When I lived in California I was lucky enough to take a week-long portrait and figure painting, watercolor workshop from world famous artist Mary Whyte. One afternoon we ventured out of the studio to the beach (we were right on the coast in Crescent City) to take some photos of the model. Let’s face it, you don’t normally come across young women dressed like this strolling the beach.
It was a foggy day and the light was strange. The ocean and the sky was a strange, muted yellow green. I painted it once true to the photo, but after the online course I took this past winter, photos are just a reference and I have broken free from trying to reproduce them—a very big breakthrough for me.
Some people don’t like people in their art; others love the human, lively element people add to a painting. Which do you prefer?
When my friend invited a group of us to go to the sand dunes, I was thinking hiking the dune and some nature trails by Lake Michigan.
As she parked the car I saw one large dune and a public beach. She unloaded a blanket, towel and beach chair and headed for the beach. I was not prepared. I was not dressed for the beach. I did not bring a blanket, towel or chair. Luckily I had a hat, sunscreen, sketchbook and camera.
It was near the end of summer and I then had shoulder surgery, then it was fall and then the holidays, yada yada yada. I have been wanting to paint this beach scene (and others) since last year.
Finally! This little girl gets to go swimming!
I definitely would frame in a floater frame or edge-to-edge frame so nothing gets covered up.
Pretty far it turns out when you paint on a 6×6″ hardboard panel. It’s kind of like a square Frisbee.
Clearly not every painting is a masterpiece, and there is this emotional roller coaster artists go through when painting, (this is good, what am I doing, why did I think I could paint, it’s not so bad, I’m fantastic). Sometimes you just have to wash it off and start over. Sometimes half way through you lose your inspiration or vision of what you wanted. Then what do you do?
Half way through I was going to fling this one out the window. I walked away. Went to do something else. Cleaned up for the day. Washed out my brushes. Did not look at it again until the next day.
As I walked into my studio in the morning I noticed how I liked the contrast. And the composition. The vision was back. The inspiration was back. I went back to work. It’s not a masterpiece but I am happy. And that’s what I am looking for.
“Beach or Water”, acrylic on Gessobord panel 5×7″ unframed, is available by for $50 http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/andrea-jeris/relaxing-either-way/394477