Beaches are such ephemeral places. A few strong storms and they can shift or nearly disappear entirely. Sometimes the new view includes glimpses of the underlying bedrock, as in these two small paintings. I actually prefer the mix of ledge and sand, hard and soft for compositional reasons and because it’s simply more interesting. That ledge makes for a better bulwark against the pounding tides of the future.
It’s the moody days I love, and the dizzying swells coming toward the honey and red stone ledges that shape the coast.
Technical painting notes: This small oil on primed paper was done mostly with a palette knife. Initially, I concentrate on blocking in broad shapes in values darker than what I see in the motif. When this layer is dry, I go back and define the forms using oil paints mixed with Liquin alkyd medium, which speeds the drying time and increases the transparency of the paint. I try to keep the painting spontaneous, taking advantage of accidents – even trying to cause those fruitful accidents on which the painting depends.
When strong winds whip waves toward the rocks, the result is thick foam – massively aerated water. The first time I saw this condition, I thought it looked a lot like the foam on expensive coffee. Another time, it looked like shredded foam mattresses washing in to shore. Not the processional blue waves of a calm, sunny day!
Ancient remnants of mountains – these fractured cliffs speak deeply of endurance. They call me back when I am needing permanence.
Sunlight and shade on fractured granite – perfect for painting with a palette knife and perfect for a pair of hiking shoes. I’ll never tire of the many moods along the New England coastline. Enjoy. More at https://terimalostudio.com/oil-paintings/coastal/
It’s an interesting contrast – in the beginning, quarries are incredibly active places. Quarries like this old granite quarry were actively worked using much manual labor (often immigrant labor). That labor allowed for the construction of some beautiful edifices modelled on classical architecture, reinterpreted for the needs of the times. Now, the quarries offer a glimpse into New England geology and a place to enjoy the serenity of nature. Detail below. Enjoy.
One more summer painting from Gloucester, this one from a small quarry deep in the woods behind a friend’s house. I’ve spent time here watching fish in the water (and trying to photograph them). One frog spent nearly a whole day watching me sketch and photograph reflections in the water and the granite walls. It’s a beautiful place in the heart of of Cape Ann, full of history, blueberries, and wonderful memories.
Back to Gloucester for a study from one of the many quarries – and the 6th painting in my mini-series Last Days of Summer. The still water is a wonderful foil for the rising granite walls. Some of the quarries ae incredibly deep, others are small and intimate. The small ones were usually worked by one man or family, and can be found deep in the woods. Much of the granite from Gloucester was shipped to Boston to become elegant edifices. Some became curbstone and paving stones. I love granite – durable and humble.