the Crucifix hanging from their waists, the shadows of the trees were black. That was how it was, light and dark, sun and shadow, Heaven and Hell”.
I can’t wait for the summer, there seems to be some building work going on on what looks like a lido, won’t that be fun if its in use by then. Maybe I’ll start putting some people in the pictures.
I’m posting from 30,000 ft, we just flew over Dublin bay. I was pleased to recognise some Landmarks, and feel affection for them. I’ve painted those chimneys quite a few times now and to see them from above was nice, to confirm their geography as I understood it from the ground. The water line zigzags away very slightly from my earth bound point of view but I hadn’t realised how regular those steps back of the coast line are, it’s possible to see it clearly from above. I wonder how that will inform my next painting.
This is the view from the little pier on Clontarf road at low tide. My brushwork has loosened up some which is good. Since I got to Dublin my style has been a little tight, quite different from my Norfolk paintings with their confident wet brushstrokes. I don’t know if it’s the change from natural to urban subject matter, or the time of year, changing to smaller canvases or perhaps even my state of mind in this new place. So many changes to contend with.