Last weekend we went to Wharariki beach , the north western corner of the South Island. This can be a wild spot, so I just took my little sketchbook and the camera with me. If I do this i sketch out the landforms, make a few colour notes and take some photos to make sure I have things in the right place, then when I've drawn up the composition in my studio I put the photo aside and paint from memory(mostly!).I was hoping for one of the spectacular days which you sometimes get out there, dramatic lighting anad miles of wet sand, but we chose a perfect spring day with calm , sunny conditions. Well, I thought to myself, I can always use artistic license to edit the light conditions later. When I got home I set up to paint and had a vision in my head of wild grey clouds and golden highlights of sun. But as I worked on the painting it steadily looked exactly as it had last Sunday! My memory of how it looked and felt was just too strong to conquer. I admire painters who can imagine a scene in their head and put that on canvas, but for me I guess it will always be about how I see something - and my brain won't let me tell (many) porkies about it! We plan to go back and camp there for a few days, so I can see the beach in some of it's different moods and light...watch this space.
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