Friday, March 6, 2020

interest or passion

I am not sure where this new interest of mine is going but I have become passionate about painting water!
Waves and the sea, or waves breaking on the shore of Lake Michigan (which is an inland sea). Every chance I get I park myself and my painting supplies on the beach and try to catch that moment, that color and motion.
I have pursued this on a rocky shore of the South China Sea in the Philippines. I have painted on the beach in Cancun, Mexico while sipping a margarita.
I have painted after escaping near drowning on the coast of South Carolina. I have spent days while visiting the Gulf coast of Florida sitting in the sand painting the same set of waves breaking over and over.
I live in a land-locked suburb of Chicago with only a few small ponds nearby and right now they are all frozen solid. I'm planning another trip to Florida, time to get away and paint the sea again!
My best immersion effort, not to make an obvious pun, was a week in October last year when I spent every day painting waves by Lake Michigan. I was visiting St. Joseph, a small beach town on the southwest corner of Michigan. Every day I packed up my oil painting kit and headed out. I never quite finished a canvas but have a good start on several that hope to finish inside during this winter.
All the other efforts I mentioned were with watercolor and quicker studies, mostly in a sketchbook. These canvases are in oil and I was struggling to make it happen the way I envisioned the day. Oils are a different matter, I found it hard going. I have since spent some time reading and educating myself on oil technique. Also, lots of visits to the Art Institute of Chicago for some thoughtful looking at Winslow Homer and Monet among others.
Here's my studio today with canvases and studies of Lake Michigan stacked and waiting. The beach near St. Joseph has a very recognizable lighthouse and pier. Anyone who has been there will know it.