Friday, 26 March 2010

High and Dry

This painting has been kicking about my paint space for sometime. I have a real interest in how nature can take something discarded by man and in a short time begin to recapture it for itself. Along the coast are a number of discarded rowing boats and wrecks of boats that have washed ashore after being wrecked at sea. At first they look like a terrible eyesore, but soon the seeds and the grasses move in and begin to make it part of the scene. The wood begins to rot and in its turn becomes a haven for bugs and mites. So it goes on the discards become a mini environment and in some cases a thing of beauty.

This painting was done from a remembered experience of such a scene. It haunts me. It is another that I have thought of trying to do something with. Is it too desolate? Should I add some yachts in the distance or a far shore? Should I have more growth within it, as I am sure there will be this summer.

I have had a number of comments made to me about this painting mostly along the lines, "I like it very much but it is a bit too sad to hang on my wall."

The title made me use it on my other blog this morning it seem to fit with the theme. On reflection I painted this at the time I was painting a number of seascapes. Maybe this was one too far. Or to keep with the theme of my blog maybe I had drawn from the well of seascapes too often and should have moved on.

It was painted from memory using acrylic on canvas.  Would be grateful for constructive suggestions.

Since I posted earlier I have been tweaking something I never ever should do but you can now see both together for better or worse.

This artwork was used in my blog The Dry Well it can be seen at :- The Dry Well


  1. I feel you've captured the idea of 'reclamation' very well in this painting....the strong 'v' shape created by the dunes on either side of the boat angling towards the boat. You can almost feel the boat sinking into the sand and becoming one with the sand.
    Maybe you could lift it a bit by rounding out the shoreline....not quite such an abrupt 'v'.
    I think your idea of some sail boats to break the horizon would be a good idea.
    However....having said all this, I like the melancholy of this painting, and you did indeed capture the idea of returning to the earth.

  2. If you decide to add sailboats in careful...not too much; be ready to wipe off....maybe seagulls?

  3. My gosh, Ralph. I think you are almost as hard on yourself and your paintings as I am of myself. I love this piece and do not find it desolate in the least. I love your thoughts on how nature will conquer and beautify what some might consider an eyesore. In context of the sea, this is just perfect and your words help me to see a new point of view, one I like very much. I think this is a truly wonderful painting! I am rather a loner, so maybe this appeals on some intrinsic level.

  4. Ralph: I absolutely love your painting (top) and don't find it sad at all - its enchanting. It reminds me of childhood trips to the beach - Either Broughty Ferry or the beach at Tentsmuir or St Andrews. You have reminded me of the beautiful seascapes that I have access to, yet ... living in an urban environment (Dundee) I forget. Thank you.

    My comment is, How much are you selling it for?

    PS I've not fallen off the planet new post on its way. lol

  5. Wow, Ralph. Actually, you have really kicked this piece up a few notches. I love the toned down sky and the addition of the boats in the distance. It reminds me of how often people just forget about the old one when they upgrade to a newer, better model. I love the deeper greens in the beach grasses and the bits of wildflowers. Nicely done!