Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Creative Process Behind my Painting - Low Tide

There are times when I create a painting on location to capture the fleeting reality and feel of that transient scene. There are other times I use one or more reference photos to create a painting, taking pieces of each scene to create a completely different composition. Other times I rely solely on my memories and imagination. Then, there are occasions when I use a combination of two or more of these methods for a painting.

Creating and finishing this painting gave me a sense of satisfaction because everything seemed to come together and turn out the way I envisioned. I searched my mind and online reference photos for a scene that “grabbed” me. I had a loose idea that I wanted to portray the delicate strings of sea foam created by small waves in a fairly calm ocean. Whether you are at the New Jersey Shore, Cape Cod, Florida or a Caribbean island, this scene is probably familiar. I love to wade through the ankle-deep remains of gentle waves at low tide as they calmly roll to the beach. The sand shows through the clear, shallow ocean water as the delicate strings of sea foam float across the surface.

I found a couple of reference photos to create the initial composition of my painting. I had a partially formed image in my mind of what I wanted to create but did not have a complete end composition in mind. Sometimes I get 50% of my idea on the canvas and sit back to see what I can do from there. There are times that I see something that takes the painting in a completely different direction.

This time things came together pretty quickly and I felt like I was “in the zone.” I had my 50% on the canvas and felt the creative juices guiding my imagination and memories to form the rest of the composition. I painted in the sand colors through the lower half of the canvas. I was also conscious of creating contrast with the complimentary colors of the blue-green water and the reddish-tan sand. These colors would show through the water more and more as the water became more and more shallow. I then applied layers of transparent glazes to build up the blue-green water colors then added the traces of foam and their shadows underneath. 

All in all, it was a very satisfying painting experience -- the birth of one more percolating idea and painting.That's why I am thankful every single day that I can get up in the morning and do what I love -- create art!

Learn more about this painting at: Low Tide

Here's hoping that your week is a creative one,

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