We’ve had a couple of days respite from the heat. Now it is back to 38° C / 100.4°F in the shade and a baking 46°C / 114.8°F in the sun. Ooph. Step out of the shade and you’re toast. But yesterday evening it was cooler so I assembled a few stretchers.
Not my bicycle. You don’t need a bicycle to assemble stretchers. In fact, definitely don’t try it on a bicycle.
I like these stretcher bars. They are good and solid, the best I’ve had. They are from Russell and Chapel, London’s oldest supplier of fabrics to artists and the theatre, established in 1770. Captain Cook first sighted Australia on April 19th of that year, leaving the British in North America another 6 years, in which to declare independence, though by 1770 trouble was brewing.
Yes, I know that I should be using a mallet not a hammer. I can’t find the mallet.
Here they are. Waiting for me to stretch the nice clean white canvas on them, which I will do if it cools down later.
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all photographs © James Forshall
It’s hot here. 40° degrees C or 104°Fahrenheit. It’s hard to work outside, except early in the morning. We’re under siege. The shutters on the house stay shut until after sunset. It works. The house stays cool and most of the windows in my studio face north.
Was that why I started painting the sea and its creatures? To bring the cool blue into this hot dry place? That might have been part of it, part of why I enjoy it, why it makes me feel happy.
I’m painting sardines, Sardine pilchardus. I am calling it Sardine Shoal, though in the sea it would be only a tiny part of the huge murmurations of sardines that makes up a shoal. Like many fish sardine numbers are under pressure from over fishing. Some scientists think that sardines help to keep the sea healthy and reduce the amount of methane sent into the atmosphere.
This painting will go in my forthcoming show, Coast, this November at the Flying Colours Gallery in Chelsea.
Here is a detail.
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Photographs taken in the Lot, France © James Forshall