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

 

Waiting to Sail

“Waiting to Sail”, 12×18, pastel

 
“Waiting to Sail” is one of my recent pastels that just returned from the frame shop. It is a studio painting that I did this spring from a reference photo that was taken on Cape Cod a few summers ago. The scene was simplified since I thought there were more boats than were needed. I generally paint from top to bottom and left to right. However, this time I worked in more of a circular pattern. For some reason, the painting called for me to change my usual procedure. Here are a couple of process images:

Early Stage of “Waiting to Sail”


Mid Stage of “Waiting to Sail”

Technical notes: Painted on Uart #400 sanded paper mounted on archival board. The underpainting was done in a peach Rembrandt pastel which was then brushed down with water to give it some warmth. A variety of pastel brands was used in addition to Nu Pastel, Rembrandt, Unison, Terry Ludwig, Sennelier, and Conte pastel pencils. I have eliminated elements in a marine painting before. It presents some challenges when depicting the reflections. I think the vertical masts and post on the dock help the composition which also has a few horizontal elements. Also, the water has many bright reflections which challenge the common idea that water is always blue.

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.