Wednesday, May 4, 2011
When I was a kid I used to love to make drawings of sailing ships from the nineteenth century. Big, square-rigged frigates plowing along through wavy seas. I would show these to my dad who would say, "oh look-- it's a picture of the moon landing!" To which I would patiently explain that, no, it wasn't that but a big sailing ship. It's a habit I still have to this day of explaining my pictures in case someone would mistake my sea-scape for an Apollo moon landing. So this one is of a small cove in Cape Elizabeth, Maine on a late summer afternoon when the fog is starting to roll back in.
This is a studio piece, I did not paint this on site. I did take some liberties in depicting the scene, though. When I was there it was lovely summer day, with no fog in sight, so I put some in. There is a house up on the shore, a big, looming mansion to be exact, but I simplified it's shape. In retrospect, I think it would have been more fun to paint it as a tar-paper out house. You see, the owner of this property has cut off all access to the shore to his neighbors and the general public. Families used to picnic here, but no more because of him. So doing stuff like painting the house as a loo is my idea of getting even. And since I didn't do that, telling the world what a tool that owner is will have to suffice, I guess.
Painting fog can be tricky. Some may go for a glaze effect over the painting to convey fog. I went with making the painting look like it was foggy without using any glazes. Here's a fuzzy close-up of the rocks--
I wanted simplicity and atmosphere, not detail. One thing about Maine beaches; they are not made of golden sand. A cove like this has a grey, pebbly sand made from the grey rocks being ground down by the constant wave action. That's a lot of grey, so I tried to infuse color wherever I could. As usual with photos of paintings, a ton of color nuance is lost, but trust me, this is more colorful than it shows here.
Being detail minded, I did try for authenticity in my portrayal of sand. Here's another close up of the kayaks:
And since I can't resist taking things to the extreme, here's a another close up shot of the sand:
...With Neil Armstrong's footprint!