Angles of Repose

TM8568 Angles of Repose 36×54 oil on panel

When I began this painting, I wanted to concentrate on the “unblue” sea. Many of my previous coastal paintings were based on morning-after-a-storm views, with blue skies returning and very active tides. But I love the multi-layered hues of the ocean on a gray day, especially the hints of green found in the water, and the way those gray greens contrast with the warm, slightly reddish tones that can distinguish the sand. Add thousands of stones in every shade of gray bordering a band of partially submerged sand and I’m content.

As I worked on the painting, I realized that my goal wasn’t just “unblue.” I was composing an arrangement of waves for meditation. The gently crisscrossing patterns of the receding water lead one lazily back and forth, beginning in the foreground and taking one to the distant horizon and sky. The texture and weight of the anonymous stones and pebbles under the incoming tide invite the eye down to the foreground again, ready to begin another journey of recession with the water. I chose the title Angles of Repose because the stones have found a place to rest, because the water is also temporarily at rest as it fills depressions along the beach, and because the diagonal angles of retreating waves induced a sense of hypnotic quiet in me as I worked to describe their motion. Detail below. Enjoy.

TM8568 Angles of Repose – detail from lower right quadrant showing shingle beach with incoming tide

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