Saturday, March 18, 2006

Ocean painting

So, the SketchCrawl was pretty inspiring, no? There are more links to sketches that I’ve added, if you want to check back to the original post.

I came home and really, really wanted to paint.

I’ve been spending a lot of time driving along the coast (Pacific Coast Highway, for you people from faraway places) these days on the way to work. Right. I basically ‘have’ to drive through a National Park and then along the coast, on my way to work. Yeah, I know, life’s rough.

Anyway, I get to see the ocean every morning and I’m grateful for that.

--->Click the images to see the scanned paintings.<---

The ocean has great moods that mirror the day and the sky. With the storms, it’s been cold and grey; the foam lapping up on the beach looking, amazingly, like snow. Sometimes the water and waves seem very feminine – bright, clear, light aqua. There’s a quality of how the sunlight shines through the tops of the waves that gives it a lightness; how the flourishes of spray in the wind are like a woman tossing her hair. I love all the names of the shades of blue that have to do with the sky and water: sapphire, aqua, turquoise, azure … and even the occasional steely cold grey. On those perfect days, though, warm and sunny, without a cloud in the sky, the ocean is endlessly blue, and the words that come to mind are: strong, assured, deep and handsome.


I’ve been trying to take mental notes of it all, but really, every day is beautiful. I’ve been thinking of doing a series of ocean paintings; it’s been percolating in my mind. I’m sort of thinking of doing something a bit like the gouache gradations, but perhaps a lot less saturated and intense. Talking to Robin, I was reminded of how the nice and matte gouache is, so I’m feeling tempted to go back and give it another go. I’ve discovered that my gouache paint tubes from school are dried up, so I’ll be headed out, amazingly, to buy fresh new tubes. In the meantime, I’m playing with acrylic, both really watered down and very thick and opaque as well. I like this acrylic stuff and how well it works with collages. I haven’t tried adding pencil or ink over acrylic, but I suspect that the watercolor pencils and types of pens I’m using … might work better over gouache. Watercolors; mmm, we’ll see. Did I ever post the magnolia painting? Can’t remember. Someone let me know.

('media'? 'medium'? Can't decide)

These paintings – they’re little (about 4x6) - and are even before the playing stage, just getting what’s inside, out, sort of like warm-up exercises ... an excuse to smoodge around some acrylic.

Anyway, I’m going to see if I have some extra illustration board, cut it into smaller pieces, mask off some squares … and play a bit with the different media.

Stay tuned.


Robin Neudorfer said...

I want to play with gouache again!