Sunday, January 20, 2013

Daily Painting Practice- Imagination is as bountiful as the sea

"He that will learn to pray, let him go to sea."
-from Welsh poet George Herbert (1593 - 1633)

I have always had a special feeling for the sea.  Some of the first oil paintings I ever did when I was younger were seascapes or involved the sea. In fact, the first art book I bought was "Painting the Sea and Shore" by Harry R. Ballinger.

Nothing can stir my imagination more than the sea ... OK maybe flowers, or trees, or birds, but recently,  ideas for  seascapes have been spilling out of my brain via my thumbnail sketches. There is something about creating a painting completely from your imagination that can be both daunting and exhilarating at the same time.

I have been invited to participate in an art show in Kennebunkport, Maine this summer and the theme is the artist's thoughts about Maine. My idea- crashing waves on rocks.

 To start creating a painting from your imagination,  describe your subject  in words first, then try to illustrate your feelings  using the words as a framework for you composition.
 As an example; I find the waves on the coast of Maine captivating, stirring, violent, rhythmic, powerful, mysterious, glorious, rich, inspiring...  I could go on but you get the idea.   Try doing this with any subject you want to paint.

 Now, see if you can compose a sketch that  looks like your words.
 I will start building on my thumbnail  idea with a color sketch. I took an old piece of masonite that had been pre- toned with a blue-gray-green.
Here is my limited palette. Keeping things simple in the beginning helps me stay loose.

 I don't want to go crazy with details  or feel like I have to finish . I just want to expand the original idea using color... besides, I am having way too much fun playing with the water and rocks to get too serious.
I think I'll settle with this as my oil sketch. Now the question is how to make it into a painting?... The better question is, can I be disciplined or patient enough to figure it out? Stay tuned!

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