Wednesday, 19 May 2010

The Incoming Tide

The Incoming Tide

There is something marvellous and peaceful about a harbour when the tide is out. The boats seem to be lying at rest, awaiting the incoming tide and the next period of labour. Some will tell me I am dreaming, it is the time when much of the work of keeping the boat ready for sea is done. I just find the whole scene so restful.

I see many boats where I live; along the coastal path are many small yacht clubs and harbours. I seldom paint them, for a number of reasons. The first is my real lack of drawing skill, I find them difficult to capture. Secondly, if you do not get them just right those with greater knowledge of boats soon let you know. Lastly I never ever seem to catch the inner feeling they stir in me.

I was painting this scene in an attempt to capture the feeling of peace I speak of. My mother in law, a lovely lady, had died just prior to this. My father in law was visiting, still grieving the recent loss of his life long partner. He saw the painting lying and commented that he liked it very much. I asked him what he liked about it. He told me it was peaceful.

It seemed maybe I had managed to at last do what I had failed to so often, capture the peace.

I mounted it and framed it in a stainless steel frame. It now hangs above his fireplace. I hope it still gives him a sense of peace.

Painted using pastel on pastel paper.

I have another blog which is usually related to this one but today on it I speak of other things:- Learning Right From Wrong


  1. At rest...really captures this moment, Ralph. This is truly gorgeous and it makes me happy to know that your father-in-law so saw what you felt in this piece and has it to enjoy. This really is a most lovely painting and I too can feel your rest in this one.

  2. The movement towards the center gives this feeling of rest and peace ... the boats, even though they are still, look as though they are heading towards this central point.
    A very beautiful painting Ralph.

  3. Peaceful is what i feel. There is just something so capturing about this painting. I get lost in it.
    Your pastel work is admirable.

  4. beautiful color and the sky with the clouds receding is so alive...I get a feeling of anticipation with this painting.

  5. This is a beautiful pastel painting. I think you captured a peaceful moment very well Ralph.

  6. Boats are on my mind a lot these days. I think that when the tide is out, boats resting on the mud look like they've lost their purpose.

    It's like they are full of bravado and confidence when they are floating, as they should, on the water. Look at us, they say, we float! Aren't we grand? Did you see our reflection in this water?

    But, when they lay on their keels or on their rounded bottoms, they seem kind of embarrassed. Don't look at me, I haven't taken the curlers out of my hair! I haven't put on my makeup!

    But, then, maybe that's just my fancy!

  7. Very tranquil. The shades of blue are wonderful. Great mastery of the medium. Congratulations.