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The time of day and the source and quality of light can transform the same view within minutes.   Such transient happenings can be quite magical,and all sort of strategies have been used to “capture the moment.”  Many artists take the trouble to stop painting and return to the scene when they believe that conditions will be the same.   However, in my experience, I have found that they seldom are except for grey-sky days.   In my paintings of Scarborough Harbour, I was fortunate to have two grey-sky days in which to pay attention to plenty of detail in and around the boats.   In the sunset version, however, the problem was to absorb and make brief notes concerning the more atmospheric effects such as the glorious colours in the last of the light, the reflection of the harbour water and the mysteriously dark foreground of the marina. Similarly with the warm tones of the painting above.

Over the years, fortunately, I have been able to take the physical skills of drawing and painting for granted, and this allows me to stack my memory with such matters relating to atmosphere and transience…I mean the art of looking long and purposefully as an artist must.   I treasure the fact I have had professional experience as an illustrator, which demanded considerable ability to imagine events visually and, therefore, I have no difficulty in being able to recall almost everything in my “mind’s eye.”   Even after many years, I can look at my past work and recall every thought that went into its making.