Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Beach Rocks

Diane Mannion, Beach Rocks, 6x6" oil, 100% sunny plein air

Story of an Abstract Impressionist

Painted this during yesterday's session in an hour or less while chatting with folks, leaning on the railing, and sipping coffee.  Painted fast, and maybe because I wasn't "worrying" it to death... I think it came out great!  In fact, I like it more than the Boardwalk View (see yesterday's post) which I spent two hours painting. 
 Here's Boardwalk View, 8x10" again, to compare.  It really is a nice painting but I like Beach Rocks better... even though John likes this one best. (sigh) "Because I can tell what it is," he said.

If you study the rocks on Venice beach, the tops are covered in viridian green and cad yellow algae, and yes... the water looks purple where the rocks are submerged.  Highlights are the color of the sky.  Water has more yellow ochre and transparent red earth closer to shore.  The surf is Indian yellow and white. 

Maybe, I like Beach Rocks more because of the, dare I say it, "abstract" qualities.  Abstraction shows in the pattern, the movement of light and design, the dramatic effect of values, and especially the play of color.  And these elements are all stronger in Beach Rocks than in Boardwalk View.  Yes, a realist, impressionist, plein air painter can also be an abstract artist.  It all ties together.  The important thing is whether or not you like a painting... and I like Beach Rocks a lot.  Although it was almost an accident... I think it's a watershed image in the development of my work.  So there!  It's fine to like your own work once in a while and yell... "BRAVO!"

Two thumbnails from yesterday's session:  The top one for Boardwalk View and the bottom for Beach Rocks.  At first I was attracted to a beach umbrella on the bottom right and also had a few figures standing near the rocks.  Obviously, I eliminated both in the final painting.  This is another great reason to do thumbnail sketches first... it helped me see what NOT to paint!


Brenda Ferguson said...

The colors you used in Beach Rocks are stunning. Had me going back to look again and again. Wonderful.
Happy painting!

Diane Mannion said...

Brenda, thank you! Your comment means a lot to me.