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I painted this seascape for the most marvelous client. Her request charmed me. She wanted a seascape with no figures or land masses, beach, or boats; just waves, sky, and clouds. The waves and clouds must be rhythmic to inspire jazz improvisation. The painting must be large enough to fill the space above her piano.
The project presented some challenges, most of them having to do with size. Standard watercolor sheets are only 24 x 30 inches. She wanted a painting that was 36 inches wide, so the paper had to be special ordered. I don’t have an easel large enough to accommodate a painting this size, so I used my studio table. When I taped the paper to my studio table, there was no room left for water and brushes. To see how the painting looked from five feet back, I had to stand on a chair.
The other challenge had to do with how to create a path through the painting for the eye. I decided on a sideways “u” beginning on the bottom left following the breakers in and return across the horizon and out through a break in the clouds.
I presented it to the client this morning and I’m happy to say she loved it. It’s at the framers now.
The original belongs to a lovely pianist, but prints are available here.
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I did this little painting at the gallery last Wednesday. It is another view of rocks below Yaquina Head Lighthouse in Newport, Oregon.
I painted it loosely without using mask reserving the white paper in the clouds, waves and foreground by painting around them. I added the spray on the rocks with opaque chinese white. I used phthalo blue, cobalt blue, raw sienna, burnt sienna, and a hint of quinacridone deep red rose.
This painting is currently on display at Art in the Valley, Corvallis, Oregon. You may still purchase it by mail on inquiry through the contact page of this blog.
We call my youngest daughter “Bird” and “Birdie” and even “Birdles” because she looked a little like a bird when she was a baby. It’s been a long time since I thought she looked much like a bird. But crouching down on the shoreline, she made me think of long leggity shore birds.
The palette is simple, cobalt blue, phtalo blue, qinacridone deep red rose, and burnt sienna. I used liquid mask extensively to make preserve the white paper.
See more little girl paintings at Fine Art America: girl paintings.
Art in the Vally’s December feature will be a group show of mini paintings. So yesterday during my gallery shift I painted another couple of postcard sized watercolors. (Update: One of these paintings did sell at the Art in the Valley show and the other sold the following day.)
These are the view north from Seal Rock Wayside, looking downs on the beach. Seal Rock is a great place for wave watching because the beach drops sharply into the ocean and the beach is ringed by rocks for the waves to crash against. If the tide is coming in, we can always happily waste an hour or two just wave watching there.
The palette for both paintings is cobalt blue, phthalo blue, cerulean blue, and burnt sienna. The cerulean is all in the sky.
Update: One of these paintings did sell at the Art in the Valley show and the other sold the following day.
When the tide comes in, the tide pools below Yaquina Head disappear under white foam and the fireworks begin. From the gravely beach you can see the breakers at eye level. Add sunshine through the clouds and the beautiful view becomes spectacular. I wish I could paint the sound because that’s pretty spectacular too.
My palate was cerulean blue, cobalt blue, raw sienna, burnt sienna, burnt umber and a hint of quinacridone deep red rose. I scrubbed and used some gouache chinese white where the spray hits the rocks. Otherwise the whites are reserved paper.
The rocks are multiple layers of raw sienna, burnt sienna, phthalo blue and cobalt blue.