I got a question recently from a young girl who was interested in painting the sea, and she wanted my advice. My gutteral response was to tell her to run, don’t walk in the direction of land, and never look back. But I had to play the intrepid all-knowing teacher and oblige her youthful naivete. I first told her to go and watch the ocean for a very long time. To take a sketch pad and try to sketch the waves, and finally to take many many pictures. I thought about this poor girl’s parents watching their child sit for hours staring at the sea in a state of detached contemplation, while they wondered if she was going postal on them. I even carried the thought process further as my vivid and neurotic imagination tends to do, and imagined them finding my email in her computer, and then the link to our not-so-humble blog (hey, they could have used the ol’ parental control system)
In otherwords, if you paint the sea, you have to be good at developing visual memory. Try the exercise of putting a still life in one room and painting in another room. Here’s another good one: set up shop in your bathroom, make something special to go in the toilet (you know what I mean), and then paint it as it flushes.
Gawd I hope that girl doesn’t read this.