Sunday, April 4, 2010

Yet more stuff about surf and still no end in sight because I need to do demo posts and somebody did ask for this, I remember.

Above is a wave in the next stage, it has broken along its entire front and is now spent. The whole boiling mass of foam has been displayed and the wave begins to collapse, or better for or artistic purposes, it runs into a rock or headland. When that happens the foam explodes upwards often with a loud bass roar and spray shooting skyward. I call it, the giant puffball. Below is one of those. It too has its own distinctive anatomy. Lets explore that a little.

The spray in the giant puffball has form like anything else. Part of it is in the light and part is not, it also has within it variations caused by some parts of it catching the light and other parts in the shade, These are often relieved against one another like above. This also gives a look of volume. The spray rebounds from the rocks and its top is often carried away by the wind.

This is front lit and that gives definition to the various clumps or ropey shapes in the burst. Portraying this is always a game of sort edges and slightly harder accents. Below is my late friend Charles Vickery. Vickery used to come into my tiny gallery and sit at my easel. He would do little demo paintings for me. He didn't much explain it as he did it though. I took a workshop with him in the mid eighties. He explained a lot then. I wish I could find my notes from that. I know I have them somewhere.

He did seascapes every day for many , many years and got REALLY good at it. I am proud to have known him. This image is from a dealer who handles his work


barbara b. land of boz said...

The Vickery painting is like none I have ever seen before. It must have been inspiring to have not only known him, but to have had him as your friend.

Yes, We ALL ask for seascape posts. You are changing this world
as I thought I saw it.

Keep on keeping on Stapleton!!

billspaintingmn said...

Wow! I can hear it, I can feel it,
I can see it move!
The action in this is great!
By posting everyday Stape, your blog has become all the charm of that painting,and more!
Seascapes, trees, snow, shadows, I
marvel at all this!

Unknown said...

wow....... as I sit here nibbling from the granddaughter's easter basket (don't tell) I am wowed by that painting. And, the description of the wave action is really informative. I am Stapified.
You're a great teacher... thanks.

willek said...

I wonder a lot about the extent of drama to use in seascapes. Overdoing the great explosion of spray can may a picture "corny". If it is to be very dramatic, I think it has to be wonderfully accomplished, or it fails. Do you ever think about this?

Tim Fitzgerald said...

I cant figure out how you can find the time to do everything and still write your Blog. I believe everyone who reads your post's appreciates all your efforts. We all must let you know from time to time how we rely on your help.
Thanks Tim Fitz

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Philip Koch said...


Many of us appreciate the time and thought that goes into this blog.

Though few know it, Stapleton's new house cats have proved adepts students and now spend several intense hours each day helping out in the studio stretching canvas, cleaning brushes and the like. Stapleton hopes to engage them in the future with at least roughing in backgrounds and skies for him.


Your question is a good one- waves are so dramatic a subject that there is a danger of overdoing it with seascapes. There has to be a balance between the drama and quieter passages. I think Winslow Homer was especially good at this.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thank you. I am RELENTLESS, here I go again Number 465 coming up!

Stapleton Kearns said...

Thanks, tonight backwash!

Stapleton Kearns said...

Stay out of that Easter basket!@ Haven't we spoken about that before?

Stapleton Kearns said...

My seascapes always are less exciting and dynamic than I would like them to be. I will work on that.

Stapleton Kearns said...

I set aside several hours every evening for writing. It is a discipline. I am good at that.

Stapleton Kearns said...

It freaks people out when the cats answer the phone.

Rae O'Shea said...

My cats also answer the phone but they forget to hang it up again! I just saw the most amazing wild sea in Monterey and it killed me that my paints were already packed to come home. Also saw Movalli paintings in a gallery in Carmel!Love the seascape posts!

Manatee Writers said...

All this information if so helpful, you're in my head now. I was in Gloucester and Rockport on Saturday. While taking pictures of the water, I suddently said...oh no beaks, no beaks and changed the way I was photographing.

Thanks so much for all this need to put it all in a book.