The month of March – Shallows

March-Shallows-seascapes-wave paintings-Adelaide South Australia-Philippa Robert-Shallows

March – Shallows

Time for another wave painting! This time it is “Shallows”, another one inspired by walks on Brighton Jetty on stormy days.

Month of March-wave paintings-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia-Shallows

On the calendar, the image is a detail of “Shallows”. As you can see below, the painting takes in a long stretch of shoreline. That is part of the excitement of being on the jetty. The high vantage point is so different from the swimmer’s view.

From 5 metres up the whole effect is mesmerising. It is easy to see abstract qualities in all the movement. How I wish the breaking waves were not so fleeting! My compromise is to work in the studio from photographs, with memory adding to the inspiration.

It is a perfect project for a day that is too hot or too rainy for outdoor painting!

March-Shallows-seascapes-wave paintings-Adelaide South Australia-Philippa Robert-Shallows,

Isn’t it great to have choices?

Open Garden – art experiment Part 2

The art experiment

More news here on that faltering experiment in early September. After the very rainy Saturday, we weren’t up quite as early the next day, but the forecast was heartening enough to proceed with Plan A-2.

Method – continued

Packing, unpacking; hillside hauling, hooks and wire, cord and carabiniers. It was a medley of improvisation but we did it!

Here are some installation images.

Eucalypts, North Adelaide & Greeting the Day, Railton


Shallows, with a surfboard
Shallows & Men at Play

It was a lovely sunny day to spend in those beautiful surroundings. The garden was set out over many levels. There were two main areas for “crowds” but the special appeal lay in the tiny seating areas in hidden places.

Two other artists were exhibiting and the artworks added another dimension. There was live music from a baby grand as well as an acoustic guitar combo. Local cheeses, wine, home-made icecream and cake were enjoyed by the visitors (and me). Lovely doesn’t really cover it.

The art experiment – Results & Discussion

I met lots of people as they lingered in the Open Garden. They were keen gardeners and garden-lovers but many showed interest in the paintings. My work looked interesting among the plants and filled the spaces with surprises. But somehow with their mixed beach and gardens theme they had a diluted impact. I think Shoreline Stretch among the greenery shown in my last post was perhaps the most successful with its green echoes.

LookingGlass Open Garden, Marino - art experiment


Overall the Open Garden was not quite the right fit as a market for my paintings. If there is another opportunity I might paint or draw on the spot. Perhaps some plant studies in ink and wash. They would be very affordable for casual visitors and be directly related to the theme.

That’s a recipe for a hard day’s work but in those surroundings it would also be quite a treat.

Open Gardens – art experiment Part 1

The art experiment

Open Gardens are part of Spring in South Australia. For me this year they became an art experiment.


I recently met a friend’s friend at a housewarming and agreed to consider the idea of exhibiting in one of the SA Open Gardens events in my local area.

The date was immediately after SALA so it seemed a lot to manage. But hey, “Nothing ventured nothing gained.” It has been that sort of year. Not sure if you have noticed that too.



Before the appointed weekend I visited the garden and chose potential positions for the works. With rain forecast, these spots were fairly close to the main house for a quick rescue mission if needed. The garden itself was on a very steep slope and had a network of winding pathways through sloping bushland and lush plantings. Any rescue was not going to be quick.

On the Friday I wrapped 15 paintings in clear polythene purchased from the hardware store. I also purchased twine, S-hooks and hooks with a spring closing. It was an outlay of about $70 by the time I went back to buy more polythene.

You can see the wrapping on Shoreline Stretch

Early on the Saturday morning my husband and I were up at what felt like dawn, and by 7.15 we had packed the car with paintings. With the forecast in mind I looked at the sky. Does that seem an obvious thing to do? Sometimes the forecast can be wrong but as the light came up that day the sky was thickly overcast and rain was threatening.

It was time to abandon the outing and unpack the car. The art experiment was at risk of not running at all.

Flatness. Was there any hope? More about that soon.