Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Another sitting surfer

I've always been attracted to the image of a surfer sitting, waiting for waves. Usually this happens when I am also waiting, and have more time to turn my attention to observation mode, instead of just being on the lookout for the next wave. This particular day was beautifully calm and clear...and I was able to walk out in the water afterwards with my camera without fear of getting it wet.
This is a study ( 8"x10") for a larger painting. I didn't know if I had enough visual info to be able to paint the girl, as a black wetsuit just looks black in a photo (no shadows or highlights) .. so tried it on a small scale. I sure wish I knew more about color, and painting..

Friday, April 18, 2008

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Walking into an art supply store is like walking into the proverbial candyshop.. Desire rules supreme.. I made a vow not to buy any new canvases until I use the ones I have...And most of them are quite small.. great for studies, experimenting, learning. But they always end up looking like 'pictures" to me...

I guess that is why I am attracted to larger sizes. I feel like I want to recreate the experience of being in or close to the ocean..The stillness or movement, the vastness, the color and form.. It never seems big enough. However, practicality takes over. My studio can only accomodate a certain size.. already it is difficult to stand back and look at the painting without some serious maneuvering. Painting larger also takes a whole new set of technical skills and well as time.

When I am on my board, waiting for waves, I am constantly trying to figure out what color the water is.. Last week, on a particularly beautiful still morning, with LONG waits between tiny sets, I was shutting one eye and then the other, looking at the water around my surfboard, when I noticed that each eye saw the water as a different color.. The left eye saw more green/teal and the right eye saw more brown/green... Which was correct? No matter how I turned, it was always the same.. Could it be the angle of the early morning sun? Different eyes? Since I spend so much time trying to figure out just what color it is I am looking at, this discovery was quite a surprise.

The images below are small studies (8"x10" on board) done mostly from memory.. A mini test for myself. Have I learned anything? I think one thing I love about painting water is it's constantly changing nature.. impossible to hold onto.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


While patiently waiting for the right image to appear on a new canvas, I continue to have a foam drawing always in process.. Just finished this one.. I can't say "ripple" without thinking of a wine from the 60's? Or, "Ripple in still water" from the Dead? Anyway.....

Meanwhile I have been playing with some quick oil "sketches" on small (8x10) boards. As I always work from photos, I am trying to keep the reference at a minimum, relying on what I am learning from all this painting of water.. . It is really scary, and I feel like I am going someplace without a roadmap..or rather, I have been relying too much on the roadmap and now I need to trust my ability to get there on my own... At risk, of course, is perceived failure.. or getting lost..Often, it's when I learn the most. Will post them when they dry..