The Backrush and Each to Its Place Returns

Every wave painting is a conversation between the ocean and the fringes of terra firma. The unique peculiarities of geography and weather set the tone, while the waves’ forms provide an endless series of variations on a theme.  As an artist, my goal is to keep a fresh eye and look for new ways to interpret what I see. This post introduces two new paintings – The Backrush and Each to Its Own Place Returns. When seen with The Restless Sea (my last post)  they provide three variations that are related yet distinct.

TM8467 The Backrush 30x50 oil on panel

TM8467 The Backrush 30×50 oil on panel

nc web TM8467 The Backrush - detail from breaking wave

The Backrush, which is the largest at 30×50, has a sense of grandeur and inevitability, which is  gained primarily through its larger size, strong horizontals, and gently sweeping arcs. The movement in the water is hypnotic, and seems to stretch time.

Each to Its Own Place has a slightly greener palette and feels more turbulent, in part because the foreground water is more chaotically filled with small crashing peaks of water, and also because the sky and horizon show evidence of a storm that has passed.

TM8469 Each to Its Own Place Returns 24x44 oil on panel

TM8469 Each to Its Own Place Returns 24×44 oil on panel

TM8469 Each to Its Place Returns - detail of wave

TM8469 Each to Its Place Returns – detail of wave

For purposes of comparison, I have included The Restless Sea below. You will note that the palette is grayer and lighter, and there is considerable foam and turbulence in the water. This is  the sea after a noteworthy storm. Enjoy!

TM8466 The Restless Sea 24x44 oil on panel

TM8466 The Restless Sea 24×44 oil on panel

Technical painting notes: All three paintings were begun using monoprint techniques  – rolling paint onto the panels with a soft rubber brayer, then using cut up plastic bags to manipulate the paint. Mineral spirits were used to splash and re-roll areas to create more of a feel of movement in the water. I also let the striations caused by the movement of plastic wrap across the surface become part of the structure of the waves, and also let the striations inform the movement of water in front of the wave. Some spattering between layered glazes helped to define both color and movement.


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