Sometimes unexpected worlds meet. Before I painted a lot of swimmers, I painted (amongst other things) a lot of ladies in corsets. So when a lovely and courageous lady asked me to design the hats for her team of ‘Strait Ladies’, somehow the image immediately presented itself.
Elizabeth Verth in her own words: “I am proud to be part of Strait Ladies, a team of four women who, sometime between 17th and 28th September, will enter the waters of the Mediterranean at Tarifa, Spain, to swim to Africa. Although we are a team, each of us will be swimming a tandem solo of the full distance of the Gibraltar Strait. Each one of us will swim, as a solo, from Spain to Morocco.”
I’ve been looking at some of my photos taken at Vobster Quay, of swimmers underwater. I take these as an aid to creating paintings and not as an end to themselves, but I thought I would share this with you. The movements of swimmers are always lovely, it’s the weightlessness, but I particularly liked this sweep down, a dive with two leg kicks.
The camera is an Olympus Tough (orange, now obsolete, but there are newer versions), It’s very wide angle which makes the swimmers look quite far away and quite deep down, even if you see just one photo close-up. Click on the sequence and you should be able to see it in reasonable detail.
At high tide Ladye Bay has almost no beach. When we arrived, Sue sat on a handy boulder, perched like a stylish rubber-clad mermaid on this tiny ornamental beach. I am sure I added to this charming scene with my elegant re-entry into the water.
It’s been a bit of a summer for swimming hat commissions, here are two designs that I was asked to create.
The Chilly McFillies are a relay team of four crazy lovely ladies swimming from one end of Loch Lomond to the other… and BACK AGAIN! 70k of non stop swimming all in aid of cancer research UK. Their facebook page is here if you’d like to read more and donate: https://www.facebook.com/Chillymcfillies/
And then there is Kate Mason, who coaches swimmers from beginner to channel swimmer. I designed a new logo for her, complete with mermaid swimming front crawl – unusual stroke for a mermaid, but this is an unusual mermaid, sensibly kitted out in goggles and swimming hat. Kate’s website is katemasoncoaching.co.uk
Enquiries into commissions are always welcome. I have put up some very vague guidelines on prices on a new Prices & info page, but the best thing really is to just email me, because it all depends on what you want.
Second painting in my investigations into the painting of reflections of swimmers on the underside of the water.
This and a few more are for sale in my Etsy shop www.waterdrawnart.etsy.com, but only for a short time: there are a couple of exhibitions coming up that I am intending to submit them to, unless they sell before then.
‘Reflections II’ – painting in gouache and watercolour with gold leaf
New painting – 9 x 13 inches, in gouache / watercolour and gold leaf.
I’ve been largely avoiding the issue of reflections on the underside of the water surface for long enough, because they are so complex. This is the first of several where I’ve actually tackled them properly. I’m not trying to get a photographic likeness but aiming for something between that and just a few suggestive splodges of colour.
Reflections I in watercolour, gouache & gold leaf
Close-up by camera (not scanner). The scanner shows up the detail of the paint very well, but not the gold leaf
I’ve put all of the available mini swimmer paintings up for sale n my Etsy shop – this is my new shop for all swimming-related things: www.waterdrawnart.etsy.com
Three have gone to an exhibition, two have been sold, the rest are all there for you to browse should you wish. Here are a few I haven’t posted on this blog yet. Most of them are 4 inches square – a size that I found challenging before I painted all these: I’ve had a bit of practice now. The last ones three are about 5.5 inches square. And most of them have shimmery bits of metal leaf on them – gold, palladium or aluminium, which gives the ‘bubbles’ an extra dimension.