Wednesday, 12 March 2008


Before the storms and bad weather of the last few days I had started a painting at Ringstead. This was the one where I abandoned a trip Osmington due to the strong winds, and the difficulty of getting down the cliff path there with my canvas.

Since then, there has been no real let-up in the weather, and I'm really keen for the elements to calm down a bit so that I can get back out there in a degree of safety, and continue with the painting.

When I finally get back to Ringstead Beach in the next couple of days I'll be able to gauge the ferocity of the storms, and the height of the spring tides by checking to see if my 'easel' is still there.

You may have noticed that I do not use a conventional easel when painting outside. This is because I frequently walk long distances over rough terrain to reach my 'spot'. An easel would be an impossible encumbrance. An easel would also put the canvas in a position that would practically guarantee that it would blow away with the first puff of wind.

I have adapted my painting style to this method of working by locating objects on which I can lean or prop my canvas. These are usually natural objects, such as rocks or fallen branches (see my video) which are readily to hand. When painting on a beach I will create a natural slope for my canvas on the ground by pushing and piling the sand or shingle with my hands or boots.

At Ringstead last week I found part of a large plastic container, which was among the jetsam on the beach. It served very well as a makeshift easel, and you can see it in position in the top photograph.

When I packed up I decided to save it for my return - imagining this would be the following day. I wedged it into a cleft in the shale and earth dunes well above the high-water mark. This is where you see it in the second photograph.

I wonder if it will still be there when I go back?

1 comment:

The Lone Beader said...

Hello! I was just cruizin' through lookin at you makeshift easel. I love your blog. The photos are so natural & your painting style free spirited! I also love the beach. Everytime I go, I try to remember to bring my sketchbook. Anyways, I'll try to be back around. Cheers from Boston! :D