A Blog About Oil Painting

Experimenting With Artistic Ideas

/ / Seascape Sketch Study

 Storming sea (working title). 8x10, oil on linen panel. 2017

A couple of weeks ago I listened to an interview with Kirstine Reiner Hansen on the Savvy Painter podcast. She talked about the need for all artists to set aside time to create things just for themselves, that is, to do work that is not intended to be seen by others. The idea is to give oneself the space to be able to develop and refine changes in style without the risk of public failure.

This message resonated with me, so much so that I immediately decided to get to work on some ideas of my own—I had been wanting to take on more seascapes with an abstract approach. Kirstine's interview gave me all the impetus I needed to get started.


When I'm at any stage of a painting I'm always experimenting, trying out different things to see what works best. But there's a tendency to reject extreme things when I'm working, because, like most people, I want to create as many successful paintings as possible for the effort that I expend. The downside it that doing so tends to limit the range of my output.

Setting aside some time to experiment and "play" is different from that. It's a chance to be unshackled from expectations and unwanted opinions. And I think it's the only way to start to break out of self-imposed constraints.

In this study I tried to create a seascape with as little attention to specific detail as I could get away with.

But in the end I only managed to take a solitary step on the journey of learning to paint the ocean. No big breakthrough today. I've still got a long way to go.


Detail of the above painting

I realize that it's often not easy to see the textures in my paint on these blog images so this close-up gives a better idea of the way the paint is applied. Working on a small 8x10 panel made this rather difficult to pull off. I expect that this would work better on a larger size canvas.



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