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!
It’s important to remember that something as apparently soft as water can take down a mountain. New England’s geological past included mountains that could vie with the Alps. All it takes is a few Ice Ages and a lot of weather and time to render that mountain into fractured headlands or shifting sand dunes. Isn’t it amazing?
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.
The dark stone, wet and slippery with salt splash, is hardly a place for plein air painting, but it provides a wonderful subject to tackle and with a zoom lens on a small field camera. I shoot from a variety of positions, and try different settings, usually on different days. This provides enough information to start a painting. To finish a painting is another matter entirely. That depends on happy accidents, simplification, a basic knowledge of geology, and optimism – at least. Enjoy.
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…..
It’s like a warm-up exercise, but more fun. Working on the small paintings prepares me for a full day of painting, and helps me to keep the big picture in mind. Doing dozens of studies of a favorite place also commits it to memory, and gives me more freedom to invent when necessary – always a good thing. Enjoy.