The November Challenge

November? You might well ask…….

Lots of exciting ideas came to mind when my colleague and I agreed in August last year to take on a monthly challenge. Time? Not really a problem – it would be relatively easy to find 3 or 4 hours a month. November was getting towards the busy time of year so completion in December/January was predictable. By late January things were at Stage 2. And then, it was March.

The challenge was to paint with white and three colours: burnt sienna, phthalo blue and cadmium yellow.

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia

Stage 1 – no, it is not a poached egg

The first stage is rough but a little reminiscent of Vuillard. But I couldn’t leave it there. Is this a person? Is that a poached egg after all?

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
Stage 2

More definition of the face and the items on the table-top. Adding another chair to add to the curves in the composition.

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
Stage 3 – le bon choix

Where is the main light source? A bit late for this perhaps. But still. It helped to pin down the floating cups and saucers (and meringues). The extra chair was a distraction leading out of the picture plane – had to go. Darker shadows on face and fabric, less hair over the shoulder. This is where I choose to leave it. Perhaps you would have stopped earlier (or later). What do you think?

It is surprising how little I used the yellow. That first meringue would have been a bit dull without it. I love blues and use them often but have avoided phthalo blue for quite a while. Because of its intensity it can dominate so easily. It does make some beautiful chromatic greys with burnt sienna and I was in a sort of heaven playing with those.

The next challenge has been on the table for a couple of months. I am catching up!

Thanks for visiting.

Back on the beach!

Back on the beach

It was hot out there yesterday – 37 degrees in the shade. After an aerobics/weights session at the gym I was a little worn out. Perhaps that’s why I decided to go out in the midday, out in the midday, out in the midday sun. I still had gym shoes on but not for long. I had to wade into the water to cool off almost immediately. Socks back on as I hadn’t put sunscreen on my feet. I waded in twice more during the 90 minutes. The last time in desperation I drenched my hat.

I didn’t meet any mad dogs or Englishmen. If only I could tell Noel Coward. But I did have a proper swim an hour later.

Can I blame the gym session for my crazy decisions?

streetscapes(non)aus

Not sure whether you noticed, but this has been a post-free July and August for seascapes-aus. Just a few IT problems…
In the meantime as I will be painting in Rome soon with Kelly Medford and friends, I’ve been looking beyond my usual obsession with the sea.

Apologies for the uncropped images – on the run!

In Darlington recently…

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia

This was a special request. I was setting up to paint the back garden late in the afternoon when a young friend asked me to paint this from a tiny photo. I stayed outside and painted like mad (squinting at the photo for about 45 minutes) until rain and tea stopped play.

Some time later in the Alsace….

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
View of a sunlit slope from the kitchen window. Work to do!

P1070775
l’Eglise, Natzwiller

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
Working on the balcony (in the blazing Alsace sun)!

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
The Netherlands! A pen and wash sketch of my favourite bridge in Zwolle. Its colour is a soft brick red – I regret my lack of kit that day.

On the way to Utrecht by train we passed a spectacular parking lot for cranes near ‘t Harde. Our host shared my enthusiasm and we set off the next morning to do some painting on the spot.

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
Morning at the Cranium, near ‘t Harde.

I am a big fan of Roos Schuring‘s seascapes but have also come to love her cows. To be in Holland and not paint cows would be wasting a golden opportunity. Agree?
I will save that for another post.

More of Saltwater Series 2

The story of my life as an artist started a long time ago, but I will spare you all that. A few decades ago my friend Mary and I used to venture out into the local countryside, sometimes together, sometimes alone. As years passed and our lives changed, our view of the world changed too perhaps, because when free to take up the brushes outdoors again, we hesitated. For many years we met weekly at our houses and painted all the sorts of things possible in those settings.

Moving to a seaside house ten years ago opened another view of the world, in more ways than one. Surprisingly, the biggest change for me was how dominant the sky was (not the sea). The balcony offered a wonderful haven, with its own ‘window’ on the world.

This story is one of transition. From the studio where work was based largely on photographs, I moved to the balcony to paint. Out there I felt exposed, although I don’t think many people noticed me. Not many steps took me over to the footpath at the edge of the dunes. A month later I found myself on the top of the dunes, a week after that down on the sand and a couple of days later, in the wet sand and dodging the tide.

My previous post showed the studio works. This time, a little more of Saltwater Series 2.
Here are my steps into the outside world….

From the balcony:
Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
Lone rider, Seacliff

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
Sunrise on sandhill, Brighton

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
Early morning, autumn

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
Marino Rocks and beyond

From the footpath:
Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
Beating the heat, Brighton

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
Early morning sunlight

From the top of the dunes:

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia

And from the sand:

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
Dawn line-up

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
Shining sands

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
A knowing companion

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
Towards Marino

So that’s the story (so far)! Does it have a familiar ring to it?