Water colour painting ‘Plein Air’ session

I had read that a group of local water colour artists were going to be by the windmill in Port Louis harbour and you could observe what and how they were painting.

Being a supporter of the arts, I was keen to go. About ten artists were there, quietly going about their work.

The old windmill is not often seen by people who visit the docks as it is on the other side of the main harbour, the working side. The mill and surrounding buildings were good subjects to paint.

The brushes, paints and accessories seemed very similar to those that I have seen before, maybe the sun tans on the artists were a little bit deeper! No cheese or wine to be seen anywhere, only bottles of water.

All the artists were very approachable and happy to discuss their subject and painting methods.

I talked to Riaz Auladin and discovered he is the President of the International Watercolour Society in Mauritius.

He told me that the Society often has days painting outdoors in the ‘open air’.

It was not the sunniest of days but still a warm one. Difficult to flood the paper with water before painting.

Riaz was interested to hear about the Savages, a Bristol, England, based society of members interested in painting, drawing, music and performing arts as well as supporting and enjoying the exceptional talents of their fellow members.

The old buildings at the back of the windmill were a popular subject.

The painting finished, it was now time to dry the brushes.

Only two artists were at the dockside, sheltered from the sun under the watchful eye of customs officers and the occasional passers-by.

Tyre-ink work?

A tug that manoeuvres some of the freight ships in the busy port.

Some detail being applied to the image of the multiple flour mills on the other side of the harbour.

Perhaps this was the view that would have been taken by Frank Shipsides, a famous maritime painter.

I think this painter forgot to pack his things up before leaving for home!

Thank you to all the artists for their conversation and for displaying their work. Everyone who stopped to chat were really interested.


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