My new love – painting on the beach

The key word is “on”. Although I have often painted the beach, my feet have been planted firmly on the balcony or the footpath. A few weeks ago I found a vantage point on the leveled top of the ‘sandhill’. Next spot was at the foot of the sandhill for a couple of sessions and for the last three days I have been practically in the water, boots and all. Well, ok, sandals.

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia

It is a bit squishy underfoot but with the tide and weather in my favour for mornings it has been a really positive experience. And I have met some lovely relaxed people. What could be nicer than a walk on the beach on a warm autumn day? Painting on the beach?

I will include some rough images as the paintings are still not completely finished.

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
Thursday

A dog adopted me yesterday. I don’t know how long he had been sitting in the shade of my sandbag, but there he was looking cute and curly when I reached for more paint. Just as I was pouring him some precious drinking water into my sand-scooper, his owner strolled up, much less concerned than I was. By then I had phoned the council to advise that I had dog No 01516. It had been a bit of a chore cute as the dog was, as I am not really a dog-lover. About 15 minutes after I became aware of him he was getting restless. I even chased him when he ran after another dog. Thank goodness I had resisted the temptation to tether him to the easel. In the effort I lost quite a bit of ultramarine blue (on my shirt). Not to mention painting time… I didn’t comment when the owner said “He knows his way home.” But I’ll know next time! Am I too good-natured?

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
Friday (day of the dog) – more work to do here!

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
Friday arvo (kayaks on their way into this one)

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
Saturday (need to add the jetty)

It is lovely to know how many people are interested in painting as a process! Because people walked up and back whichever way they were going, they did see a few changes. Very few mentioned how relaxing it must be.

Painting on the beach? I recommend it! How about you? Where have you planted your painting feet?

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16 thoughts on “My new love – painting on the beach

  1. Finding new viewpoints is always great! I’m planning to visit new places with my camera this spring. Batteries run dead in the frost, not worth the effort, and I do love it when it’s green.
    I’ve never actually painted outside. Earlier because I was living in the city and didn’t have a car to get out of it, later because I stopped painting. But how do you deal with the sun? I find that even painting in the living room with windows all over the south and west walls, I’m either getting the sun in my eyes or it’s shining directly on the canvas = I can’t see anything. I was thinking of trying it when we get the roof back on the pavillon.
    I love what you’ve accomplished here, can’t wait to see them all done!

    1. The sun can be a problem Pia. Today I faced north towards the sun, so the canvas was ‘shaded’. I have been facing south more often, so the sun is on my back but the canvas is in glare. I use a varnished linen support (mid-tone linen colour) so that helps. I have been wearing sunnies too, so that helps my eyes, not sure about the colours! They are more extreme. Not sure how to set up an umbrella yet….Good to hear from you and hope you can re-roof your pavilion this year!

      1. Oh, it’s just a canvas roof – we take it off in winter so it doesn’t blow apart or get weathered and fragile.

  2. Oh, I have another question. Australia = hot. + Sun. Don’t your paints almost dry as they hit the canvas? I’ve been looking to either try the new Golden Open or switch to oils in summer. Even now I find I can’t blend on the canvas for as long as I want before it all begins to stick. Or is it because my paint are really old I wonder? The new Golden Fluids dry really fast too. Do you use retarder? Seems like a bother to have to blend it into everything.

    1. I have been thinking about oils lately too. My new paints are Tri-Art liquid acrylics and they dry like other acrylics, especially in the breeze. Not sure whether it is heat or dryness of the air but if I have the fan on in the studio on the hottest days retarder is a must. Outdoors I try to use a medium instead of water except for cleaning the brushes, but most often it is a satin or clear because the retarder is in another bottle! and I think it also makes paint too runny to start with.

  3. Love the dog anecdote. Get a photo next time? I could never paint with sun on my canvas. Tried it once, and it came out very dark because I had compensated for the light from the sun. So sometimes I end up painting with my back to my subject!

    1. That is an extreme sport Aline! I salute you! I will capture the dog (virtually) next time. It is such a change of ‘attitude’ to take a photo while in painting mode. Let alone mind a dog….

  4. Love your painting tales Philippa and thoroughly admire your expertise where ever you plant your feet, but out there on the beach must be so exhilarating, give or take the occasional dog . .. .

  5. New loves are a gift – happy to see you have found one, and it shows in your work. As for me I keep my feet planted firmly in the studio – ever too shy to paint in public…

    1. Thank you John for your kind words. Ironic isn’t it, that we display some of our innermost agonies online! I think creating the depth and intrigue of your paintings wouldn’t be easy in public, even with well-minded onlookers. Too much explaining to do!

  6. Another nice story – what adventures you have! I never know what to say when i see someone painting, I never know whether it’s an intrusion to comment, or nosy to look at what they’re painting. I guess if they looked up and smiled I’d be ok, but so ofte n they look up and frown… but maybe they are just concentrating!

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