Incoming Tide (at Dana Point) 16 x 20 – oil on canvas
OK, I’ll say it. This is probably one of my favorite paintings so far, for several reasons. I like the color, the composition, but mostly I like the energy and action of it and how it reminds me of being there. It’s good sized (for me) and was not painted on location but in the studio after a day of studying the waves on location. My reference photo was tempered with my very vivid memory of what the rock looked like, how the waves moved, the feeling of the day, the spray of the surf. And I can hardly wait to get back to the ocean to study some more.
This brings me back to the Jerry Stitt watercolor demo I went to a few months ago. He said instead of painting things, paint what the things are doing. In this painting the rocks are thrusting up, the waves are curling with energy as they rush forward, the water is pulling under the wave, swirling. The spray is flying, whipped by the wind. The distant horizon water is lying flat (at least at this distance.) The clouds have motion in the sky, but not so much that they are competing with the waves for attention. The brushstrokes all seek to express this movement. I hope that the viewer can feel my act of painting this, and in so doing participate in my experience of being there when I observed the scene.