Thursday, May 16, 2013

Oyster boats at sunrise

Oyster boats at sunrise, Eastpoint
Oils 9" x 12"
Here I am, back in the UK and unpacked. I spent a lot of today cleaning and tidying my studio and writing my new three page work 'to do' list - daunting!

When we stayed overnight in Carrabelle last week we wanted to get up very early to get to Eastpoint, and when we arrived we were greeted with this fabulous view. There was a whole line of boats with men standing, sitting and leaning on each one, talking to one another. They were obviously waiting for something but I didn't know how long they'd be there so I set up and got to work quickly.
Apart from the very real risk of the subject disappearing altogether, conditions were quite tricky as I was looking straight towards the sun and it was already hot by 8am. There was an unpleasant smell wafting over from the giant mound of oyster shells piled up behind us. I used the triple whammy of baseball cap, sunglasses and easel umbrella to enable me to see the subject without blinding myself!

As I say, I worked quickly and the boats stayed put for about half an hour before gradually leaving, one at a time. I was told the men were reseeding the oyster beds and they had to wait in line before accepting delivery of a bucket load of oyster shells from the big heap and then taking them out to sea. Sorry I can't share a more technical explanation!

The other tricky aspects to this were
a) getting the right tonal value for the water to fall into place with the silhouetted boats and show the sparkle of the sunlight
b) getting the colour right of the water, often tempting to go too blue with water, and there was obvious pinkness reflected from the sky but what I was really after was this subtle silvery grey.

That was all quite a lot to think about before breakfast but I was really pleased that I'd managed to capture an honest impression of those aspects of the scene that had excited me.

It sold almost as soon as it was on the wall in the wetroom, and it was one of those paintings that could have sold ten times over! Everybody wanted it!


  1. Brilliant painting. Captured the atmosphere perfectly. I can see why it was snapped up immediately.

  2. A lovely painting - I'm not surprised it sold quickly - a nice reward fr getting up so early and panting on an empty stomach!

    1. Thanks Angela! It's my favourite way to work while travelling - get up early, make coffee, get out to paint (take coffee), then breakfast later. It's the best time of day to paint and also it's great to work up an appetite and then have a big breakfast and skip lunch :-)

  3. Welcome back Haidee...I love this painting!

  4. Very very wonderful painting!


Thank you for your words!

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