It’s a process of discovery and rediscovery. The first time I paint a place, I’m learning how to translate it into two dimensions, but every subsequent painting becomes more of an investigation into the spirit of the place and the effect it has on me. Da Capo (which means from the beginning) is my repainting of a familiar beach. In fact, it echoes one of my earliest seascapes. The fog bank brings a quiet, almost melancholy light to the painting, alleviated by hints of blue sky and sunlight skimming the tops of the bank as it breaks up. Da Capo also refers to the painting’s primal subject, for in the beginning god created waters…..
There are two ways to look at the tides along the coast – they are either arriving or going out. I love both situations, with their subtle surprises and nuanced colors. This quartet of small oil paintings on prepared paper are part of an ongoing series of investigations and experiments, all done with the aim of understanding a beloved, and very complex, ecosystem. Enjoy!
Poems have a beautiful way of finding and expressing the telling detail, then placing it in a unique context. When I saw this wave the morning after a storm, I was struck by the roar and the weight – all that sand being lifted and dragged by a powerful force. At the same time, the water was almost dancing, as if with the sheer love of being able to push and carry so much terra firma. I knew I would have to paint it. Details below. Enjoy.
Watching the waves come in induces a strange state of both mindfulness and self-disappearance. I become so aware of the nuances of form that I forget my self, and yet I feel so present – it’s an odd sensation. Time quickly follows every watery movement, and synchronistically stands still – it seems brief and eons long. Perhaps it’s these dualities that make wave and wavescapes so entrancing. I get lost in it all, and maybe that’s the point. Enjoy!
The Bay of Fundy is an amazing phenomenon and place. The enormous changes in sea level leave one continuously startled. Land comes and goes, along with the weather and the fog. As a subject for painting, I can’t think of a more satisfying challenge. The stark, stony northern environment, the vast space, and the intricacies of the shallow bays and tidal pools, plus the muted colors – everything I love! Enjoy.
Technical painting notes: I used mostly a palette knife on the first study, with plenty of Winsor Newton Liquin medium to make the paint feel slippery, like the condition I was painting. I also used a pencil to scrape and draw into the wet paint. The second view began the same way, but I decided to try rolling across the sky, then used the paint on the roller to drag the sky reflections down to shallows. A bit of scraping livened the foreground, where various seaweeds formed desultory patterns on the coarse sand.
I’ve been playing. These 7×7″ oil paintings are from Cape Ann. They are also preparation for some new ocean views I’ll be starting soon. Anticipation……..maybe the best part…and on some new, larger panels!
The wave and coastal studies continue, with an emphasis on learning to control the viscosity of the paint and the manipulation of the palette knife. When the paint is just the right liquidity, I find I can layer strokes and take advantage of the “skips.”