Sorrento Back Beach – a seascape

I’ve decided to try my hand at landscapes of the sea for a bit. Other than the one of the cliffs of dover and the dinosaur, this is my first attempt at a sea scape, it’s a shot taken at the Sorrento Back beach.


I should think of a better title for it some point.

I’m not sure I’ve worked out how to do a successful foreground/background painting yet, this is the second I’ve tried. I dont quite have the trick down yet.

I based this painting on a photograph I took a while ago. During winter this year (mid July) a friend and I wandered down to the tip of Port Philip bay and visited the back beaches along Sorrento way.

This is a long thin strip of land that sits against Bass Straight – a kind of bit of the Southern Ocean. If you keep going across Bass Straight you get to Tasmania (if you miss it, next stop – Antarctica!). It’s not so very far from Melbourne especially since they built the Peninsula freeway and you don’t have to drive through freaking FRANKSTON. Sorry to all those who live there, but if i never went to Frangers again, I’d be really happy.  (YOUR SUBURB IS CREEPY).

On the bay side of this peninsula you get soft happy family beaches with no waves and nice shallow warm water. Like this shot, taken in summer taken at Rye Beach during sunset.  So many holiday houses. It’s pretty glorious though, only an hour or so’s drive from where I live:


On the other side – cold deep water and pounding waves and cliffs. It’s pretty cool.  This day was COLD mind you, I was rugged up and trying to stay in the sun. But it just looks glorious. Sorrento back beach:


Melbourne and this bit of Victoria (situated at the top of the bay) has some very odd weather. We are the only city that sits pointing down into the Southern Ocean without a north/south land mass around it, and we are sitting right where all the Southern Ocean currents change the weather at whim. Being born and bred a Melbournian, i grew up with the notion of ‘four seasons in one day’ – but i never actually knew how freaking whack our weather was until I started traveling and realized that no one else in the world has to make sure they have a coat and an umbrella and a warm top they can take off almost every day of the year. Freezing winter days could also be gloriously sunny, sometimes winter is hot, sometimes summer is cold. Spring and autumn are a bit MORE of a combination of them both.
All times of year are pretty good if you like things variable at all times….It’s kind of normal for us to have changeable weather.

Also, we get cold fronts, and only cold fronts. A lack of cold front and what you get is hot weather from central Australia sort of leeching south to us (known as a Hot Northerly Wind) – but this is not a ‘front’ as such, just a response to there being no cold front. Other places in the world get things called ‘warm fronts’ or even ‘occlusion fronts’. What the heck are those supposed to be!  weirdos.

Anyway I digress.

Port Philip bay is where all the action is at. At the bottom you get Queenscliff and Point Nepean (where there is an old WWII army base as defense against the Japanese, I do believe shots were fired during the war). Here’s a shot from Murry’s lookout, on the hill at Arthurs seat, looking down at rye and rosebud and the bay on one side and bass straight in the background. THIS IS A LOT OF HOLIDAY HOUSES! ok, a lot of regular houses too. See how narrow the spit of land is?


This shot of Merricks beach on the straight side – lots of sea algae thrown up by the waves on this beach


I did a unit of study in third year botany on algae and seaweeds, so i get a bit excited on beaches like this, you get so many different ones!

Another shot of Sorrento back beach pointing in the opposite direction to the painting I did.. Once I’ve had a bit more practice painting water and waves, I might try my hand at painting this as a landscape. It’s a bit daunting right now. I guess I should just launch straight in and give it a go.