10 September 2012

At the Heritage Dock - first thoughts, by Marijke.

Artists on Induction tour of the Dockyard
Marijke Greenway  writes of her impressions of visiting the Heritage Dock, and gives the story of how some paintings were created  ....

All the artists-in-residence met at the Rozelle site for the induction by Tim, so, wearing our hard hats and cameras we followed Tim around the site for the grand tour.

First day impressions

After the tour, I set up to paint as I had brought all my painting gear. I tried to capture what had been my first impression of the Rozelle site, and that was the enormous bulk of the John Oxley. Seeing it side on, but just the bow of the ship, it was almost an abstract shape of white, black and red, divided into sections by rivet heads. So that was what I painted the first day, but I did not finish it.

I visited the site each Thursday and slowly got used to the enormity of the John Oxley; this week I painted an almost glamorous picture of her beautiful dry-dock shape - enhanced by sunlight and shadow and made more interesting with all the cranes and scaffolding around her and even a bit of city skyline and the Anzac Bridge. Getting the perspective right on this painting was the hardest bit, I kept measuring against the Anzac Bridge and eventually got it right. Then there was the trick of laying in the shadows very early as the whole picture can change dramatically in half an hour.  

John Oxley
I was thinking that each one of the three boats I painted had a different problem -  the iwas  straight in front of me, so practically no perspective, just face to face. The Lady Hopetoun was below my field of vision, so the most  difficult to get a decent perspective as, due to the wall of steel behind me,  I could not stand back far enough. Then the John Oxley towered so high above me that I had to crane my neck and put my head into abstract mode to fit her on to the canvas.  But I managed it and feel satisfied that I painted what was brewing in my mind over the past few weeks.