To The Sea

Some of you may remember, on our 2014 Summer holiday to France I had a frustrated attempt at making a travel based collage, a la Kurt Schwitters. I also had a couple of abstract attempts to represent water, and at the time I wondered if I might combine the two ideas.

Last weekend I came across the bag of travel tickets I kept from the trip and decided to pursue the combination idea. I cut and played with a number of shapes and thoughts, before deciding on this:

To The Sea

The tickets pieces are intended to represent the journey itself, and the kind of plant life you might find in the sea – that’s the idea at least!

I had several attempts at playing with this design and it changed a lot on the way. The big spray of tickets in the middle took a while to form in my mind, and once it did, the rest came quite quickly.

Unfortunately I can’t find most of the earlier photographs, but here are the final tweaks as the design came to life. This piece is on 24 x 32 cm 270 g/m2 water colour paper.

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La Piscine

As an untrained splosher of paint – I get frustrated, a lot. The desire I have to attempt to bring a vision either from my mind or from real life, onto paper, is limited and often completely thwarted through not really knowing how to work the materials I am using. But I enjoy the process of trying – and sometimes something works – to an extent at least.

Whilst staying in Cagnes sur Mer this summer, water was all around us. The beach in particular, and the pool, featured a lot on this stage of our trip. Water water everywhere. It looks tantalising as the sun flicks and shines off it, and I thought I’d have a go at trying to paint it.

Rather than try to copy water – I played with the idea of a swimming pool in my mind, La Piscine. I did briefly think about calling this post Piscine About, thankfully I abandoned that idea. Anyway – here’s what I came up with after about three hours of dabbing, blotting, drying and mixing. The act of releasing myself from ‘what I think this should look like’, regularly proves to be a challenge, and an enjoyable one at that.

La Piscine 1

I subsequently had another go, this time putting some background colour on the paper first (a mix of white and windsor violet). I think this second attempt is just a mess – I failed to create much contrast between the shades of blue, and the violet doesn’t do anything for me either. Carole suggested I keep it and maybe use it as a background for something else. I might play with some of the travel ephemera I brought back to France and see if I can overlay anything interesting on here.

La Piscine 2

Both pictures are 24 x 32 cm on 270 g/m2 French water colour paper.

Here is La Piscine, framed and ready to go to its new owner.