Friday, June 29, 2012

Wave Series, Wave #2, April 3, 2012, 1:56 P.M.

I made a series of pastel wave paintings earlier in the 2000’s. However, those waves viewed at a distance, are more scenic, some bordering on panoramas of beach, sky, and waves. Instead this new series is based on my fascination with the complexity of breaking waves. Like snowflakes, the architecture of a splash is never repeated. I can sit on the beach mesmerized and lost in time as I watch waves break. Often I have to shake myself in order to lift the camera and begin to shoot. Then, I sit or stand in the water so as to be close to the breaking waves, and shoot hundreds of images. I guess I need a telephoto lens, so I don’t have to stand so close, and I’m saving my spare dollars for that purpose.

In this particular image, I was fascinated by the spiking splash. It looks like the internal workings of a lava lamp or like splashing hot wax. Of course, logic says that all liquids should behave in similar ways. Never the less, so far I don’t have other photos of breaking waves that echo the appearance of this one. The wave was a small one, on a very calm day, and I’ll have to wait for another such day, with almost flat-water, to find such a wave. That kind of day is unlikely in the wide-open north Atlantic, and probably won’t happen until I’m in a more protected beach location.

I’ve rubbed – for the first time in a few areas on the background wave because I couldn’t get the gradual gradations of value I wanted with mark-making techniques. Normally I don’t like to use the more traditional rub, smear and blend pastel techniques because these also dull the color, and I’m an intense color freak. The rest of the painting was created with direct marks made with broad or sharp edges of the pastels, often blending together to make new colors through repetition of marks. The result has a hyper-real appearance from the distance. However as one approaches the painting, the variations in mark-making become more and more apparent.

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