In­spi­ra­tion in the Soli­tude of the Quiet Sea­sons

Paul Batch ex­plains his process for paint­ing beach scenes in the win­ter­time

International Artist - - Contents -

Paul Batch ex­plains his process for paint­ing beach scenes in the win­ter­time

It’s De­cem­ber in Cape Cod. There’s plenty of park­ing, no lines for lunch, the beaches are bare. At this mo­ment, it’s just me and the At­lantic. I’ve lived all of my life in New Eng­land, a re­gion of abun­dant sub­jects that I whole heat­edly em­brace. The White Moun­tains of New Hamp­shire, the forests of Ver­mont, the coastal rocks in Maine made fa­mous by Winslow Homer, it’s all here. It’s all been painted be­fore by artists far more ac­com­plished than I. I am here now.

Like no other sub­ject the ex­pe­ri­ence of paint­ing at the ocean makes me feel heroic and at the same time in­cred­i­bly small. It’s this ex­pe­ri­ence that I’m try­ing to con­vey in this piece. In or­der to do so I’m go­ing to need some ref­er­ence ma­te­ri­als.

Oil Sketches

I al­ready had an idea of what I wanted to paint, stand­ing where the land meets the ocean, so I went and found a spot. To­day we are at Nauset Beach. When work­ing out­side I use tur­pen­tine, trans­par­ent red ox­ide,

ul­tra­ma­rine blue, ti­ta­nium white (added af­ter photo), a Robert Sim­mons No. 6 eg­bert bris­tle brush and a rag. I be­gin by us­ing red ox­ide and add blue to it as needed for where it needs to be darker; the lighter val­ues are wiped out with a rag or pa­per towel. I added white later in the ses­sion for the waves and to blue up the sky a bit.

Con­cept Sketch

I wanted an im­age that would con­vey how vast the ocean is and how far the sky goes. This is what I de­vel­oped. The moon added a point of in­ter­est and im­por­tantly adds an­other layer to the sky. Now we are look­ing out past our world.

Evening, Nauset Beach, oil on panel, 6 x 6" (15 x 15 cm)

Wave Sketch, oil on panel, 16 x 20" (41 x 51 cm)

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