The scarred fingers of ledge reaching into the water at Bass Rocks are such a gorgeous color – all ocher and red oxide, not like the grey granite found toward the middle of the state, or like the maroon, black, and deep mars violet cliffs you can find up north between Lubec, Maine and New Brunswick, Canada. So much color and geometry, so little time! Enjoy.
Layers and intrusions, it looks so different near high tide! I especially love the purple/green seaweed on some of the lower surfaces. On it goes!
The summer studies continue with this small painting from Bass Rocks, so easy to recognize with that honey-colored glow. This one is on a rougher watercolor paper, which lends its coarse texture to the stone. I used a shellac primer so the texture wouldn’t be compromised by a heavy pigment coating.
Watching these old cliffs take a battering from the angry sea, I can’t help being astounded that they have survived for so long. They do endure…..
There’s ample opportunity to practice painting granite around these parts, including this little oil painting from Cape Ann.
There’s a time for drama and a time when quiet is most appreciated. Up on Bass Rocks seems to be a meditative, peaceful morning, with a view out to sea and a retreating fog bank. But in truth, if you love geology, the thrill of touching such an ancient mountain is fantastic. In some ways, the painting is about time – long, stretched out time. The ancient granite, bruised by glaciers and pummeled by the sea, is alive with crystals and abstracted by fractures. To paint it, one’s own sense of time has to slow down as well. The layers of paint and texture can’t be rushed; the tantalizing forms need to reveal themselves. Enjoy.
Technical painting notes: The painting was built in layers. The first layer of paint, applied with a soft roller and crumpled (re-used) plastic film, was rough, streaky and transparent. I spattered mineral solvents on the paint and re-rolled the surface repeatedly to achieve grainy textures. I also spattered paint in places, for more depth. The opaque dots of paint contrast nicely with the open spots where the mineral spirits has left deficits of paint. When the first layer was dry, I layered transparent glazes, then painted into the wet glazes with soft brushes and more transparent color. Occasionally I applied paint with the roller, to get more interesting “accidents.” Additional layers of glaze and stippling refined the color and textures.
One more vigorous day out on Bass Rocks in Gloucester. It’s fun to see what one’s imagination can do interacting with reality. This little fellow was painted on prepared rough watercolor paper, which lends its texture, and a sense of roughness, to the rocks.