Wednesday, 28 July 2010

THe Crashing Waves

The Crashing Waves

Yesterday I received an email from a fellow artist who had found my website. She wanted me to help her with something she was trying to achieve in her art. She felt that I had managed to achieve what she was looking for. I asked her to point me in the direction of the paintings she was talking about. She identified the three she felt had what she was looking for. I said I would look at them again and do my best.

The three paintings. “Along the shore Triptych,” “Crashing Waves” and “The Race.” Now I do not wish to disappoint her but I have to be honest. Along the Shore was done as a commission for an local recreation centre. The Crashing Waves I was not happy with and painted over. The Race is still hanging in one of my Inns unsold. Maybe she needs to think again about what I am doing.

Anyway, as promised I will attempt to answer her question here. I decided to use the one I have now painted over on my other blog. In that blog I was talking about how we strive to open the world to others as we see it. This is just what I was trying to do in this painting, to share the glory of crashing waves and the emotion they can stir up. How they can convey the inner turmoil’s and the calms of our lives. This painting I felt would not sell because of the disturbing feeling it conveys. The waves go one way the clouds the other, creating conflict.

What I was asked was how I created the wave colours. I never mix paint on a palette always on the surface. To create the translucent effect of the waves I lay down layers of white and cadmium yellow and mix it at random where I want the light green effect to appear. While still wet I add cerulean blue and a touch of cobalt blue and again quickly and gently mix them. As I am doing this I am constantly on the look out for my happy accidents. The minute I see a bit I like I leave it and move on.

I paint using acrylic paint so this method of working works well for me.

Maybe I was wrong about this painting. Others have spoken to me about it. Maybe I should be thinking again about painting some more crashing waves and having another attempt at portraying what I was trying to that day.

I hope this is a help to the person who emailed me.

PS. Ruby reminded me in her comment below that this painting was painted using my fingers. I often use my fingers when blending colours it gives me much more control over what I am doing.

This Blog is linked to my other: The Hospital Window


  1. Hi Ralph,
    "The Hospital Window" was a touching read.And no wonder some one asked about how you created this fabulous piece, because it as incredibly beautiful.I also liked your honest expression about it. But finally it matters to perception of the viewer however hard we might have worked to portray something we want to convey.It is not a failure on our part,perceptions differ from person to person.Here the ocean color has fine tuned hues of blue n green, so harmonious,it makes me think that it is a release of passion, love and compassion from deep within. I am talking about the positive inner turmoil and so this is a winner!
    Thanks for liking my mountain might:-)

  2. So dynamic and full of life! What a wonderful painting.
    And yes the conflict is there; that is what captures and holds my interest!
    Do paint some more crashing waves; pity you painted over this one.
    You didn't tell you reader you paint with your fingers!

  3. The colours are beautiful ! .... To me, the waves seem to be crashing into each other from opposite directions.
    Could this be the inner movement when we go against ourselves.... logical mind against the heart.

  4. Art speaks to each of us individually Ralph, whether we've painted it ourselves or are looking at it as a viewer and art appreciator! While we may be thinking one way as we paint it, someone else sees something totally different in a piece. For me, this beautiful piece speaks of the magnificence and might of God, the tempestuousness of the seas...

  5. Hello Ralph,

    Thank you for visiting my blog and for your kind comment. I've enjoyed browsing your art blog. I'm impressed with your paintings... the fresh, clean color, the choice of colors used and your style of painting.

    I wish I could paint oils and acrylics like that ;-)