Not Yet

TM9179 Not Yet 36×54 oil on panel

When I used to photograph waves, I looked for the significant moment when the wave was collapsing – the moment with all the drama. Now, I know that every moment is filled with drama and significance – the building concentration of energy can be more dynamic than the release, and the backwash, the remains of the prior wave returning to the sea, has a beauty all its own. Ultimately, every moment of every wave is unique, challenging, and worth the effort to understand and paint it. Details below. Enjoy.

TM9179 Not Yet – detail from lower left

TM9179 Not Yet – detail from advancing wave

TM9179 Not Yet – close-up showing use of differing viscosities of paint and use of oil to drag and spatter the underlayer

Technical painting notes: I started the painting with a roll-up (soft rubber roller) of darkly subdued blue greens. While the paint was wet, I used a mixture of oil and mineral spirits to streak and displace some of the thinly applied paint, especially up near the horizon line. I used the same mixture to spatter and blot “spray and bubbles.” To achieve the dragged effect, I used solvent to spatter the wet paint, then a soft brush to drag the dots of solvent, creating elongated drips and gaps. I also used a crumpled piece of plastic wrap to drag some of the solvent pools, again to suggest moving water.


Beach Studies


One way to cool off on a summer day – paint the beach. Enjoy.

First Morning

TM9170 First Morning 42×48 oil on panel

The space feels sumptuous, as if the horizon could wrap its arms around you and yet stay out of reach. Two waves, crossing paths, have agreed to succumb. The only sound is their collapse, the frailty of ripples and their dissipation……..under a remnant of fog. Keep cool, and enjoy.

TM9170 First Morning – detail with waves rolling in

TM9170 First Morning – close-up of sand, showing use of layered spatter and blotting


Watching Waves with a Friend

I was watching waves after a storm when I met this little friend.

Just Like That

TM9142 Just Like That 42×48 oil on panel

Wait a minute, and it will change – we say that about the weather around here, but it’s true about many things. This view began as a sunny day, until suddenly a squall pushed its way into a dramatic punch. Then it was gone, Just Like That. The wind, with its waves and white caps, was powerful. I’m thankful I was near shelter when it came in, but oh I  loved it! Details below. Enjoy.

TM9142 Just Like That – detail from foreground

TM9142 Just Like That – detail from right side

Technical painting notes: The sky was painted with soft brushes, laying in the values first. Later, I glazed semi-transparent color over the base layer to modulate the tones and adjust color using a soft, watercolor mop brush.

As I worked on the turbulent water in the foreground, it became too exact and finicky, so I used my soft rubber roller to roll over it (while wet) to see if that would create some chaos appropriate to the whole mood of the piece. It worked. As the foreground became “scumbled” under the roller’s effect, I found I could pull out a few details and it was enough to suggest the feel of the moment without overwhelming detail. It also served to quiet the middle ground under a blue gray tone, suggesting shadow.

TM9142 Just Like That – detail with roller coming in




Beach Patterns

TM9137 Beach Patterns 30×30 oil on panel

Back and forth, up and down, sideways, everything is moving at the beach, and that is the challenge of painting it. With Beach Patterns, the crisscrossing waves caught my attention first, but the shallows and sand bars took over.  There are no straight paths, no clear directions, only the endless shifting, and that incredible white foamy lace. Detail below. Enjoy.

TM9137 Beach Patterns – detail

TM9137 Beach Patterns – detail of foam achieved with brush and soft rubber roller