February 8, 2014

Surf's Up!

Surf's Up - oil on panel 9X12"

I am enjoying my third week in Santa Barbara, California.  I am down here  to visit my dear cousin Leslie,
and to paint the amazing landscape.  I have taught two workshops for the Santa Barbara Art Association while I am here, and had the privilege of meeting some wonderful new painting friends, and also  reunited with some old ones.

My first winter here  (this is my fourth consecutive January visit)  marked my first attempt to paint the moving ocean en plein air. With each attempt I find myself a little more effecient at it but yikes - ya talk about a moving target!  Not only is every wave different in shape and size, but wave sets vary continuously, the tide changes quickly and  fog banks roll in and out.  But hey,  one wouldn't want to get bored!  This day the surf was very high, and the beach loaded with eager surfers seeking the perfect wave.   Great aerial perspectve plus  non-stop entertainment.  

Another challenge in this particular piece was rendering the many neutrals present in the ocean.  Each wave curled with a different value and  color temperature.  It was a very good lesson - as each outdoor painting is.

Over the next several posts, I'll show you some more paintings from my time here is sunny California....and to  all my Canadian friends, stay warm!


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