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At Montauk State Park this past May, Canon telephoto lens at the ready.
Enjoyed a gorgeous Sunday out at Montauk, Long Island taking shots with my Canon telephoto. (Got some great iPhone shots too. Those are on my Facebook page.) While there I enjoyed the beauty of the crystal blues of the sky and the ocean. Gratitude filled the air; a relief from the international pregnant pause of self isolation. It was a hope filled atmosphere with lots of smiling visitors to the Lighthouse Park. I thought of how the Native Americans must have loved the surrounding beauty. Today, their reverence for Mother Earth seemed to permeate the air.
After returning home to my makeshift studio, I started playing with a cool color palette on a 48” square I’d cut from a roll of mixed media paper. I did a couple of live IGTV videos. There was no intention for it to communicate anything in particular. I was just exploring how I would feel about working on paper on a large scale. I liked the blues and green I’d chosen. What I love about painting with large trowels and palette knives is the random negative space that results from swiping the surface with paint.
However, after the day of live videos, the result wasn’t indicating anything to me. Usually, when I paint, some sort of connection happens; a flow that reveals clues, communicating I’m in a groove with the work; partners in crime, so to speak. It troubled me, the way the mind can become disquieted by a child who is having a problem with a subject in school, or someone you saw from the past but can’t place. Of course I woke up thinking about it.
Then, rotating the paper counter clockwise, the energy of the previous session revealed what this painting was about. Before me was an abstracted seascape. Totally unintentional, but there it was. The big expanse of negative space in white at the top was a big mass of cheerful clouds against an optimistic blue sky. The swipe of white paint I had put down to cut the strong vertical line in the composition was now on the upper left and had become a fast moving sailboat, followed by another in perspective in the distance. Near the center, yesterday's big vertical point of negative white space was now another sailboat closer to the foreground.
There were a couple of canoes, surfers, even turtles, and a couple in silhouette on the beach with two dogs should I choose to amplify those elements. Delightful discoveries!
Looking directly at it, I was however, annoyed by a smaller patch of white in front of the big sailboat. I thought I should eliminate it. Taking a photo on my iPhone, I clearly saw the painting indeed needed that patch. However, no way could I see a sailboat in that, nor force it to be one. I looked at it, puzzling on how I was going to handle the problem. Then, it dawned on me: “it’s a MOTORBOAT!” There it was, a motorboat with a canopy. The imagination of an artist is constantly in motion, so as to enhance the energy, imagination and sense of wonder in the viewer. There you have it, my story on how this painting, "A Day At The Shore" was born. Click here for more info.
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