Painting at the Port

Painting at the Port! Today I am revisiting this spot in my head.

Our group has been painting at the Port many times before. There is such a lot to paint and this time one of the group was still wandering and wondering 20 minutes after arrival. It happens. Especially where everything looks inviting at first and on closer inspection, less exciting compositionally or too complex!

Painting at the Port-Philippa Robert-Birkenhead Bridge
Birkenhead Bridge

In past years I have drawn the Yelta (the last steam tug), painted the old Birkenhead Bridge and a pair of bollards.

Painting at the Port-Philippa Robert-Bollards

The Falie took me in with its coloured canopies and flag. It was so much more complex than those bollards! What was I thinking?

Painting at the Port-Falie photograph-Philippa Robert-Nov2016

Here is another shot, this time of the “One and All” which was berthed nearby on our third week.

Painting at the Port-One&All photograph-Philippa Robert-Nov2016
One and All

I have written recently about Painting in the wind.

Breezy to start with, soon windy, then gusty tending towards a gale. It was a warm day and the wind across the water was not cool. Even before I set up I bought a bottle of iced tea.

As I was painting, a piece of paper blew out of my top shirt pocket. Is that possible? After chasing it, scrunching it and replacing it in the pocket it happened again. I guess I thought the scrunched shape might keep it from flying out. It was risky chasing that piece of paper so close to the edge of the wharf.

Painting in the Port-Falie-work in progress-Philippa Robert
Falie (work in progress)

I painted for about an hour until I realised that it was taking all my non-painting limbs to hold things down!

And the painting? Here’s hoping I can finish it tomorrow!

Painting in the wind

Painting in the wind-seascapes-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia-Falie Week3

Port Adelaide

Painting in the wind! Have you ever done it? Lots have, I know. One of the outdoor painters I most admire is Roos Schuring of the Netherlands. She is known as the “all weather painter” and has been seen in the background of TV weather segments, doing just what her tag-line suggests.

I have painted on the beach with sand-bag ballasts attached to the easel. All seemed to go well (in my memory). Today I was truly tested.

At Port Adelaide for the third Friday morning I was desperately hoping to finish my painting of the Falie. Here is a peep at my painting after the first week.


Painting in the wind-seascapes-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia-Falie Week1
Falie, Week 1

Sorry to say that Week 2’s record has disappeared.

Painting in the wind or dealing with a gale? (almost)

As I set up today there was a strong northerly breeze which was quick to blow my paintbox lid shut. As this holds the painting I couldn’t ignore it. Water bottles to the rescue – as ballast hanging from the latches on the lid. Nope, no success. I had set up directly into the northerly so it was destined to fail. A little sideways slide towards the west and at last I was set up.

Did I mention that it was 30-odd degrees when I arrived? Painting in the wind AND the heat.

I enjoy being at Port Adelaide. Although the wharf we visit is not an actual working wharf, there is lots of action not too far away. I love hearing the clanking and thumps as things happen. Unfortunately at one stage the result was a massive cloud of dust (coming my way). More than dust, it was grit, such was the wind!

After managing the first 20 minutes in a strong breeze, the wind rose in chaotic gusts.

I needed to hold the palette constantly and occasionally to nudge the lid and the canvas. To wash my brush I had to actually store the palette away to liberate one hand. Another 20 minutes passed until I realised that my decision-making brain had gone home. There was too much support work to do! It was time to pack up.

Plan B

All I could do was take a few photographs – guesswork in the glaring sunlight.

Painting in the wind-seascapes-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia-Falie photograph

A parting shot

It was still an hour before our group lunch time, so I ventured into the nearby Country Arts SA, just in time to hear the bugle for Remembrance Day and spend a silent minute surrounded by indigenous artworks.

Next stop the local art shop. It had been a few years, but they still stocked my favourite Grey Matters palette pads!

Painting in the wind-seascapes-Philippa Robert-Adelaide South Australia-Falie Week3
Falie, Week 3

A bit of work to do on the “Falie”. There is an unresolved area beneath the flag. And then of course, the linework on the ropes. It is an old sailing vessel after all.