First Encounter

First Encounter Beach

“First Encounter”, by Linda Beach, pastel, 12×18

During our time of social distancing and stay at home order I painted “First Encounter”. It was based on a reference photo of First Encounter Beach on Cape Cod. The light from the clouds created streaks of light across the exposed beach at low tide. The beach is believed to be the area of the first encounter of the Pilgrims and the Wompanoag Indians of Southeastern Massachusetts.

I began the painting by establishing the lines of perspective and blocking in the sky above the horizon line from the lightest values of blue.

Early stage of painting

Initial stage of painting

Painting notes:
I used a variety of pastel brands including Great American, Unison, Terry Ludwig, Sennelier, Rembrandt, and NuPastels as shown in the photo. The surface was UArt #400 sanded pastel paper.

selected pastels

Pastel palette

 

The Shape of Water

What beautiful September weather it was for the “Celebrate Our Waters” festival in Orleans, MA. Artists were invited to a day of plain air painting to showcase the natural resources and protect the waters of this area of Cape Cod. The Addison Gallery hosted an artists’ reception from 4 to 6 to display the fresh works created during the event.

Easel on beach

Plein Air at Rock Harbor, Orleans, MA

I set up my French easel near the marshes on the beach of Rock Harbor. The tide was low and the intersection of the shoreline and marsh grasses caught my attention. It was a challenge to capture the ever-changing scene before me as the water receded from the shore. But, what a delightful day it was with perfect temperature, a slight sea breeze, and the opportunity to capture some of the beauty of Cape Cod.

 

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A part of Celebrating Our Waters exhibit at Addison Gallery, Orleans, MA

After a day outside, it was relaxing to enjoy the company of artists, patrons, and environmentalists with a glass in hand and enjoy the ambiance of music and art on the final salute to summer on the Cape.

guitarist at Addison gallery

Artist Reception at Addison Gallery

 

Seaside Daisies

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My location on Cape Cod

How perfect on a summer day to paint daisies growing beside the sea! Before the rush of summer at the beach, I spent a few quiet hours on the bayside of Cape Cod capturing this scene.

Daisies have long been one of my favorite flowers.  There is something about their simplicity that speaks to me. In the language of flowers daisies symbolize innocence and purity.  In Norse mythology the daisy is Freya’s sacred flower. She is the goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. The daisy represents motherhood or new beginnings. It is appropriate that at the beginning of summer, I painted “Seaside Daisies”.

Seaside Daisies pastel

“Seaside Daisies”, pastel, 11×15

Daisies are a challenge to paint in such a way that they do not resemble the many flowers in crayon of our childhood. I tried to capture the clumps of flowers before me and the general sense of the scene. I will remember this peaceful and beautiful location as I stood at the edge of the changing sea. Before long, I heard the waves as the tide shifted from low to high and the daisies nodded in the breeze.

Technical Notes: Sennelier LaCarte pastel paper, Pastels by Terry Ludwig, Sennelier, Unison, Girault, and Conte pencils.

By the Sea

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Easel at Mayo Beach for After Hopper in Wellfleet, MA

The Paint Out for  Addison Art Gallery’s “After Hopper” in Wellfleet, MA was last Saturday. The event celebrates the artist Edward Hopper and continues the tradition of plein air painting iconic images of Cape Cod. I chose Mayo Beach and the oil house behind what was once the Mayo’s Beach Lighthouse on Kendrick Avenue. The pink and white beach roses which surround the simple painted brick outbuilding were in full bloom. Artists had the morning to paint and then deliver the finished work to the Wellfleet Public Library for an afternoon reception. This is often called a Quick Draw at other plein air paint outs.

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Thumbnail sketch for “By the Sea”

I planned my composition with a quick thumbnail sketch. With only a few hours to work from concept to completion, I thought the simple building that originally held the oil for the lighthouse would make for good painting that could feature the simple beauty of the Cape scene. The race against the clock is helpful to push me to capture the essence of the view and not get caught up in overworking a painting. I used the broken split rail fence that was surrounded by the roses as a directional element to draw the viewer into the focal point.

I finished the pastel, framed it, and delivered it to the Wellfleet library to be hung for the reception to be held from 4 to 6 pm.  Soon I was rewarded for my morning’s work, when a new collector chose “By the Sea” for a gift for his wife. I have memories of a beautiful day by the sea.

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“By the Sea”, pastel, 11×14, private collection

Last Caper

“Last Caper”, pastel, 18×12

My pastel, “Last Caper” has be accepted for the “For Pastels Only 2015” exhibit of the Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod. The show will be at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod in South Yarmouth, MA from June 17 to July 12. I was drawn to the lone sailboat marooned at low tide on the bayside of Cape Cod. The reflections of the mast were reflected in the shallow tidepools. To me the image coveys the quiet and peaceful places that are found on the Cape. I am thrilled that this is included in this prestigious pastel show. Artist, Marla Baggetta was the Juror of Seclection. Technical notes: I did an underpainting of watercolor on Uart #400 sanded paper that was mounted on archival board. Various brands of pastels used included NuPastel, Rembrandt, Girault, Unison, and Terry Ludwig. Fine details were added with pastel pencils.