On a mist-filled gray day, what better than a memory painting from foggy Lubec, Maine? This low tide view across the flats was my first impression on my first day in Lubec many years ago. I had arrived toward dark, and everything was shrouded in mist, rain and fog the next morning. Toward 10am I was startled to see the beginnings of the bay and salt water – it seemed to stretch out for miles! I spent most of that first week traipsing around with my camera shooting the seaweed, stones, and meanders of salt water and green slime. I knew I was hooked, better than any fish. Enjoy.
The hurricanes keep forming, and thankfully a few are staying off the coast. Ominous waves and rip tides though, as this study from Gloucester shows.
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/