Being creative with a familiar subject.
I’ve already painted a few scenes around the edge of that same pier. My brushes are very familiar with the subject. But for this painting, I decided I’d try something new.
First of all, this is sort of a palimpsest: A painting over another painting. The old one was from my very first show, and I didn’t like it so much. I covered it all with a gesso coat but didn’t do a color undercoat this time. I felt this milky glazing over a blue seascape could make an interesting background for some parts of the new composition. Ant it did!
Playing with the values
The lightest value zones in the foreground, where we can se the dry part of the pier, are left not painted. And if you observe carefully, you will recognize in transparency the silhouette of clouds from the previous painting.
Then I chose to paint all the darkest values in a flashing red in order to create interesting vibrations when it would be covered with green. I also thought it might be interesting to let some of those red volutes visible, on the milky gesso coat. That’s how this upper right corner came up where the sea undulations become something a bit abstract, with shapes of a surprising design.
Finally, I like painting suntanned skin so much, I couldn’t resist to go the extra mile there and work on those arms and shoulders until it would look just perfect for me. And there it is !!
Enjoying the result
I enjoyed the journey because it was a continuous experimentation until the end. And I like to watch it on my wall now. It’s a very different visual thing. I’m not just lost in the memories of amazing mornings on my favorite beach in Amorgos, I can also wander in these abstract red shapes top right, then let my imagination follow the red shimmerings that managed to fall through the cracks of the final green water painting. Don’t get bored of it.