Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sea Sky Beach

This is a commissioned work, it's oil on 30x40" stretched canvas.

Britta and Gabe wanted a painting in their living room that captured the colors of their ocean view, plus big sky and sandy beach. To go with the clean line style of their living room decor, the painting needed to be simple, to the point and clutter free. Britta has an architecture background, and likes paintings by Ralston Crawford. With these parameters, I went back to my drawing board.

I looked up paintings by Ralston Crawford for ideas. Many of his paintings had a clear vanishing point, whether it be seen explicitly on canvas, implied on canvas, or implied off canvas. So I knew one of the elements I needed to have was to have some kind of vanishing point or clear perspective element. In addition, Britta had spent many of her childhood summers on Martha's Vineyard, where we visited every year as well. So this also gave me an idea: there's a long stretch of beach, called State Beach, running between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown. So I started to sketch out and did a few small prototypes.

One thing I realized in this horizontal arrangement was that with the ocean on the right and beach on left, the painting didn't feel too balanced. I added in a small stretch of road on the left in a bluish grey, trying to balance out the ocean on the right. The white strip on the road also echoed the white line suggestion of wave crashing onshore.

The few protypes I did included this one, beach with texture, sky with cloud, with house, trees, vertical arrangement... At the end we decided the simple horizontal arrangement was the best.

Similar to my prior commissioned works and painting sales, in lieu of paying me anything, Britta and Gabe made a charity contribution, in this instance, to the UNICEF. Thank you very much and enjoy your painting.

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