The musings of a landscape painter, art teacher, and art history lover
Around a year ago, I embarked on a creative journey within the four walls of my school classroom. You see, I love keeping a work of art in progress at school – it not only allows me to showcase the evolution of my artistic process to my students but also serves as a wellspring of inspiration for their own budding creativity.
I set up a 20” X 16” linen-wrapped panel and began to paint. My muse? A photograph from my unforgettable vacation in Maui, Hawaii. The image I chose captures a magical moment from our excursion along the road to Hana. We had veered off the well-worn path, navigating our way to a hidden gem – a charming beach community tucked away from the world. There, we discovered a trail that led us to a secluded red sand beach.
As we traversed over rocks and roots, we found ourselves at a small cove where the ocean gracefully poured in. Sunlight streamed down, illuminating the crystal blue waters, while the enchanting sounds of the sparkling surf enveloped us. Perched on a rocky outcrop, we reveled in the serenity of the moment, capturing memories with our cameras and sharing stories before moving on.
Back home, I couldn't shake the idea of turning this cherished memory into a beautiful painting. The rocky inlet, bathed in sunlight, had left an indelible mark on my mind, and so, the creative odyssey began. However, as any artist knows, it's easier said than done. I labored on the painting for months, but it never quite reached the level of satisfaction I had in mind.
One day, as the school year came to a close, I decided to remove the painting from the easel and take it home. For a while, it sat in my studio, facing the wall like the impish child it was.
Then, one morning, I decided to give it another shot. I meticulously glazed over the areas that had been demanding too much attention, introduced cooler tones to the shadows, and channeled the frothy white surf to guide the viewer's eye towards the sun-kissed beach. After a few days of intense dedication, the painting finally came to life, and I let out a sigh of relief.
The finished piece beautifully encapsulates the tranquil moment Marla and I experienced when we stumbled upon that little Maui inlet on that unforgettable summer's day. I sincerely hope you find as much joy in it as I did.
Author: Bruce Black
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