On a Painting
This week, the writing is not mine. It belongs to a stranger who took me on a trip of the mind to the West Coast of South Africa.
Stone walls really do not a prison make. I traveled with him from my room. I saw the colours. They were so beautiful I had to share them with you:
© Anthony Slingsby (2019)
A painting class at Churchaven - Notes from the West Coast of South Africa
First turn the board you will use to landscape.
Then , where the horizon would be, were you painting the sea, mark a feint border the entire width of the paper. Above it describe a gentle undulating line, not too high, of green and olive hills. Here fill in the burnt ochre of sand and the blurred olive yellow of barren scrub under a molten summer sun.
In the foreground, sketch islands of dry sand with dense bush and sinewy shrub. Amongst them let all the birds of Churchaven congregate and sing.
In between these two grounds, depending on the tide, colour vast banks of sand and channels of the deepest aquamarine. Demarcate the channels with straight lines, piped with little incoming waves. Let them dissolve into the shallow greyish green of the foreshore. On the sands paint thousands of white tern, whilst feeding. From time to time let them rise disturbed, from your painting, like confetti and resettle as a vast shower of white paper on their new feeding place, at peace again.
If the garden of Eden had encompassed a foreshore, it surely would have been here.
- Anthony Slingsby