Since I am just about to depart on a painting retreat for a week in St. Kitts, organized by my dear friend and fellow artist, Beth Haizlip…I have been in a tropical island mood. The scene was entirely made up but have glints of other island paintings that I have done recently. It takes many paintings to work out an idea and then coming up with plans for execution of the idea. Painting is not just “willy nilly” dabbing paint on a canvas. Each layer must be strategized and analyzed. I am trying to have each stroke of the brush be deliberate. There are layers of glazes in various colors between the wet brush strokes.
“Perfect Evening” is 40x16x1.5″ gallery wrap
“Sunset Moonrise” is 40x30x1.5″ and expands on the idea of the previous work. I find the scene quite romantic as lovers stand on the porch of a little island cottage, watching the moon rise as the sun sets.
Even though my paintings are getting larger these days, I still enjoy working on smaller accent paintings. Still I paint what I am drawn to…ocean related. These are all 12×12″ except for the Octopus which is 14″. The shell paintings are a series of three, sold together for 295.00. I also think that the shells would make nice images printed on fabric for pillows.
For a year after painting a manta and sting ray collection of underwater paintings, I had in my mind to do a very large painting with all kinds of rays gliding through the water. Working on a 60×48″ canvas is never easy since my studio is rather small. I had to put most of the canvas on my larger easel and rest the other end of the canvas on a small table. I do find that painting large is much more energetic and after several hours, my muscles are sore so I try to work on other smaller pieces for awhile.
“Gathering Rays” is completed and looking for a nice large wall to enhance a room. I figure it would be like being in an aquarium, right?
details of impressionistic paint strokes and decor idea
I had this idea in my head of painting a mermaid interacting with a sea turtle. After numerous sketches, I came up with this idea. This siren is in the shallow waters near a reef so there are fish and seaweeds. when I was younger, I did quite a bit of diving with a snorkel and also dive tank and gear. I had to pull my memories of how the highlights hit the water and make patterns on the sea floor and everything else. Since this scene was totally made up, I also had to figure out how the light would hit certain parts of the mermaids body and how the shadows played with the highlights. I wanted to keep it my expressionistic/impressionistic stylings so didn’t try for realism. For instance the little fish are made from three quick brushstrokes.
The objective is to distill more emotion with luminous colorings and the sweep of the brushstrokes showing movement of the water. The seaweed fanning with the currents and bubbles floating up along with her hair give the feeling of being underwater.
“Silent Conversation” is 48′ tall and 36″ wide.
Her face took the most time, She took on many faces until she finally appeared.
“Spring Surf” is a larger 48×36″x 1.5 gallery wrap. My intent for this painting was to have a central cameo of the surf which faded away to soft pastels and ivory.
It started with painting with flexible modeling paste and a palette knife. Then I made a glaze of raw umber and covered the dried plasters, making surf the details of the plaster were enhanced with the 3D textures. Then I made up a jar of unbleached titanium white, zinc white and very light blues and painted over the dried brown undertones.
This painting is available and would look great with your beach decor.
“Teal Octopus” is a large fanciful impressionistic painting. 48×36″ gallery wrap. I embedded gold leaf details and some 3D elements for interest. Using large brushes and bold strokes along with twisted medium brush details teaches me to be deliberate with my strokes and to not overwork.
Commissions are tough since an artist can never really guess completely on what a client truly will love. I had an art collector ask me to paint 2 seahorse paintings as a set to accent her room. I went ahead and painted four or two sets so she would have a choice. Each painting is 20×10″.
Recently, I had second thoughts of whether a few older paintings were completed and decided to tweak them. There is nothing wrong with revisiting an idea and then seeing what may make a piece more interesting or possibly correcting an area that may have been wrong but I hadn’t seen it before. Usually it becomes more of a chore than I thought because fresh ideas come up as I improve a painting.
Cephlapod Joy is 36×36″
Rough Seas is 36×24″
Sunrise Pipers is 40×30″
“Sea Turtle and Red Coral” was started a month ago and I shared my progress with my students. Even when I wasn’t in class, I took cell photos and emailed the progress to the class with what was done during that particular session. It went through a lot of changes and I still wanted to keep is more abstract and fun with bright colors and a happy expression. This painting is 36×18″ and is available for sale. I am having a summer sale on my paintings so inquire if interested.