This painting went through a few phases. It started with an underwater scene, which became very dark and uninviting. So then I added more sand and deep blue water to get a better bird's eye view of the transparent water on the shore, which has been a recurring theme for me lately. I love the challenge of getting things under the water to show up and still capture the feeling of movement in the water. Plus I love finding shells and sea glass at the beach.
I used the brush for most of the painting and then used a palette knife to build up some interesting textures in the waves and sand. I used gel medium for the thicker impasto areas, and then did a dry brush technique with white paint to enhance it.
I decided to add found objects after leaving it alone for a few days. (I wasn't sure if it was finished yet.) I set a few on and took them off. I didn't want to take away from the painting. But in the end the little girl in me showed up and dictated the outcome!
I finally adhered the seashells and the aquarium stones with gel medium. Something about that always makes me laugh. I feel like a kid while arranging them. I think it has something to do with breaking all the rules of fine art and making something more of a fine craft. I was never crafty, and I was taught that it devalues the painting when it looks more like a craft project. But I have found it to be a wonderful expression of art, and I feel comfortable with lowering my prices on the mixed media pieces. This is because they are smaller works for the most part, and they don't take as long to create compared to all the hours of adding tiny details to my realistic paintings.
10 x 10 x 1 1/2 inches
Mixed Media on cradled hardboard
(Painted sides, framing is optional.)