This painting was inspired by Renaissance style of narrative paintings and my many summers spent here in Croatia for the past years, from the first memory at Kornati beach to my countless visit at Sveti Marek beach in Risika. St Mark’s (Marek) is the only sandy beach on the island of Krk. In the bay named after the church of St Mark (painted on the right hill), the ruins can be found close to the beach. This beach is a popular and favourite swimming spot for families with children.
During the peak of summer, the temperature can get pretty dry and high and sporadic fires in the forest is common and almost expected to happen. Back in 2017, there was a forest fire in Primošten where we pit stopped during our road trip. Fire fighting aircrafts was deployed to stop the fire. It was quite an event to witness, watching the planes flying by taking turns to combat the fire. As common as it is, nothing stops the locals and tourists from all over the world and European region (mostly) to spend their time at the beach with family and friends. Luxurious and chartered boats are anchored away from the shore for safety and privacy.
I also took this opportunity to apply what I have learnt so far by incorporating looser brushstrokes into this painting where I see fit to help create a better sense of realism. The young boy waving back in the sea was painted alla prima style, so does the little church on the hill, the plane, the hills and smoke and some of the beach toys. The total size of this diptych painting is 140 x 70cm (55 x 27.5 in).
This painting will be flying back with me to Penang this coming January for the group exhibition that will be held in February. I am looking forward to exhibit this piece.