Saturday, September 10th, 2016

Capturing the idea

The best ideas for paintings come from quick glimpses of things, scenes, or thing, that make you look twice. On a recent bike ride through secluded beach roads in Dennisport, Ma, along the Nantucket Sound, I came across an old beach house where someone had hung a blue beach towel on a simple clothesline. I took a quick photo with my phone of the scene.


There was a lot of “stuff” in that shot, things that didn’t matter, but what did was the bright blue towel, sunlit against the weathered cedar shakes of the old cottage, the simple clothesline poles and the Sound in the background (though obscured by a building I wish wasn’t actually there).

To capture the idea, I did a quick sketch with a Sharpie on the back of an envelope, then quickly blocked in the piece to define the composition. If you focus in on the thing that first captured your attention–that made that initial visual impression–and leave everything else out, you get (im my experience), more story in the finished piece.

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