Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wave Study #43 and the Reason Behind the Madness.

©2013 R.L. Delight, Wave Study #43, 6"x8", oil on canvas, one hour study.
Today was a challenge to paint. I think the sun came out once every 5 minutes and the colors would change and shift. When the clouds covered the sun again, the colors would be different than before. In addition, I got to the beach at the turn of the tide and it was going out for most of my painting session. That said, the most amazing colors kept popping out. I tried to capture some of them here.
We live by a green sea. It is rarely blue due to the sky which is usually cloudy. Even when the sky is clear and blue the sea retains some of its green amidst the blue.
I thought I would re-cap and explain what I am trying to achieve with these wave studies and even a bit of what I am not trying to achieve. I do this as much for my own benefit as to address some of the input I have received from various sources outside of this blog.
I want to be able to paint the sea, in all her moods and aspects, with knowledge and ease. Well, perhaps with relative ease. I combine knowledge here with the relative ease because I am not looking for a formula, I am looking for truth and beauty. The only way I know to do this is to simply get out and paint...And study, and watch, observe, reflect, absorb, and just plain allow myself to see, which is easier said than done. I believe by doing this, it will become part of me and unique, like my handwriting and will allow me to tell the old, old stories that need to be told and retold.  Who knows? The survival of the people and living beings on this planet may depend on it!
I truly believe that the cool breeze, warm sunshine, cold mist, drenching rain, stinging hail, shrieking wind, rogue waves, smell of seaweed, the roar and sudden clap of the waves, the hiss of the foam, the eerie sound of wood and stone rolling in the water, stranded salps and jellys, broken shells, whole shells, piles of driftwood, huge tangles of bull kelp, flotsam and jetsam, flora and fauna, both living and deceased, and lets not forget the sand, all, ALL of it goes into a painting when you live it. I do not believe I have the skills to capture all of that from a photograph. I don't believe anyone can get those skills without study from life first. There is a time and place for photo references but my wave studies are neither.
That brings me to the word study. These are not finished paintings. These are experiments and practice. These are like when basketball players shoot baskets over and over again. One of these days, some or all of these studies will find their way into a full fledged painting. A painting carefully conceived and created. In fact, one of these is being born in my studio at the moment! I write this more to remind myself. Sometimes I catch myself getting too caught up in making the study pretty instead of seeing what I really need to paint and trying or failing to paint it. That is part of the process too I suppose.
I think the best compliment I have received on a seascape is when someone tells me they can see, hear, smell, or feel the cold, salt, waves, water, etc. of the ocean in my painting. It is very humbling when someone tells me that. 
Of course, I always appreciate the responses to my paintings and consider every point that you all bring up! I specially appreciate when someone sticks their neck out and tells me why, or why not, they like or don't like a study. It truly helps (Please be gentle, firm is ok too but gently! ) I do my best to get my ego out of the way and listen as these responses are genuine.
Well, this has been a long post. I surprised myself with the passion that got unleashed when I started writing. I think if you prick any artist, craftsperson, or lover of beauty, you would get a similar response.
For those of you that made it this far, a thousand thank you's! I am grateful for all the wonderful people I have met through this blog and other social media. I learn so much from everyone. The next post will be shorter. I should probably work on something funny to say too!


Theresa said...

And I love some of the luminosity you achieved on the waves on this one. These are waves I can believe in. The color under the one curl, left side almost center is JUST how it looks as is the wave line further out well before it's due to break. This mountain and land landlocked bound body is ready for some Atlantic action and it's coming soon! :)

R. Delight said...

Ah but the luminosity and color is rare here, only when the sun comes out at certain angles and all that. It is challenging painting a cold green sea in a gray climate. Most people associate the sea with blue and luminous waves. Have a great trip Theresa! My dressform arrived yesterday. Will be posting about it on the sewing blog as well as sewing this weekend!

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