Thursday, 21 June 2012

Artist of the Month - Richard Pikesley - Episode 2

Yesterday I painted in Weymouth through the afternoon and evening.  A bright day and plenty of boat traffic through the harbour.  I’m using a little box I can balance on my lap, a few tubes of oil colours and two or three brushes.  My walk from the car park takes me through the marina and with the sun low in the sky there is a glare of reflection on the rippled water with the rows of boats in a sort of half light.  The odd flags or banners ping out little points of colour amongst the reflections from the boat decks.  Although I know the effect will be short lived I’m working on a biggish board, 10 x 24, so I dive straight in and paint here for the first hour or so, knowing that if I don’t finish I can come back another day.  

Weymouth Harbour

The brilliant patch of reflected light moves further to the right as the sun drops a little and I realise I have to leave this spot and look for another subject.  The pins and needles hit as I attempt to stand up and I spend a minute or two hopping about until the cramp subsides.  I really don’t want to waste the good weather, the forecast says rain again tomorrow so I move quickly down the harbour.  There’s a gap with a view between the moored yachts and I squat here with my back against a bollard and have a look around.  ‘My’ side of the harbour is beginning to drop into shadow but the lifeboat, moored just across the water is still catching the sun so that’s the next subject on a little 8 x 10.  The character of the water is changing all the time, ruffled by the wind and disturbed by the wake of boats.

Weymouth Harbour 1

As more dinghies drift back into the harbour and they’re turning and tacking in front of me to get back to the slipway.  Lots of boats all on the move in and out of the light and I just can’t resist it.  Too much movement to do this very big so a little 5 x 12 board and paint very fast.  Although my main interest is in the boats I want to anchor the subject against the structure of the buildings behind.  It’s intoxicating stuff with all the movement and the richness of colour reflected in the water.  Always a challenge this is what I love doing best, trying to make paintings out of what’s unfolding in front of me.   Rain again tomorrow, ah well, there’s lots to do in the studio.   

Weymouth Harbour 2


  1. I love the light on the first one. It is very fresh and beautiful.

  2. If only I could paint to this standard! what a gifted painter.