Summertime Sussex (Part 1): Composition No. 6
One of the great things about gouache paint (the likes of which I rediscovered a few months back and am now totally in love with) is how quickly one can turn around a fairly detailed painting in a short space of time. Of course it helps that the paint dries within minutes of its application to the paper, allowing a detailed image to be swiftly executed. The result of this is that I am finding myself increasingly able to catalogue my life’s adventures in gouache paint, as well as through photography and the written word.
Consequently, no sooner had I finished off the last of my Provence-inspired gauche paintings, which in turned formed part of my “compositions series” (the idea behind the series being that the paintings follow a more abstract compositional styling rather than being constrained too heavily by accurate figurative representation), than I got to work on another, this time inspired by a short 24 hour trip I made to my home town of Worthing in Sussex for something of a pre-birthday celebration.
Having been languishing in the sultry summer sunshine of late, the UK has firmly entered the holiday season, and its many beaches have each become heavily populated by visitors taking dips in the English sea to cool off from the unseasonably high temperatures. The beach at Goring-by-Sea, the small suburb East of Worthing and where my family home is situated, is no exception. My mother and I headed down to the beach on a warm Saturday afternoon and, having made our way through the various groups of barbequing families, young children playing in the sand, and sun-lovers spreading themselves out in worship of the sun rays, we reached the shore whose waters were surprisingly warm and clear. Neither of us could resist a dip, and this 6th painting in my compositions series marks the moment when my mother was taking a bathe in the sea while I, looking after our things and taking in the surprisingly summery scene before me, sat on the water’s edge, this image building in my head.
The very next morning I began to sketch out the composition, complete with its curving wave-like forms and overlapping seaweed-covered groynes and within a few days it was done. The perfect testament to a perfect British summer’s day. I leave you with some photos of that little beach trip which, like my gouache, capture some essence of the British seaside in the summer.
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- Composition No. 1 (squid with patatas a lo pobre) (daily-norm.com)
- Composition No. 2 (Los Naranjos) (daily-norm.com)
- Provence Odyssey | My Journey in Paintings: Beau Les Baux (daily-norm.com)