As I was working on this big canvas, I got to thinking about some of the beaches I used to visit in the late 1960's as a teenager growing up in Miami.
One of them was Matheson Hammock Park. A man-made atoll on the Biscayne Bay, near my hometown of Coral Gables. It was built in the early 1930's, a part of President Roosevelt's Civilian Conservation Corp that helped put unemployed men to work during the depression.
Back in the day, it was a beautiful place to spend a day at the beach. I hear it's not quite as nice now, which is too bad, but I'm painting it as if it's still in it's heyday.
The only photo I have of me as a baby, was taken at Matheson Hammock Park. I'm in the water, being held by my mom. I've always been fascinated by that photo, probably because it's my only baby pic and because my mom looks so happy. All heck broke loose in my family a few years later, and I pretty much rarely saw my mom happy again. Heck, I rarely saw my mom at all.
Reminiscence emotions got a hold of me and I decided to change the random location of my original beach painting, to this beach at Matheson Hammock Park.
I love it when I have an emotional connection to a painting I'm working on. It takes the painting experience up a notch.
This change of location meant I had to add the sea wall/sandbar and a few palm trees and I had to make the water calm. It's almost like a tidal pool at this beach. The water softly meets the sand, so the big waves I had started in my original layout had to go bye-bye.
Before I added the sandbar and trees to the canvas, I used a technique I learned from artist Robert Vickrey. He painted with egg tempera. When he wanted to add an element to one of his paintings, (such as a hat on a child) he would often place a piece of clear acetate on his (dry) canvas, painting the idea on the acetate first, to see if he liked it. He could move the acetate around, helping him with placement, perspective and such, before he actually painted the new element directly on his canvas.
He, of course, did not use the acetate on wet paint. So, if you use this idea, let whatever medium you are using dry first. Because I use acrylic paint, which we all know, dries in a nano second, I usually don't have to wait long if I want to use the acetate.
3M Transparency Write-On Film. Sold in a box of 100 sheets (8.5x10.5) for about $22. Another neat thing about these sheets is they will static cling to the canvas. Just rub the sheet around on something to activate the cling. No tape needed.
Here are my trees, sketched on an acetate sheet to see if I liked the idea or not. I put the sandbar where one of the original waves was. You can see the lights in my studio shining on the acetate sheet.
The reference photo for my original beach/umbrella idea is one I created by mashing several photos together with photoshop.
Brian's latest battle with lymphoma has kept me out of the studio quite a bit, so my painting updates will be sporadic for a while.
I can't wait to find a chunk of studio time again soon as I'm really having fun with this painting.
Thanks for visiting!