Sunday, 15 September 2013

A new challenge

I have embarked on a new journey in life - as a part-time art student.  It's a real challenge for me but one which, I think, will allow me to dig around and find out how deep my ability to draw and paint really goes.  I am attending a one day a week painting and drawing class at the Leith School of Art.  We are blessed with two outstanding tutors and currently they have us spending time in Port Seton.  We were there last week and will visit again this Thursday and once more the week after.  

Port Seton is a fishing community along the Firth of Forth coastline, east of Edinburgh.  It is a sprawling village, dominated by the now decommissioned power station at Cockenzie.  The two chimneys from the plant dominate the skyline from miles around.  It is not a beautiful building by any stretch of the imagination but the towering chimneys have a curious grace and certainly a presence which adds a very significant dimension to almost any drawing you might undertake. The power station draws you in, if you will pardon the pun, and I would be surprised if many of our group do not find a place for the two chimneys in their final piece.  
I really like this view of Arthur's Seat and Edinburgh Castle, and the geometric pattern of the pier stretching out into the water from the power station.
I spent last Thursday morning sitting on the seagull poo spattered ground, leaning against a red painted cast iron bollard on the quayside in Port Seton.  I started off trying to draw some of the trawling paraphernalia which lies in piles against the sea wall.  It is an impenetrable mesh of fishing nets, necklaces of small black floats strung along heavy gauge wire, buoys, rusting chains and metal plates, cleats and heaps of other stuff.  It is almost impossible to draw but I just keeping coming back to it.  I love the colours, the flow of the journey the ribbons of ropes and wire take as they weave their way through the discarded heaps.  I can't imagine any of it will ever be used again.  It would take a lifetime to unravel.  I think, in the end, I am going to have to settle for my photographs to satisfy my need to record these chaotic tangles of fishing tackle.
I have been thinking around the drawings I did last Thursday and I went back to Port Seton yesterday in the hope that one of the trawlers would be tied up where it was beforehand.  Unfortunately it wasn't but maybe it will be again, because I have something in mind and would like to pursue it further.

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