This is not a story with a happy ending; there’s a struggle for power, there’s man vs nature with highs and lows and in the end the guy doesn’t get the girl. This is the artist Sisyphus pushing the rock uphill. Sounds melodramatic ? It is. Painting is hard, painting rocks and water is harder.
I’m in Carmel for the art festival and wanted to do some studies of the coast so I go to Garapata where there’s plenty of both elements of water and earth. First is a quick sketch-in of the parts that don’t move and then a sketch of things that do. I’ve found that looking for and marking down key patterns that repeat is the way to go, as in the flow and shape of water and foam or the lines formed by the darks at the top of the waves. Where does the wave come in and how does the foam spread out or how does the spray fan out from the rock when it hits. These are the things we have to make note of.
The problem I ran into was not keeping it simple. I got so caught up in how things work I forgot to make a painting, I didn’t edit out the things that aren’t necessary, so this one got away but I guess that’s why they call them studies.