Like the ocean? Like Hawaii? Like flowers? Why not combine all three in a series of Hawaiian Floral Seascape paintings!? I’ve been working on just this feat, recently and really enjoying the process. It allows for the play of some bold, complimentary colors and the challenge of arranging a pleasing composition. Here is a composite of four, recently completed panels (12×12 in. oil on deep cradled birch). I haven’t run out of flowers that are suitable for this series, yet, so there may be few more forthcoming!
On the Northwest side of the Hawaiian island of Kaho`olawe is Ahupu Bay, whose Western point is called Lae O Na Kohola, or Cape of Whales. There, the great leviathans return in yearly consort to make connections with one another. To win paternity. To begin Maternity. To give birth and protect the newborn. To establish lineage and once again venture Northward to the yearly feeding grounds, where they will fatten to return again and renew the cycle.
Here, I’ve depicted one of the majestic Kohola, or humpback whales, breaching in the fiery dawn of a typical Hawaiian sunrise. Here is a detail section from the larger painting:
This painting was achieved in one session, or “alla prima,” an artsy Italianate term for “at once.” It requires that the artist have a good idea of where they are going before they first lay brush to canvas. I toned the canvas with a mixture of transparent orange and burnt sienna the night before, which allowed it to dry and act as an underlying accent color. The overnight drying time ensured it would not smear and mix with the strokes of color placed on top. Most of the colors in the upper layer are transparent oil paints, as opposed to opaque tints, which allows for a certain depth and serendipitous atmosphere that can’t be achieved with the opaque pigments.
This painting is 24 x 24 inches and is framed in a complimentary black frame with matte and glossy accents.
Happy Easter, All!
I took the camera and telephoto lens out today and made a visual diary of my stroll along “La Jolla Coast Walk,” which is a short but scenic trail along the top of the cliffs above the La Jolla Caves. It was overcast, which is typical of La Jolla, early in the morning. The sun doesn’t come out there until about 11:00 am, or later, if at all. I was able to get some interesting shots, even in the diffuse light. They’re there if you have the patience to look for them.
Hint: Click on the first image, upper left, then use the navigation arrow in the viewer box to click through the slide show.
A plein air QuickDraw is an outdoor event where a group of painters, usually invited to the event by a jury selection process, all compete to produce the best painting (as opined by the event judge) in a limited amount of time…typically about two to three hours.
The above painting, Serendipity, was completed in two-and-a-half hours at the April 12, 2014 San Diego Botanic Gardens QuickDraw, which had 16 painters participating. Not all of the time was spent painting…much of it was spent talking with interested onlookers and patrons of the botanic gardens. There were three ribbons awarded, which included some cash prizes. No ribbon for Serendipity–but hey–what does a judge know about what is the best, eh? 😉
The important thing is to get a good result and judging by response from patrons and other artists at the event, this one was well received. I am honored that Serendipity was selected by jury for exhibition in the June 2014 Regional Artists Show at the Museum of the Living Artist at the San Diego Art Institute in the Prado at Balboa Park.
I also took some photos of the Botanic Gardens and put them in a gallery. You can have a look at them by clicking on the images, here:
Plein air QuickDraw at San Diego Botanic Gardens