I was driving home thinking about baseball as I headed into the gridlock of a double header (Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays). I remember as kids we played baseball and “olympics” in a cow pasture, imagining ourselves hitting home runs past the rock pile, winning gold medals. Everything was as perfect as our imaginations allowed, with cricket applause. We had so much fun.
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!
Morning sun on the coast of Campobello in New Brunswick, Canada, with a view toward Quoddy Head State Park in Maine. It might be my favorite place on earth, especially when I’m there just after sunrise. The immensity of quiet and the rugged pass-at-your-own-risk broken cliff demands respect and awe. Again, it’s about endurance and geologic time. Even after glaciers and thousands of years, there is a sacred nobility here. Enjoy.
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/
The occasional place to sit down and take a break is always welcome. This granite outcrop with shade is perfect. Maybe a book? Maybe lunch? Enjoy.
Technical painting notes: These two views from the trail are painted on the same type of paper but with different primers. The first painting is on acrylic gesso-primed paper. You can see the brush marks along the bottom and right corner. The acrylic gives a non-porous, slick finish, which means the oil paint slips and slides on the surface when I am painting. There is a crispness to the edges.
The second, bottom painting is on shellac-primed smooth paper, which isolates the paper fibers but also gives a softer finish to the paper – more velvety. The softer overall look of the painting is a result.