Thursday, 15 January 2015

No.15 of 30 days Challenge - Wattle Bay 2, Summer Days

Could not believe this, but decided to stay away for the evening and 'camp out' in my van, as was so lovely in the area where I was painting that could not give this up, thinking winter would not be far away and to enjoy as much as possible whilst the weather is so good.  Another undertaken plein air from same location as yesterday.  So many things still to be done to this, quite amazing how we see things when looking at a work from different perspective.   

Painting No.15.  15th Jan.
Wattle Bay 2, Summer Days,  11"x14" oil on board. Plein air.

A painting friend said he would go down to the beach and use a tent he had bought and never used. As he is a lot older than I, being in his late 70's, I thought, yes, if he can do this at his ripe age then I can definitely do also.  Mind you, have never done this before (except when 13 with my horse and the pony club). Plus would give me a chance to see if any accommodation available for the plein air group to use later on.

Well, here is the looong episode of my camping out evening ...  I had put a mattress which had owned for ages into the van a few days ago, thinking would travel off somewhere else and 'give it a go'.  So was actually all set for this anyway.   Middle seats were laid backwards and mattress on top.  Feather/down duvet folded into four and on top a sheet and pillow.  Art gear, shower bits, water, coffee, bit to eat and ... all prepared.

Drove down to the beaches, met up with friend and painted. Around 5.30pm finished then followed him to where he was staying. Drove into caravan park (on the beach), paid the $22.00 fee, was shown where to park next to my friend and hey presto that was my spot for the night. The dark of evening came, thought would cover the right side windows along van.  Had spare sheet and tucked that under the top covers at the end of windows which are on the roof of my van, and sheet hung down along the right hand side of van behind drivers seat right along to the rear window.   Great - all done for the night, at least one side people could not look in.

Well, kept slipping down on mattress, as was slightly higher where my head was, due to being on top of  where the middle seat headrests were laying down at the back.  Consequently no room for my feet.  Out of the car, around to drivers side on right, opened door quietly (because of other campers being asleep), put my drivers seat forward - good as now room for my legs. Back in van, cuddled up and snuggled down again, then a little while later, jumped almost out of my skin, as something fell on top of me which was quiet heavy. One of the covers over the window on top of van had fallen and sheet came down also with it.   So back up again, opened top window on van, tucked sheet outside, (bearing in mind pitch black outside) put the cover back over the window to hold sheet back on, checked the other window on top was secure and then lay down again. Still not good for my legs/feet.  So up again and slid the mattress over towards the middle of van.  Back laying down and now was good for my feet which came between driver and passenger seats. Yep can now get comfortable and go to sleep. 

But... now my friend decided he would read in his tent for ages with a 'huge light from his lantern'.  This was so bright lit up the entire left side of my van, as well as the caravan behind had a lovely lady who said she would leave her lights on for me in case I needed to go you know where.   However, thought that would be the little solar lights around edge of van, but she left her Christmas lights on - and had twinkly coloured lights on and off reflecting from rear window onto the cream sheepskin of passenger seat in my fan.    This went on for about an hour.  Enough was enough!    Took my straw Bunnings hat, lay down sideways and put the hat on my face - pulled sheet etc over me and ... yay lights stopped flickering, light next door disappeared and at last I got to sleep!!!!  And that was my second ever camping out episode.    First was with my horse and said then never again.

Good luck to all you happy campers, but do not think this is for me.   A bit of comfort is very much enjoyed.  Or maybe a camper van with the luxuries will be the next best thing?

After the 'exciting' night of camping, at 7.30am back to Wattle Bay to painting again.   This time the morning sun was shining beautifully reflecting on the orange/yellow cliffs, so another oil plein air undertaken.  Could not spend much time here, as needed to get back to Auckland to visit Howick Historical Village, for plein air group day out.

A little more.... visit No.16 of the painting challenge.


  1. Jennifer,
    Great story and I love the painting!

    1. Thanks for Comment Connie. Was a great spot to paint. Glad you enjoyed my experience camping.

  2. Love your camping story!!! Both paintings from this spot are lovely!

    1. Joan, wasn't thinking good things during the 'happenings' in the van, but laugh about it now. Thanks for comment and words on paintings.