Overcast Days at Bass Rocks

TM9468 Overcast Day at Bass Rocks #2 7×7 oil on paper

TM9469 Overcast Day at Bass Rocks #3 7×7 oil on paper

TM9470 Overcast Day at Bass Rocks #4 7×7 oil on paper

Back in Massachusetts, and expecting some tropical storm action today. The light was oddly yellowish and so humid this morning – just like the atmosphere in this little trio of paintings I finished yesterday. Coincidence? While I’d love to see what Bass Rocks will look like this afternoon, I think I’ll stay in the studio. Enjoy.


Out on the Shingle

TM9465 Out on the Shingle #1 7×7 oil on paper

TM9466 Out on the Shingle #2 7×7 oil on paper

TM9467 Out on the Shingle #3 7×7 oil on paper

The shingle – antithesis of going to the beach. This is where the stony continent crumbles toward the sea. Battered and worn, it is a world of seaweed and slime interrupted by tidal pools. A good pair of hiking sneakers and a pole can help one navigate some parts. The rewards might include sea cucumbers, all manner of smells, and an exquisite sense of the richness of life. Enjoy.

Technical painting notes: All three paintings were on heavy rag paper coated with shellac front and rear. The first two paintings were on smooth paper, the third on rough paper. I used a palette knife to apply dark, rough values of oil paint mixed with Liquin Impasto medium. When dry, I went back into the images using brush and palette knife to refine the forms while trying to keep the rugged feel of the underlayer.

Where to put down roots?

TM9461 Odd Place to Call Home 7×7 oil on paper

TM9463 Study from Bass Rocks 7×7 oil on paper

No soil that I can see, but these shrubs have found a way get by in hard circumstances. The first is from Quoddy Head, the second from Bass Rocks, but both offer little but a crack in the stone for the roots to dig in – more than some people have.

Morning on Quoddy Head #1

TM9460 Morning on Quoddy Head #1 7×7 oil on paper

Another part of the rugged coastline at Quoddy Head is this jumble of darkly volcanic rock, as seen on an overcast morning. I haven’t hiked this far very often, but oh what an incredible place! The surf pounds at the eroding cliffs and the thunderous vibrations can be felt in one’s legs. It is both primal and timeless. Enjoy!

Looking Southeast

TM9463 Looking Southeast 7×7 oil on paper

Looking southeast along the Maine coast always seems to bring to view another headland or scrap of rocky coast. I’ve been thinking about this recently as I work on a series of small studies and paintings from that beloved coast. I keep asking myself why do I so love being between a rock and a hard place?¬†It’s a hard question to answer. Maybe it’s the gestalt of our times, and I am just one among many in this spot. Then I think well, better enjoy some aspect of this! Painting and remembering these “hard places” is a source of joy for me, so I suspect I’ll keep painting them, I hope you enjoy them too..

Homage to an Ordinary Morning

TM9458 Homage to an Ordinary Day 7×7 oil on paper

On a hot summer day it’s refreshing to look at the cool, sea-splashed Maine coastline. This 7×7′ oil painting is based on another part of Quoddy Head, surely one of my favorite places. Some places are both ordinary and extraordinary. Enjoy.

Hazy Days on the Cape

TM9453 Hazy Days on the Cape 7×7 oil on paper

Simplicity – the horizon, and under that soft blue line a patch of warm sand and a granite outcrop. We can always pretend to be there. Enjoy.

Technical painting notes: I used hot press watercolor paper coated with an isolating layer of shellac for this small painting. Less brush and more palette knife gave heft and substance to the outcrop. Adding Liquin Impasto medium to the paint also added an illusion of weight to the paint  while maintaining the translucency of reflective light.

Storm Coming In

TM9457 Storm Coming In 7×7 oil on paper

A feast of grays and a stiff wind inspired this small painting from Bass Rocks. Even though the weather is blustery, the quiet palette is somehow soothing. A great day for a comfortable chair and a good book. Enjoy.