One of the distinctive elements of Porthleven is its series of harbour walls, acting as a system of baffles against the caprices of the Atlantic Ocean. From the vantage point of the slipway at the head of the harbour they lead, alternating from either side of the inlet, toward the Institute building.
In this painting, the viewer’s eye is channelled by the funnelling effect of the sides of the slipway. The shadow cast by the railing, its shape exaggerated by the low morning sun, also helps to direct the gaze. I loved the deep tonal contrasts of light and shade on the walls which I wanted to maintain throughout the composition. The blue of the water is, I think, all the more striking for that.