South Australian Seascapes

South Australian Seascapes. Seascapes = sea and view, right? Not always!

Let me tell you another story from my new book.

“At sea level”

This image of shallow water and the flick of a heel is full of freshness and optimism. The water is clear, the heel is young and healthy. The look is summery. The movement is forward.
However, the story of this painting has two chapters.

Firstly, the water. The image of the water alone was pleasing to me. Somehow the colour harmonies were lively and interesting. I even used a snippet of it for my business card. But as a painting it seemed to be a plain statement of beauty. Which is ok, but not enough. It is too easy to fall into the ‘sweet and cloying’ trap with seascapes. Too much beauty sometimes.

I had taken many photographs of the shallows at our local beach but one morning I was lying on my stomach taking a series when a perfect leg approached. I acted nonchalantly as if I was avoiding the walker but CLICK – got him! It was actually a dull grey morning and the suntan was not as deep. But who says that can’t be fixed with paint?

Impossible to resist. Just what the painting needed. These ripples could be waves but the leg suggests the scale. I didn’t see his face so don’t know him. I am not sure whether he knows he has been immortalised in paint. One day he might recognise a freckle perhaps?

The crispness speaks of our bright Australian light. If I could bottle it I would. “At sea level” is one of my favourite paintings.