As you can see from the picture above it was a beautiful day. I was excited to get out and paint. The sun felt warm on my face and there was no wind to speak of. I was entranced by the cross waves, giant billowing waves that were nearly as large as the incoming waves. Alas, I have no painting to show. I had started painting and suddenly, it just wasn't going the way I wanted it to.
The problem, in my eyes, was that it was looking like all of my previous paintings. Now, there is nothing wrong with that, I am proud of my work, but I am trying to get to a certain quality and level of painting. There were a few other problems too but I have pinpointed them now.
Well, I was a bit discouraged. I packed up my stuff and then pulled out my binoculars and watched the waves in close detail for a while before heading home. I know what this point in my progress is. I have been here before and I recognize it. It doesn't make it any less discouraging though. To top it off, several odd things seem to come together to make it seem even harder.
When I got back home, walked Twill, and had a good lunch, I did some studying. I am ready to try a new level when I get back out to the beach to paint tomorrow. I might make a mess but I think it will be a good thing.
I am almost finished with the book on Frederick J. Waugh. The final chapter is called Waugh's Suggestions on Marine Painting. I thought I would share a couple tidbits before ending the post.
"No doubt", writes Waugh, "the sea is a difficult subject. To paint it convincingly means long, careful observation of its many phases and its anatomy, for the sea has anatomy."
Indeed it does both as a whole and as parts. I have noticed that even the waves have spines. That has been most helpful for me. I will get those pesky cross waves painted accurately yet!
My favorite quote by far, which I have on the welcome page of my website (others have used this one too) is the following:
"To paint the sea, you must love it, and to love it, you must know the sea."
There is a lot of truth in those words. You need the love and the knowledge to keep painting it when it gets hard, as it often does. I have been told that it is extremely hard to make a living painting seascapes and that so many people want to be seascape painters and give up. Well, I love the sea, to the core. I have considered the ocean my "hometown" for decades now. That means I won't stop painting it, even if it means that I won't be rich and famous!
I won't stop.