Tag Archives: dune

stick bushes on dune sketch and collage update

It was sunny and cool with a crisp wind from the North. Felt great to be out there and I got used to the wind. I was on the leeward side of a dune.

I can’t decide what scene to paint next. I have a couple sketches of good possibilities. Now I like this one for a painting. It looks easy. There’s a white building back there across the road but I didn’t think the sketch needed the building.

This is the background and gold fish for my collage. I used acrylics and my palette knife to scrape shades of blue. The fish are my mono prints that I cut out. Some are on wax paper which I used as a printing plate, some are on watercolor paper tinted blue, some are on blue craft paper and some are on green glitter craft foam. They’re not glued down yet. I might have too many fish. They were fun to make. I could save them for another project if I have too many.

The next step is to do some mono prints of kelp and cut them out. Then the hard part which will be a mermaid and I still didn’t get her drawn but I will. Then I have to try to arrange the pieces. and glue them down.

I like the ones on the glitter foam which shows little bits of sparkles.

oops. This pic is sideways. Well, just pretend it’s abstract flowers or something. Yeah, it’s not sideways fish, it’s a design.

I like the smears of color on the fish from doing the mono prints. Every fish is different.

Life’s not easy if you’re a pine tree on a sand dune. / oils

Trees are like people.

I spent roughly 20 hours on the dune next to this tree and I was only trying to capture it’s image but when I got home I kept thinking about the tree, like the tree was communicating with me by mental telepathy or something! nah, I’m kidding. This is what the tree would like to say.

The sand doesn’t have enough nutrients. The wind is trying to blow me down all the time. Someone called me scraggly and now I have a low self esteem. I won’t live as long as other pine trees or ever get tall.

And still, the scraggy little tree lifts it’s dead bleached arms to the sky like a person who suffered but doesn’t give up hope.

There’s something going on in the shadows and places where you can see the dune grass through spaces between branches. It’s heavily textured.

You can’t go down the dune through the grass filled with burrs and give the tree a hug. The tree is prickly too, not to mention that’s a steep drop off and you have to climb back out.

You want to remind the tree that it is on prime real estate with a better view than most pine trees have and its head is above dune level.

Plus, the tree has a lot of grace, like people who have lived through some bad stuff. Then when something else bad happens, those people don’t freak out in the next dangerous situation. Like the tree, they remember a worse storm. And people or trees that had it easy fall apart under stress.

windswept tree painting progress report

This is how far I got on it after 4 mornings of going out on the dune to paint and staying for 2 or 3 hours each time. It was sunny and not hot so, very enjoyable out there. My Gluteus Maximus had a workout 4 mornings in a row hauling my art supplies up the dune on the deep soft sandy path. The beach cart makes it possible but not easy. And I have a dark tan, which is really only a darker shade of red because I don’t tan well. It doesn’t feel sunburned. They’re calling for cloudy and rainy days all week. bummer, because I’m almost finished with the painting. I could finish it this week if the sun comes out. I hope they change the weather forecast. I guess there are plenty of things for me to do at home that I neglected lately because this painting took a lot of energy last week.

The tree is still only roughed in. I had to work on the background first. I considered finishing it at home but most of the time when I work on a painting at home, when I get back to the scene I don’t like what I painted at home.

windswept pine tree on sand dune / charcoal and chalk

It’s really nice out today. I knew where I wanted to go but not what I wanted to draw, so I took my 11 x 14 sketchbook. I walked on a sandy path over a dune to the beach. I usually bypass that path for the easier path. This tree is in between dunes. You can see the sky and bay behind it with shoreline. The dunes on this side are covered with pretty soft looking dune grasses but you can see sand too.

This might make a good subject for a palette knife painting because of the pine needle texture. I could use a larger canvas.

new dune sketch

Now that things are opening up and people are traveling more, let me invite any artist who would like a beach vacation to come here and draw and paint in plein air with me.

I’m not an organizer. You’d have to find your own hotel and food but I’d join you for meals or exploring too.

The plein air events are fun but expensive for a vacation. I’m not interested in making money off artists.

I don’t want to teach. I don’t care about your skill level or what medium you use or what style you fall into.

I’d start a group and not have any fee to join but that might not work since I don’t decide what I’m doing until after breakfast and checking the weather.

If you came to Virginia Beach and didn’t tell me, I’d be sad. If you want to come here, give me your email address in the comments and I’ll give you my number if you are serious about it.

I don’t need to tell you how the beach can help your stress go away.