Elements #3: Seaweed, Stone, Shell, and Wood, 5"x6", Studio, oil on panel. © 2017 R.L. Delight
I wisely decided to stay warm in the studio today.
We are simply not used to these bitter cold temps. We have a very damp
freezing cold here, the kind that goes straight to the bones and makes
them ache. The wind is coming from the east, the snowy coastal range
behind us, and collides with the moist air coming off the sea. So it was
a still life set up for me today. I have two other ongoing still life
set ups in my studio at the moment so I set it up on the only space I
have left. Unfortunately, I discovered the hard way that the monkey
puzzle tree that all but obscures the south facing window does weird
things to the light. I got a bit confused as the time went by. I have
only been in my new studio for a month. I need a year of tracking the
sun to learn the nuances of the natural light coming in the window.
collecting materials from the beach. I have always been attracted to
rocks and bits of twigs, leaves, and pretty much anything else that
nature provides. Those of you who are collectors of this type know what I
mean. I was born that way. I don't remember a time when I didn't
collect this stuff. Every place in the house I sit has a bowl of rocks
or bits of driftwood by it. Now I get to do something even more
enjoyable with the material, I get to paint it!
It is a fun
challenge to portray the sensuous beauty that I see in each piece. The
30 in 30 challenge is a perfect excuse to focus on this, hence the
"Elements" line. Here on the coast, the waves carve caves into the
cliffs, and the water that runs to the sea cascades to the sand and rock
of the beach and into the waves. When storm waves have scoured the
sands out of the caves I often find these holey rocks. I love them and
can't resist taking a few home. Bits of dried seaweed twist into
interesting shapes where they are left behind on the high tides. I am
fascinated with the organic curves and puzzles they contort into. Over
the years I have found a lot of whole sand dollar shells here too. I
limit my collection of those but they are fun to paint and I enjoy the
way the smooth shells feel. I propped these up on two big pieces of
driftwood and painting this composition.
I need to
get my digital SLR camera back up and running. Cell phones have amazing
cameras these days but the subtle colors I painted in the shell and the
textures are lost in the photo. I will have to work on that...
What is your favorite thing to collect?