One Million And Fifty Shades Of Blue

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It’s been a while since the last time I had a good summer session at Marazion, …too long. Today, low water and the peak of the wind coincided, mid-sunday afternoon when I had nowhere else I needed to be! What’s more, although it’s July 30th and full on silly season we pulled into Mazza main carpark and slotted straight into a front line space. That never happens! This was a good omen as I watched the breeze freshening and gauged the conditions. It’s always good to check out the other people out there and what kit they are on. You can easily get it wrong if you don’t make sure of the sail sizes and boards people are using. Today, again for the first time in an age, I managed to kitesurf and windsurf all in an afternoon. I bumped into a few old buddies and chewed the fat about conditions etc. I’ve learnt over time to never get too excited about the conditions until I get out on the water. Today staying calm payed off as it was a while before the breeze picked up enough for me to really get going. When it did however, I was struck by just what a buzz I get from being out on the water.

I bumped into a few old buddies and chewed the fat about conditions etc.

I windsurf without my glasses or lenses as I only have a weak prescription and can basically see fine if a bit blurry in the distance. For me as an artist, its interesting to be out in the sea moving about quickly in the elements. Everything’s a blur, but in a good way. I see a lot of simplification which is interestingly not unlike when I’m painting. When you draw and paint there are times when you deliberately squint to simplify colours and tones and understand space. My shortsightedness comes into play and gives me a great experience as I look back on the land surrounded by water and sky.

I’m always blown away (sorry) by the amount of colours. Ask anyone what colour is the sea? What colour is the sky? …and the first answer will usually be blue and then if people ponder it grey and greenish come into it but the truth is very different. There aren’t really words in English for the range of colours. We have some pigment names if we want to get clever cerulean, lapis-lazuli, cobalt etc and we have all the ishes greenish-blue bluish-green etc but really I challenge even the best wordsmith to capture the colours I was seeing today. I think today was particularly good as there were some pretty big clouds around and as they pass by everything constantly changes. A bit tricky if you were sitting there trying to paint what you see but if you are just looking and taking it in a delight. As sailors we watch the clouds as they often help us see likely gusts or freshening (which in turn affect the look and the colour of the water). There tends to be wind on the front of the cloud. My understanding is that clouds cool the air, cool air falls, that downdraft combines with the existing breeze to add to it’s strength (I’m sure someone will correct me).

I am going to try to paint what I experience when I’m out at sea but the more I think about it, it won’t be figurative. I think what I have in mind is abstraction because not only am I looking at natural colours but also there are electric manmade colours whizzing by. Sails and kites in bold and striking colours, it really is sensory overload.

This afternoon I started up windsurfing and when I’d been out for a fair while I came in and switched to my kite. I then had a separate kite session and loved both sails equally. All the time, the kids played really nicely on the beach and Claire took the chance to read up on some ideas of walks etc for our holiday. Next month the blog will be coming direct from our holiday base – a shepherd’s hut in Ludgvan. I realise we aren’t really going very exotic by holidaying half an hour down the A30 but really I can’t think of anywhere in the world I love more…

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