Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Small Works / Color Studies – Mexico

I must admit that I am not much of a morning person, my wife Linda finds it so funny that when we are in Mexico, I get up early and go to the beach for every sunrise. I am drawn to those amazing skies at dawn on the Caribbean Sea.  In Cancún, on the Yucatán Peninsula bordering the Caribbean Sea, you find some of the best beaches in the world and endless stunning sunrises for inspiration.

And I know I have probably said this a million times, but the color of the water here is hypnotic, just pure natural beauty. It was a great trip, and we had some of the best snorkeling adventures this year. Also, we got a chance to do a little island hopping along the Yucatan coast to explore Isla Contoy (National Park) and Isla Mujeres (Isle of Women). But mostly we spent two long weeks enjoying the beautiful beach.

I did a bit of sketching. And this year I took along a little compact pochade box to do oil studies in, which turned out to be just a perfect beach kit. My goal was to capture the color, value, atmosphere, of this unique location. So here are a few of the sketches from Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico.


Such beautiful sunrises in Cancun. I got up early enough to catch several, I am drawn to those amazing skies at dawn on the Caribbean Sea with the sun exploding up over the morning clouds.

Cancun Sunrise, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett © jimserrettstudio

I love the watching the colors change at sunrise on the beach. 
Small sketches and studies are great exercises and I learn so much from them.

Caribbean Morning, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett ©

Early morning light with a storm on the horizon. The energy of a wave is hard to capture. You must look for the simple elements such as design, shapes, values, color and edges. You could do hundreds of studies and none would look the same.

Yucatan Sunrise, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett ©

Straight out from this lifeguard tower we were able to walk over 100 yards in waist deep turquoise water. And let the rolling waves wash over us.

Lifeguard Tower Mexico, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett ©

Watching clouds build up on the horizon. The sea along the Yucatan Peninsula is one of the most beautiful in the world, just amazing. I could paint it forever, exploring and studying the colors, all the deep violets and endless cerulean blues. Chillax :)

Cloud Study on the Yucatan Peninsula, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett ©

There is no image of Cancun as iconic as Palapas on the white sand against the cerulean blue sea with clouds bellowing overhead. Probably because of the memories it conjures and the story it can tell.

Caribbean Palapas, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett ©

Kinich Ahau (K'inich Ajaw) was the Sun God of the Mayans and was believed to turn into a jaguar as he went through the underworld (Xibalbá) each night. You can almost see him in the sun battling the dark clouds.

Mayan Sun, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett © jimserrettstudio

Every morning is different on the Caribbean Sea, the light is never the same.
It is in flux, shifting atmospheric conditions—light flickering on water, moving clouds, a burst of rain. You can get lost in the moment painting the appearance of quickly changing light.

Beach Morning, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett ©

Painting surf is like trying to hit a moving target. It’s a fascinating exercise to get better at painting all types of subjects on location. But its also just so much fun.

Caribbean Surf, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett ©

I love the deep blue of the vaulting sky, watching clouds float and dance.
An oil study looking down the beach from the Royal Islander Resort towards Punta Nizuc in Cancun, Mexico.
Dos cervezas más, por favor señor

Looking Towards Punta Nizuc, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett ©

When I sit in front of the Caribbean Sea and try to match the colors with little piles of paint, shifting around the hue, value and chroma. My goal is to make as close as I can, the color I see -- that blue, blue-green or blue-violet –  and then realize how beautiful, sublime and imaginative nature is.

Colors of the Caribbean Sea, oil on panel, 5 x 7 inches, Jim Serrett ©

Sketches from the Caribbean Sea are available through my online store. 
These oil paintings are framed. If interested follow this link

Serrett Studio Etsy Store -

Getting up early to paint the Caribbean sunrise. Chillax

Explore - Question - Learn - - Enjoy, Jim 

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Landscape Blog - Pochade Box Paintings

Sunday, January 6, 2019

It’s My 10 Year Blogiversary!

Wow. This blog is ten years, 4 months old now. Wow, time flies when you are having fun.

Just seems like yesterday I was learning basic programming and language to create a blog. Today there are templates that make creating a blog very simple. That happened through the creativity and commitment of many bloggers to this platform over the years. To them we owe a great a debt of gratitude.

Through this blog I found an amazing community of artist who were willing to share their knowledge, insights and passion about art. This anniversary is not really about my blog, but the network and community around it.

Through you I have gained in ways I cannot articulate, I am because of this blog and community a better artist and person. And if you’re reading this, you’re one of the reasons it exists. Thank you for letting me share my passion with you. Here’s to another ten years!

Thank you.

Explore - Question - Learn - Enjoy, Jim

Website - 
Studio Blog - 
Landscape Blog - Pochade Box Paintings

Blogiversary / Bloggaversary / Blogaversary

#blogiversary - The yearly anniversary of someone’s web-log (blog)