What a Glorious Time Pt.3

Monday came up gray and cold. I guess it is winter after all. A very bitter southerly straight from Antartica. The locals were saying they had never seen it so cold. BUT, I had a dream and the show must go on. Surely us Tauponians could handle this?! I say ‘us’ because two painting buddies had come to share in the fun…yay!

Wrapped up against this artic blast, we headed off to what I thought was a more sheltered spot. Maybe it was, but on this day I don’t think anywhere was REALLY safe. It was truly raw! Even the seagulls were hunkered down and facing into the wind so they kept an element of body heat.

Today I wanted to paint the gentle eddy at the Rangitaiki river mouth. In summer I can imagine this would be full of children splashing and playing in its gentle water. Fresh water with a mix of salt. The sea breeze coming over the sand dunes to help cool everyone off. But today, we were the only muggins around. So while Claire took the dogs for a romp, Wendy and I set ourselves up and began to paint.

This would be a muted painting of mainly grays. The sky went in easily and well. All the shapes and colours for the far bank were good, except perhaps they were not gray enough. Here’s where those hundreds of hours practising would pay off (I’m not there yet, or otherwise I wouldn’t be in this predicament 🙂 ). As I tried to apply a grayer tone to the first tone, definition of shapes were lost, which I then had to try and recover. The first paint you lay down for a small painting such as this, is the freshest. You can’t recover that freshness once you tamper with it. It’s a reminder for next time which means this painting was a success. I learnt.

But, oh my! How bitterly cold. Painting outdoors was no longer an option so we headed in to check out the studio of a local artist, Maree White. Always inspiring to see other’s journey and the work they are doing. She is planning some plein air workshops which look very exciting. Maybe, maybe…

True to form of this all-over-the-place winter, the next day came bearing bright sunshine that had all our layers gone and indulging in glorious sunshine. What a relief! So we made the most of it and headed over the sand dunes to the main beach. Spicing things up we had watercolour as our medium today. My lesson learned today was to keep my hand in things. For the past 3 months I haven’t touched my watercolour while I’ve been trying out the coloured pencils and primary colours, etc. Boy, did it show! I was all at 6’s and 7’s to start with. But by the time Wendy’s lesson in painting a log on the beach came, I had regained a bit of control.

Being a watercolour day we headed in to Whakatane to the botanical gardens where they have a gorgeous display of native trees. In the late afternoon winter sun, the play of light and shadows was quite enticing and we managed to wile away another hour or two until our longing for warmth and food got the better of us.

The warmth of the girl’s unit was the perfect place to finish the day with warm food and comaraderie. Sharing adventures with others doubles (and in this case triples) the joy. Loving the time with you, my friends. What shall we get up to tomorrow?

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