"Beached" - watercolor seascape by Vermont artist Tony Conner

“Beached”

In my post on May 6, I mentioned that my usual landscape subjects were not inspiring me and that the my usual solution to lack of inspiration is to work on something new.  At that time, I began working on a still life composed of wine bottles placed in front of my studio’s picture window.  At about the same time, I began teaching a new class at our local career development center. In preparing for the class, Creating Watercolor Paintings from Your Photos , I was searching through my own stock of reference photos for something to use as an example. The photo below caught my eye. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Boat The photo was taken at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, in Vergennes, VT some years ago.  The subject boat was up on blocks as a static display – its days on the water were probably over.  The simple shape of the boat and simplicity of the working rigging was appealing to me, although I wanted the boat to be in a different setting.  I don’t often paint from photos but prefer to use them as reference.  In this case, the essential shape and character of the boat were lifted from the photo and placed on a beach. Many of my seascapes feature cerulean blue, especially mixed with cadmium red to create soft, strong, granular grays.  Cerulean appears in the sky, water, shadows and even on the red hull of the boat.  I have an affinity for the bright overcast that is often the condition at the coast.  I’ve included that sort of condition in this work and find that the cerulean/cad red combination can help create a convincing representation.