Cresting

TM8712 Cresting 16x16 oil on panel

TM8712 Cresting 16×16 oil on panel

The ocean has many aspects, from calm to turbulent. Cresting embodies the quieter end of the range – the moment before the wave breaks. It also implies the ssshhhboom of crashing waves to come with the rollers lining up behind our cresting wave. Enjoy.

Technical painting notes: I took the photograph on which this painting is based some years ago. The luminosity of the  wave caught my eye, but it was the suggestion of  something sparkling inside the wave that made me want to paint it. Using monoprint techniques, I rolled some paint on the panel and spritzed it with solvents, then blotted, to get the tiny droplet effect in the lower part of the wave. I used primarily transparent oil pigments and soft brushes to layer in color.

From the Cape

TM8713 From the Cape 16x16 oil on panel

TM8713 From the Cape 16×16 oil on panel

The title says it all, and it doesn’t matter which cape. Hazy, bright light with the tide coming in, small-grained sand underfoot, a breeze. It’s a perfect day for a long walk on the beach, with clams at the destination.

Painting is about observation and reflection, putting into the painting one’s own mood, desires, and sometimes a bit of wish fulfillment…like those clams….or maybe fish tacos…..Enjoy!

Gallery of August Studies

Summer offers ample opportunities for doing quick oil studies on prepared paper. I think of them as experiments in spontaneity, or exercises for staying loose and keeping my reactions sharp. Either way, they are lots of fun.Some below, more to follow. Enjoy.

Cloud-gazing in July

TM8711 Cloud-gazing #2 36x48 oil on panel

TM8711 Cloud-gazing in July 36×48 oil on panel

I will never tire of looking at clouds reflected in the pond. It is a form of escape, a chance to imagine the coolness of the water on a hot day in the studio. The green leaves floating on the water’s surface were tossed by a recent windstorm, but also hint at the season to come.  Cloud-gazing in July will serve as a fond remembrance of this blue-green world when the blizzards of January are rattling my windows. Details below. Enjoy.

TM8711 Cloud-gazing #2 - detail with cloud reflections showing through tree reflections

TM8711 Cloud-gazing in July – detail with cloud reflections showing through tree reflections

TM8711 Cloud-gazing #2 detail from foreground with floating leaves on light-dappled pond surface

TM8711 Cloud-gazing in July – detail from foreground with floating leaves on light-dappled pond surface

The Story of Resting Lily

TM8529 Resting Lily 26x30 oil on panel

TM8529 Resting Lily 26×30 oil on panel

Paintings have their subjects and their stories. Resting Lily began with a pond of wind-tossed lilies  – the lilies were, as one, pushed across the pond by a sudden micro-burst storm. Leaves and tree limbs foundered. By the time I arrived, the winds were gone but the pond was covered with assorted leaves and clumps of lily pads with a few surviving flowers. I decided to paint the lily that was tipping toward me.

And so I started, and almost finished, a painting which was truthful to nature but failed to distill the beauty of the what I had seen. The drama of the events leading up to the subject seemed to be missing. After a year of pondering the piece, I dove in this week and repainted much of it, simplifying some shapes, adding more contrast and a bluer sky, exaggerating the floating willow leaves, and changing the color of the flower to pink. The flower had survived an intense storm, and I needed a more intense palette to tell that part of the story.

TM8529 Resting Lily - close-up

TM8529 Resting Lily – close-up from finished painting

Below, you can see the not-quite-finished version of the painting that stared at me in the studio for a year.

TM8529 Resting Lily 26x30 oil on panel

Unfinished version of Resting Lily

Meditation on Floating Pine Needles #2

TM8710 Meditation with Floating Pine Needles #2 36x44 oil on panel

TM8710 Meditation with Floating Pine Needles #2 36×44 oil on panel

Meditation on Floating Pine needles #2 is the second of this year’s trilogy of interpretations based on the pond in July. Early July, with its dusting of pollen, and scattering of flotsam forms the subject. The challenge is the reflections seen through the somewhat granulated surface. I chose layered spattering to suggest the pollen, and thin glazes to control the color. When I ask myself why dusty pond surfaces attract me, I have two answers. First, figuring out the visual subtlety excites me, and second, the partly obscured reflections parallel the unknowns in life. We only ever get a glimpse. Details below. Enjoy.

TM8710 Meditation on lLoating Pine Needles #2 - detail from top of painting

TM8710 Meditation on lLoating Pine Needles #2 – detail from top of painting

TM8710 Meditation on Floating Pine needles #2 - detail from left of center

TM8710 Meditation on Floating Pine needles #2 – detail from left of center

TM8710 Meditation on Floating Pine Needles#2 - detail from right of cente rwith tree reflections, floating maple leaves and pine needles

TM8710 Meditation on Floating Pine Needles#2 – detail from right of cente rwith tree reflections, floating maple leaves and pine needles

TM8710 Meditation on Floating Pine Needles #2 - detail from lower right with sky and clouds reflected in pollen-dusted water

TM8710 Meditation on Floating Pine Needles #2 – detail from lower right with sky and clouds reflected in pollen-dusted water

Technical painting notes: The first, base layer of darker paint was spattered with solvent, which allowed the white layer of priming to show through. Later, I spattered solvent into wet glazes, then spattered thinned color onto that. Additional layers of glaze and spatter brought more subtlety. When spattering, the viscosity of the paint and amount of paint on the brush controls the size of the spatters. I use a soft, old watercolor brush with nylon hairs, and tap it against a paint stick.

Cloud-gazing

TM8709 Cloud-gazing 36x44 oil on panel

TM8709 Cloud-gazing 36×44 oil on panel

Cloud-gazing is a dreamy way to enjoy July, and we’ve had some beautiful opportunities lately. I especially love watching the clouds play hide and seek with the trees in the pond. Reflections, though clearly part of the world, seem more magical. And being something of a contrarian, I like the idea of looking down to see up. So join me,  and let the hypnotic effect of a lazy afternoon take you to your own special place, wherever it might be…..details below.

 

TM8709 Cloud-gazing - detail from center showing foliage and cloud reflections with floating leaves - note use of layered textures

TM8709 Cloud-gazing – detail from center showing foliage and cloud reflections with floating leaves – note use of layered textures

TM8709 Cloud-gazing - detail from upper left

TM8709 Cloud-gazing – detail from upper left

TM8709 Cloud-gazing - detail from right side with tree and sky reflectionsunder bits of floating duckweed - note use of scraping into wet paint in tree trunks

TM8709 Cloud-gazing – detail from right side with tree and sky reflections under bits of floating duckweed – note use of scraping into wet paint in tree trunks

TM8709 CLoud-gazing - detail from lower left showing use of layered spatter technique (solvent into first wet paint layer, followed by thinned paint spattered on subsequent wet glaze layers

TM8709 CLoud-gazing – detail from lower left showing use of layered spatter technique (solvent into first wet paint layer, followed by thinned paint spattered on subsequent wet glaze layers