“Gold, Green, Gray” – 10″ x 13″
I have thing for rocks and water.
The area around Gloucester, Massachusetts is known as Cape Ann. The entire area is full of paintable scenes with endless variety of subject ocean and nautical subject matter. While I enjoy all of those things, at some point during my painting trips I end up on the “back shore” area, also know as Bass Rocks. It’s as rugged a coastline as there is.
I’ve done many watercolor paintings there, and even more watercolor and pencil sketches. The sketches serve me well when I’m not in Cape Ann, as they provide material and inspiration for studio works.
This painting resulted from the intersection of two different directions.
The first one is that I have been consciously trying to use up the colors on my studio palette – many of which are ones I’ve accumulated over the years, but hardly ever use. Being the thrifty one that I am, it is nearly impossible for me to throw away something, like paint, that is still useful and may have been pricey when I originally purchased it. So, I’ve been developing and painting compositions in the studio using limited combinations of rarely used colors.
Secondly, I have an exhibit going at the Spring Street Market & Cafe, in Williamstown, Massachusetts. One of the paintings in the exhibit – another painting of rocks and water – was headed for another exhibit and needed to be replaced.
So, I set out to do another rocks & water painting, while using some of the less or even, never, used paint from the palette. The sketch was done at least ten years ago. It is a simple scene and a simple composition, showing dark rocks and flowing white water from a just crashed wave.
The dark-light contrast but without obvious cast shadows suggested an overcast day with flat light. It seemed like a low-intensity color day. My paintings are often build around a triad of “primary” colors. In this case I selected three primaries colors that don’t get used much – Thalo Blue, Cadmium Red Light Hue, and Quinacridone Gold. The Cad Red and Quin Gold colors in fact won’t be replaced on the palette once they are gone. In addition to these, there are occasional additions of raw siena, burnt siena and ultramarine blue. So, six colors in total.
My objective was to include the dark-light composition and to it a sense of action and movement in the white water.