“Shell Ascending”

Shell Ascending-blog

“Shell Ascending”


Oil on Canvas

Tropical Storm Lee left this faded beauty on the beach for me.

Days of rain, strong winds and violent surf were followed by another several days of just the wind and high seas.

Left was a beach cleansed. No footprints or any other evidence of man. Just perfectly smooth white sand, a few treasures such as this broken shell I found, the Gulf and space.

I am partial to large, broken and faded shells. To me they often become analogies of women as I paint them.  The painting ”Shell Dancing” is one such piece.  “Shell Ascending” became another.

Walking around the beach at midday with this shell, I searched for the painting I would create. I placed it here and there on the sand. Next to the tracks left by birds and sand crabs, turning it this way and that and observing the shadow, all the while photographing her.

Then I lifted the shell to the sky and recognized Georgia O’Keefe’s series on dry, white bones against the deep blue of the sky. I took some more shots.

Then I lowered her to a point where the Gulf, the sand and the sky became her backdrop and my painting was found. I turned her, played with the shadow, studied the play of light and took many more shots in the process. I came home with over 50 photos.

As I painted this piece I began to see the influence of Magritte as well. On an early Facebook post a few people also mentioned Dali.

I do not mind the reference to the Masters. All creative people are influenced by the artists that have come before them. I would argue that in some of her paintings, O’Keefe shows the influence of Magritte.

Nevertheless, this piece is all mine. It is not only the beauty of the Coasts that I seek to express through the images, I want to express an inner life. Sometimes this inner life may be my own, sometimes it may be that of a collective consciousness.

Always I speak of an inner beauty and a peace that is accessible to all.


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