Saturday, March 29, 2014

No Expectations.....Wind, Water, Waves and more Caribbean Seascapes

The crash of waves is just a symphony of sounds and images, I knew I wanted to paint something that reminds me of the experience and retells that serene moment. How I would approach the idea weeks later sitting in my studio in the middle of a Midwest winter was to rely heavily on my sketches from the beach and my visual memory. This work was the combination of watercolor sketches, drawings and imagination. So it became a blend of observation and interpretation. It is such a beautiful beach, I hope my memory does it justice. 

This sketch was painted on the beach in Cancun Mexico. This was a tough sketch to do on location because of the intense sunlight. I knew I would struggle with values, even when squinted down it was hard to separate values. Plus I think there was a bit of sensory overload. I just need to keep in mind that painting on location is much more about learning to see than it is about producing a finished image.

The goal is to take the information that nature presents in front of me and express my reactions and feelings about that subject. Which is something a camera cannot do and by staring at a monitor in a studio, you will never experience. When painting on location you have to, at some point trust the process rather than focus on the end result and just let go of expectations. It is also important for you to enjoy the process, in this environment I could have happily spent hours just mixing different shades of blue, learning new colors, discovering new paint mixes on my palette and having the time of my life doing it. There is no better way to hone ones skills.

Wind, Water, Wave, Oil on panel, 9 x 12 in. © Jim Serrett
Cancun Beach, oil on panel, 9 x 12 in. © Jim Serrett

"No Expectations"   Mick Jagger / Keith Richards

Take me to the station
And put me on a train
I've got no expectations
To pass through here again
Once I was a rich man
Now I am so poor
But never in my sweet short life
Have I felt like this before
Your heart is like a diamond
You throw your pearls at swine
And as I watch you leaving me
You pack my peace of mind
Our love was like the water
That splashes on a stone
Our love is like our music
Its here, and then its gone
So take me to the airport
And put me on a plane
I got no expectations
To pass through here again

The Rolling Stones
Mick Jagger — vocals
Ronnie Woods — slide guitar
Keith Richards — acoustic guitar
Bill Wyman — bass guitar
Charlie Watts — claves
Nicky Hopkins — piano

Explore - Question - Learn - - Enjoy, Jim

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Winter Landscapes

I like the small format for studies because they force you to paint with an economy and looseness to your brush strokes. Going for simple notes of atmosphere and light, pushing the abstract forms with descriptive marks and brushwork. What I hope to gain is an honest response to nature.

Snow is a beautiful and challenging subject, winter has a color all of its own, the soft grays and shadow colors are very subtle. I can understand why some artist have dedicated so much time to them as a subject, they are a genre all of their own.

Levee Road, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches (12.7 cm x 17.8 cm) 

Lob-lolly Pines in Snow, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches (12.7 cm x 17.8 cm) 

Twisted Sisters, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches (12.7 cm x 17.8 cm) 

December on Cedar Lake, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches (12.7 cm x 17.8 cm)

Explore - Question - Learn - - Enjoy, Jim