Sunday, July 26, 2009

"Shore View"

I painted this around 9am. My point was to give a good peek of the shore. Plus the dunes and the water are my two favorite beach elements.
All my paintings done while traveling are small, 5x7 to 6x8. I'd like to work larger but I don't have the strength to carry more than a small backpack of gear. Sometimes I see something that I think I'd rather tackle larger but the hassel of carrying a large canvas just hasn't been worth it. Oh well, isn't there a saying, "good things come in small packages."
6"x8" Oil on Linen (artist collection)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

"Rushing Tide" (sold)

I'm really drawn to the abstract in nature. But what I'd like to see in the finished painting is that fine balance between abstraction and realism. In other words I don't want to give all the answers but hope the image is interesting enough/worthy enough, to merit a look that gives you the whole experience.
The ocean is so noisy. I painted this at about 5:30am and could barely hear myself think. Normally I love the early hours for the quiet peace but even though very few people were on the beach it was LOUD. I think the noise is the oceans way of saying, "Look at me and respect me. I'm more than huge. I'm gorgeous, proud, and powerful."
"Rushing Tide" Oil 6"x8" painted with a palette knife. ($145.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"Avalon Freeze"

"Avalon Freeze" is a 6x8, oil study on linen, mounted on 8ply archival museum board. ($145. framed)
I tore myself away from the beach and missed out on a yummy pancake breakfast with family and friends to paint this little landmark. I find the raw urban-ness of the utility poles a real must to the quaintness of the custard stand. My number one challenge was painting on a bright but overcast day because it lacked the drama of contrasty shadows and lights which I normally would rather paint.
My second challenge was painting in a high traffic area. I had lots of people stop by to chat. It did slow my painting process but I got over my self-consciousness. And I didn't even mind when an excited person knocked my easel over. It was all part of the plein air painting experience.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

"Push/Pull" 6x8 oil sketch ($145. framed)

These two paintings were painted at different times of the day and weather. This first piece was painted around 7pm in rather high winds. The waves were really pounding in and pulling out with great power. In order to get the curve of the shore I was in ankle deep water when the waves rushed in. I loved how that felt. I hand-held my paint box because the wind would have blown over my plein air set-up. I went after capturing the emotional feel of the moment rather than worrying too much on the formal issues. Still, a simplistic yet strong composition was very important as I hoped it would help hold everything together.

"Morning Calm" 6x8 oil sketch
This was my first beach scene and morning out to paint. The early morning air held a bit of fog/humidity and was very calm. In the distance I could see just make out Wild Wood, New Jersey. I was trying to capture the expanse of sky, sand, and water. Maybe I should have left out most of the sand???

Friday, July 17, 2009

"Heading Off" (Sold/Private Collection)

Painted this on the Jersey shore in Stone Harbor at the end of the afternoon. I was attracted to the shadows created by large clouds moving across the beautiful blue sky. It was tricky as the light changed from cool to warm but I felt it was predominately cool shadows and warm light.
6"x8" Oil study ($145. framed)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"Avalon Dunes" 6"x8" oil

My next few post will highlight some of the oil paintings I did while vacationing on the Jersey shore. Although I'm really glad to live in this high-tech age, I discovered living without a computer and cell phone was really nice, for a while. Instead of grabbing a large mug of coffee and answering emails, I headed to the beach and worked on 2-3 paintings every day. Most of the paintings were palette knife pieces because an excited on-looker kicked over my turp. can (and easel) but this ended up being a happy accident. I really liked how painting with thicker layers of paint forced me to focus on accuracy and kept me from being tentative. Besides trying to get accurate values I'm pushing how far I can go with abstraction and yet still be representational.

Thursday, July 02, 2009


The morning was hazy and gray, or was it just me. I don't know what happened but I seemed to have greatly exaggerate the atmosphere of the morning. Maybe I need a break from Chicago? So I'm off to the Big Apple and the wonderful sounds of the Jersey Shore. Be back in a couple of weeks with hopefully a large handful of ocean-scapes.
8"x10" Oil on Linen