Monday, 21 November 2011

The coast near Porthgwarra

The sea at Porthgwarra, Cornwall
(mixed media)
Vivien Blackburn

Walks for sketching sometimes have to take second place to other commitments - particularly when a family member has been in hospital as has happened to Vivien recently.

This then is another of Vivien's experiments of sketching from her memories of a scene from a walk in Cornwall along the coast near Porthgwarra.

I thought I'd misread the spelling to start with - but checked it - and it's definitely Porthgwarra.  I wasn't sure where this was despite Vivien's description - so took a look at the map

Location of Porthgwarra Cove (see arrow)

It's where the arrow is on the map (click and open in a new tab to see a bigger image).  That's west of Porthcurno and south of Lands End.  The reason I was confused is that I'd forgotten that Lands End is not the most southerly point of the UK - it's the most westerly point - and is just off the north west corner of this map.

This is how the Sennen Cove website describes Porthgwarrow - and it's definitely a good place for a walk!
A superb, secluded Cornish Cove just under 3 miles southeast of Lands End. Porthgwarra is steeped in history and tradition - one time a busy fishing cove , now just one boat regularly works crab pots from here.
The cliff path leads away west towards Lands End (roughly 1.5 hours walk) , and east towards Porthcurno (45 minutes) - both very scenic and dramatic routes !
Vivien says she was trying to catch the movement and varying depths of the water - with the rocks half seen underwater.  She assures me that the sea around this part of Cornwall really is the colour she's painted it! :)

What I like about it is that look of translucency of the water - I'm more familiar with the water off the west coast of Scotland and it very much reminds me of seas I've seen there.  It's also got that sense of the swirling movement of the water in a cove which is so difficult to catch.

I'm told the art media used for the postcard included gouache, coloured pencils, tippex and a secret ingredient.  My lips are sealed!

8 comments:

Robyn Sinclair said...

Oh to have such a memory to sketch from! The crystal clear water is brilliant, isn't it. Vivien has really made this view her own.

Secret ingredient? You mean there is an art material we don't have?

vivien said...

Yes! and it won't be on sale until next year - when I'll be allowed to say what it is :>)


This is the little beach that is reached by driving 2 or 3 miles down single track lanes, VERY twisty, where the car practically touches the high hedges on each side.


The hedges are a stone wall covered in earth and bushes and wildflower, well above head height.

That's where I came face to face with an oil tanker and a massive tractor - so guess who had to reverse down that narrow lane for about half a mile back to a point where we could pass?

Bridget Hunter said...

This does exactly what it says on the tin - captures the movement of water beautifully. And I've driven down these lanes too -and can't wait to go back to this area.

Charlene Brown said...

What an enchanting little cove! And your in-depth navigation commentary makes us appreciate it even more.

Albrecht Rissler said...

Great as usual!

Desiree said...

Really lovely,luminous ocean scene! Can't wait to hear the secret.

Pat said...

Vivien has beautifully captured the cove. You are such a tease. We all know what we are getting ourselves for our birthdays next year.

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

Beautiful Vivien...your distinctive style...always makes me move in closer to observe!!
Ronelle

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