There are few pleasures in an Australian summer to compare to hanging on the ocean side of the Merewether Baths, watching the waves rolling in over the rock platform, and for an extra frisson enjoying a wave washing up and over the edge of the pool.
Having enjoyed a holiday plungeor two I was reminded of that other aficionado of the seaside Mr JMW Turner. While my efforts are in no way comparable I couldn’t resist a Turneresque title for my simple sketch.
Coal ships off the port of Newcastle – waves breaking over Merewether Ocean Baths, water temperature 20°C, falling tide , 19 January 2018
While I was in Newcastle last week I took the opportunity to take my sketchbook to Merewether ocean baths. Built between 1934-35 these ocean baths have two pools, one for children and a deeper pool as well, both of which are the size of several Olympic swimming pools placed side by side. Filled with fresh seawater they are a very popular place for Novocastrians to swim.
To my dismay I realised I hadn’t packed my watercolours. I opted instead for pencil drawings. I did two drawings, one looking at one end of both pools and the second of the railings and path outside the nearby kiosk.
Blind drawing, Merewether ocean baths 18 December 2013.
Apologies for the quality, but I decided to add the ‘missing’ colour later and only took a photo of the drawing before I added the paint. Here is the painted version.
Merewether baths 18 December 2013 with watercolour added.
I was not really happy with this outcome and to add insult to injury I realised too late that the very wet paint I used had seeped through to the drawing on the next page.
Railings and pathway, Merewether Beach, 18 December 2013.
No doubt I have a few lessons to take away from this experience!