Sunday, January 11, 2009

Beach Storm

At Short Sand Beach
oil on masonite, 6x6 inches

Yes, two posts today!

That is because I am catching up on photographing some paintings I did in December. I am not even sure just when I painted this one. After one of the larger ones, because I remember looking at my palette and thinking that the leftover paint colors reminded me very much of a coast storm. So I pulled out one of the small gessoed panels I keep handy, and made this.

I used the paints just as they were on my palette, and could visualize the scene as if I were standing on the rocks overlooking my favorite Oregon beach as one of those dazzling winter storms made its way in, late in the afternoon when the strange pre-storm light creates sea colors not otherwise seen.

By the way, coast storm watching is considered a spectator event in Oregon, like a symphony. Whenever a good storm is forecast, the roads from inland are clogged with cars as people head for the coast. Headlands overlooking the ocean are crowded with people, who bring picnic lunches, bottles of wine or thermoses of tea or coffee, and shroud themselves in waterproof gear.

Local police shoo people from the lower ledges-- newcomers don't realize that the breakers can reach 60 feet or more up the steep, rocky coastline when they hit, driven by the almost hurricane force winds that are considered common place along the Oregon coast. (And yet, just a few miles inland, protected by the coast mountains that rise straight out of the ocean, all that happens is that a lot of rain falls.)