Through the end of January and early February, I’ve been working on a large (for me) 70 cm square oil painting on canvas which I have titled Sunlit shore.
Sunlit shore is a semi-abstract oil painting based on studies and recollections of the seashore on Ross sands, near Lindisfarne on the Northumberland coast (due to travel restrictions, I am unable to work in my usual way for the moment).
So you will find this oil is more abstract than my usual style of painting in oils — which balances my seeing and visual experiences from life with abstraction and the creative process of painting.
With Sunlit shore, I’ve focused on communicating the wonderfully evocative sunlight and sense of movement you find over the seashore. I’ve used the speed and texture of brushstroke to express the light over the clouds and the shallow shore from the sandy beach. You can see the ever-changing movement and counter-movements of clouds through interrelated shapes. They overlap, morph and merge within a universal direction of brushstrokes over the space of the canvas.
You can see some lovely layering when you look at the painting close up, with beautifully rich textures created through the painting process. The painting is filled with lovely descriptive brush marks which flow over the surface. It has a wide variety of painting marks, some clear and defined, others hazy and atmospheric.
The colours you see in the painting are semi-abstract, with beautiful contrasts and harmonies. Yellow and a greeny, grey-blue mixtures (made from a mixture of powerful Pthalo blue and Permanent Alizarin crimson with Napthol red) combine. Pale violet and Naples yellow (non-lead based version) combine too. I’ve also used Deep ultramarine blue.
I’ve used a luscious, rich white oil paint which emulates traditional lead white (a heavy, creamy and textured paint). The white highlights are a rich Titanium white from Williamsburg paints. An orange underpainting from earth colours builds up the foundation of the artwork, which you can see in some parts of the canvas.
The high-quality bespoke canvas is made by hand from Harris and Moore. It offers sturdy hardwood stretchers and oozes quality. The only downside is that is rather heavy but it is certainly built to last and is a very sturdy support. As I have left the edges an unpainted primed white, it is possible to hang Sunlit shore as it is. Or it is ready to have framed and glazed whenever you choose.
As with all my oil paintings, the surface is left unvarnished, so there are no future complications with layers of varnish changing over time. As a side note, I’d advocate framing and glazing your original oil painting to offer the best protection against physical environmental damage.
Sunlit shore would make for a very elegant contemporary, modern addition to your space. A wonderful statement piece and a semi-abstract reminder of nature and the sea.
Published February 2021