Breeze Please Studies

TM9037 Breeze Please #3 7×7 oil on paper

TM9038 Breeze Please #4 7×7 oil on paper

The joy of movement and color when you look up and see leaves flickering against a bright sky is almost indescribable. Almost. And when it’s all reflected in the pond, who can resist?  The sense of abstraction and reality co-existing is part of the fun. More to come….

Link to other Breeze Please paintings.


The Greater Symphony

TM9035 The Greater Symphony 36×54 oil on panel

Life is music, and when I feel and hear the thunder of a great wave I think of the symphony – all the instruments in unison bring a moment to absolute pitch and excitement. Part of me still feels that thrill later when I’m painting the wave, pulling all my knowledge of oil painting and monoprint into capturing the moment. I love the droplets and the spray, and the weighty mass of the water. More difficult is painting the shallow, quiet, salty lace of the foam and ripples. In The Greater Symphony, I layered straight painting with rolling on thin films of paint to imply the density of movement and spontaneous quality of the foreground. The warmth of the sand balances the green/blues. Calm and thunderous. Yin/yang. Enjoy. Details below.

TM9035 The Greater Symphony – detail

TM9035 The Greater Symphony – detail

Toward Evening

TM9034 Toward Evening 36×40 oil on panel

The bar of turquoise on the horizon was the starting point for this meditation on evening. There’s a hint of coral in the sky, more like an afterglow and counterpoint to the turquoise, along with a ghost of teal green near the shallows. Like the colors, the action in the water is predictably rhythmic and soothing. Maybe it’s a painted lullaby…..enjoy.


As It Was Meant to Be

TM9033 As It Was Meant to Be 36×60 oil on panel

Of course there is no one way for the ocean to be, or a wave, but in my imagination this is what I see – a luminous wave in a watery world, making my acquaintance on a sunlit day.  This is my meditation wave, the one that gets me through, the one I remember. And it’s for you too. Enjoy.

TM9033 As It Was Meant to Be – close-up from right of center

TM9033 As It Was Meant to Be – detail from foreground

Poem for a Playful Wave

TM9032 Poem for a Playful Wave 36×54 oil on panel

Some days, it seems like the waves are teasing me, with each crest sliding and dancing its way to shore. I hardly have time to see what’s happening before another little surprise bounces its way toward me. Later in the studio, I have just as much fun figuring out ways to capture those hiccups of water and splash. Details below. Enjoy.

TM9032 Poem for a Playful Wave – detail from left of center showing splash and spume

TM9032 Poem for a Playful Wave – detail

Adventures with Paint

Transitioning weather – the most interesting time to be outside. On a brisk day such as this one, plein air painting would be impossible, but with a camera I can record the moments and remember them back in the studio. Once I start the painting, I hardly look at he photos – they seem too stiff. Instead, I let the paint itself slip and slide around, taking advantage of the viscous paint to simulate the movement of water – more fun, less predictable. Enjoy!

Technical painting notes: The paper is heavy, rag paper, sometimes smooth watercolor paper, other times printmaking paper like BFK or Stonehenge. I always prime it front and back with a coat of acrylic gesso or shellac to seal it, protecting it from the acids in the paint. In doing the painting, I use quantities of Winsor Newton Liquin medium to thin the paint while maximizing adhesion and dry times.


Angles of Repose

TM8568 Angles of Repose 36×54 oil on panel

When I began this painting, I wanted to concentrate on the “unblue” sea. Many of my previous coastal paintings were based on morning-after-a-storm views, with blue skies returning and very active tides. But I love the multi-layered hues of the ocean on a gray day, especially the hints of green found in the water, and the way those gray greens contrast with the warm, slightly reddish tones that can distinguish the sand. Add thousands of stones in every shade of gray bordering a band of partially submerged sand and I’m content.

As I worked on the painting, I realized that my goal wasn’t just “unblue.” I was composing an arrangement of waves for meditation. The gently crisscrossing patterns of the receding water lead one lazily back and forth, beginning in the foreground and taking one to the distant horizon and sky. The texture and weight of the anonymous stones and pebbles under the incoming tide invite the eye down to the foreground again, ready to begin another journey of recession with the water. I chose the title Angles of Repose because the stones have found a place to rest, because the water is also temporarily at rest as it fills depressions along the beach, and because the diagonal angles of retreating waves induced a sense of hypnotic quiet in me as I worked to describe their motion. Detail below. Enjoy.

TM8568 Angles of Repose – detail from lower right quadrant showing shingle beach with incoming tide