Catching a Wave

Time to devote to your craft is a beautiful thing. As a newly commissioned artist I took my camera down to the beach. I took pictures from every angle I could get. I sat, I watched, and I pondered the light’s interaction with the water. Back at home I watched videos of waves, cresting, rolling, breaking. I studied, then I painted. I was trying to replicate, on canvas, the visual phenomenon of watching the sun pass through moving water.

This painting was the largest I’d ever attempted, a 36”x48” canvas. Previously I usually only worked with canvases around 8”x10 to 18”x20”. My easel wasn’t big enough to hold something that large. I laid it down on my kitchen floor and painted cross-legged there. Layer after careful layer I painted. I started using washes over top of intricate white underpainting to create the glow of sunlight filtering through. Every little prism of water and sun had to be accounted for. It’s amazing what acrylics will do for you when you coax them. There on that floor my personal style was born.

After that, looking back at my work, I can see the skills I developed living and growing amongst every piece of art that goes out to the world. That project paid my bills for a month. While working on that commission I gained skills and style that were all mine, unique to me. Suddenly, I was a REAL artist. I had caught the wave, both on the canvas and in life.


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