When I arrived at Cape Cornwall I was met with brilliant sunshine and blue sparkling sea.
With a whole week to concentrate on my art in this beautiful place, it felt like I had arrived in paradise!
I was deeply inspired by the landscape which gave me a much more playful approach to my work. I worked on several small canvases at once, quickly covering them with colour and very primitive shapes. There was something very primeval about this rugged coastline that inspired me to work in this way. One of the days was incredibly stormy and it felt like I was on a ship in the middle of the seas being buffeted by huge waves!

Tracy Whitbread - paintings

Tracy Whitbread – paintings

I came with the idea of working on the theme of the incoming and outgoing tide, and found this theme mirrored in the activities of a fisherman going out in his small kayak each day – leaving with the outgoing tide and coming back with the incoming one. I mused a lot over working with the natural rhythms of nature and surrendering to them. I found myself getting up in the middle of the night or early morning to watch the tide turn, and I was blest with a full moon to light up the bay too. Sometimes in the early hours I would see the tiny kayak already out in the bay. I spent much of the time at Brisons alone and I felt a kinship with this solitary figure out there in all weathers on the sea.

Tracy Whitbread - work in progress

Tracy Whitbread – work in progress

During the week I rediscovered the pleasure of drawing which I had not done in a long time. I made a small postcard sized drawing each evening of something that had interested me during the day. This daily drawing became an anchor point where I could reflect upon the day’s activities, and I found it to be very therapeutic and containing. The following day I would post the drawing off to my partner back home so it was a form of communication to him also.
Due to the seductiveness of the landscape I found it difficult to stay indoors, so I walked a lot and took lots of photographs. The time at Brisons Veor gave me the opportunity to deepen my connection to painting, and also to rediscover a more playful approach.

Tracy Whitbread