Dune Quartet

Nothing happens in isolation. These small dune studies, done in preparation for larger paintings, may, instead, lead to a whole new color-field direction for my coastal work…..

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Late Summer on the Dune

TM9147 Late Summer on the Dune 36×44 oil on panel

There’s such a challenge painting dunes – the grasses and vegetation, the shifting sands, the soft and muted colors later in the year. I think it’s all those in-between colors that first drew me in, and the open space. There’s also a quality of emptiness, despite the vibrant life that calls this environment home. The dunes, being un-anchored, also remind me of the transience of life. Things happen and disappear. I think on that. Details below.

TM9147 Late Summer on the Dune – detail

TM9147 Late Summer on the Dune – detail from right side showing distant sand and vegetation

TM9147 Late Summer on the Dune – detail from foreground showing use of spatter, scraping, and roller

Technical painting notes: I used many monoprint techniques on this painting, beginning with a roll-up of umber and sienna oil paints which were manipulated¬† to capture the broader shapes and gestures of the scene. Scraping and blotting, spatter, and pressing textures into the wet paint gave me myriad textures to emulate plant growth. When the base layer was dry, I used spatter, brushwork, and more scraping to define areas. Very thin applications of paint (with roller and brush) established the sand. I liked the vague edges of rolling “sand” over “plant”, and decided to keep the lower part of the painting more suggestive, (the dunes are about shift and change). Details were developed in the middle ground, contrasting with the darker band of sea and sky above it.

 

Waves

TM9126 Watching the Waves Roll In #221 7×7 oil on paper

TM9130 Watching the Waves Roll In #224 7×7 oil on paper

TM9127 Watching the Waves Roll In #222 7×7 oil on paper

TM9128 Watching the Waves Roll In #223 7×7 oil on paper

This past week’s two major storms sent waves up and over everything. These four small studies focus on the tremendous force and released energy of waves…..at a safe size. Enjoy.

 

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