December 17, 2009

Palm Shade
8" x 10" oil/panel

Up early this morning and out the door by 7:30 with a thermos of coffee and pastries from La Dulce Esperanza in hand. The commute to Playa Caracas wasn't too bad today -- passed one other car on the 10 minute drive. No one else at the beach, either, so no distractions. After my breakfast, I walked the familiar terrain to see what would catch my eye.

This morning it was shadows cast on the sand by the nearby coconut palms. My work was to render the contrast between sun and shade and to do it before the sun got too high. By ten a.m. my subject surrendered to the light; I packed up and submitted myself to the sea. A bit easier to get in the warm Caribbean than chilly Lake Michigan and the water is definitely "salted" here. (My favorite t-shirt slogan from this summer: "Lake Michigan -- Unsalted.") It's fine to swim up close to what I been painting in the distance.

I'm enjoying making these smaller paintings. Thick paint applied with a loose touch. A nothing-to-lose attitude that means not sweating the small stuff -- details I would have obsessed about a year ago -- a gentle approach. On good days like today, if I manage only the commute, the work seems to complete itself.

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