Tuesday, 5 June 2012

As (not) seen on TV!

Well, I didn't actually make it on air but in fairness the weather was so bad it was almost beyond the point of being able to do anything on the bridge, let alone paint.and do any filming! The last 2-3 hours was unbelievable in terms of the rain but I thought what the heck...royal pageants don't come along that often....just keep on painting!

The boats looked absolutely incredible. Just the shear number was amazing at times. People lined the river banks and cheered at everyhing that moved on the water. Hats off to everyone that stuck it out through the driving rain!

I had some trouble with the easel given to us (the lower ledge was at a fixed height) so I ended up bending forwards all day and trying to stop the wind blowing my board into the palette with bits of masking tape. I was also trying to hold up my broken easel umbrella which was practically useless in the wind. Tricky! By the end of the day I wasn't sure whether it was medium or water in my dippers. I regularly had to drip water off the palette and by 5pm the paint refused to stick to anything.

Anyway, the two efforts from the day are below (click for larger view):


'Gathering crowds, Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant' 8x16in, oil on board

This was done facing east from the Millennium bridge, well before boats were due to arrive. I thought I'd try and make something of the gaterhing crowds and use the structure of the pier to flesh out the composition. I was first allocated a pitch looking the other way but in the absence of boats I wasn't that inspired so thought I'd give this a go. I used the notes of colour to enliven the scene without going crazy with them. I liked the way the distant skyscrapers disappeared into the misty rain.

I started the second one straight after, without a break, as the boats were due in an hour or so. I tried to get everything down that wasn't moving so that when the boats arrived I could focus on them. Painting the boats was very difficult as they moved so quickly and they came in waves of different types so they didn't repeat much. It was a case from working directly and from memory. All a bit of a blur.


The end of the pier was a handy 'stopper' in compostional terms. Imagine all the boats sounding their horns and the crowds cheering. It was a great scene! I suppose to do it real justice it would make sense to attempt a studio version but it won't feel the same as being there in the moment.

A few action shots from the day:


I did get to have a quick chat with Anneka off air :)















  


22 comments:

  1. Well done Dave! 2 fantastic moments of history!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Adebanji. I thought about you when putting in some of the colours in the crowds. I know how you like painting the energy of crowds :)

      Delete
  2. Fantastic and Amazing!

    I was looking for you on the bridge as I marveled at how the artists kept going despite the rain.
    It was rainy here in America, fellowhip and sympathy weather, lending an almost there felling to my living room.
    Anneka did a good job with the artist on the bridge spot. I watched the entire show.

    The Queen's hat and outfit is stunning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks very much and it's fantastic to hear you got to see the coverage in America! Wow, that's brilliant. Really pleased you enjoyed watching us and indeed the whole royal spectacle :)

      Delete
  3. You absolute superstar David, stunning work! Incredible, given the circumstances!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Haidee! I think your own efforts deserve equal credit at least. You managed two great pieces yourself AND had to deal with a live broadcast interview in between! Well done indeed on being part of such a historic event :)

      Delete
  4. Sounds like a heroic effort, by all who stuck it out up there. Anneka looks quite tiny alongside you. Couldn't you persuade her to let you paint from her helicopter?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Andrew. It was testing conditions but well worth the effort. I often look oversized in photos for some reason....not exactly photogenic! Helicopters were called off due to visibility so Anneka arrived on foot! She said she'd brought her paints 'just in case', acrylics I think.

      Delete
  5. Darned well done David! Two cracking little paintings, especially considering the circumstances. You have my utmost admiration.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Peter. I think that's about as wet as I can take. Still, at the very least makes you appreciate those sunny days when you're out with the easel :)

      Delete
  6. Great stuff - as we knew it would be and in true plein air painting style. Those two and Haidee's are going to be collectors' items my boy! Well done. Tim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Tim. I guess there won't be many paintings that were done on the spot given that security was so stringent. In that respect we were quite privileged to have an unhindered pitch with a full view of the boats. Pretty lucky really :)

      Delete
  7. Anonymous05 June, 2012

    PArt of a very historic moment David! And you can say with pride - "I was there!" Really did feel for you guys as I sat watching it on TV! Amazing though. Mike

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mike. Despite the rain it was great to sample the atmosphere first hand. The crowds cheered at anything that moved on the water and even started chanting 'Turn your easels round'!

      Delete
  8. Great work Dave and nice to meet you on Sunday

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Paul. Nice to see you there too! Great painting you did and some excellent photos too (http://paulalcock.blogspot.co.uk/)

      Delete
  9. Great stuff. You were in your element: foul weather; poor light; no time; just dig in and get it down quickly. I am sure that the others will paint some very nice pictures later but for me your two and Haidee's are the real deal.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Well done David! I was wanting to see what happened on the bridge but had to give up on the BBC as their coverage of the event was so flipping awful. It's really great to read your post and see your pics about what actually happened.

    I'm doing a blog post today about Jubilee Art. May I use your boat painting and the photos of you and Haidee? I'll include a link to this post so that I can then send everybody across to read this post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Katherine :) Glad you enjoyed reading the post and seeing the pics. Yes, by all means feel free to use the material on here for your post. I'll be interested to read about your views on Jubillee art.

      Delete
  11. Well done David for being a part of such an amazing event and producing 2 great paintings despite the hard conditions! Well impressed!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Valerie. Tough but rewarding :) Hope you enjoyed Berlin!

      Delete