Saturday, February 21, 2015

Capturing the Feeling of the Beach

Striped Sundress
10 x 8
Where R U?
8 x 10
 I've been fortunate this winter and have gotten a lot of tropical sunshine.  The light, colour, and warmth continue to inspire me in my snow-covered studio at home.

I've been painting a lot of little 8 x 10's and enjoying the size.  It's just enough to capture a moment and it forces me to be economical in my detail.  "Striped Sundress" was a particular challenge because the dress kept pulling me into more fussy detail.  With the usual overkill of modern digital, my camera captured every wrinkle of the billowing dress.  It took a few attempts with big brushes to make my painting into something that corresponded to what the human eye can see.  We don't see every wrinkle: we see motion, light, shadow and large areas of colour.

When I saw the woman and her child on the beach, the reason I photographed them was that she looked like a billowing sail, filled with light and air as she made her way across the sand.  I wanted my painting to convey that feeling.

"Where R U?" comes from a different intention.  The man in the photo reference stood, back to the sea, for a long time, intent on his phone.  This gave me the opportunity to really look at him and to notice the wonderful repetition of blues in his suit and his surroundings.  Rented beach umbrellas on this beach were all blue, and, it seemed that many of the neighbouring resort's towels were ultramarine blue as well.  It was a moment of happy colour convergence and I was glad to have my camera in my beach bag to capture this.

Happy painting!

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