Breaking point

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Does everything have a breaking point?

I think materials do – think plastic fatigue or snapping brush handles.

And people…but that’s way off today’s topic. Or is it?

In business there is a “tipping point” at which things are about to go gang-busters. And that’s a positive.

Breaking waves

With waves there is a point of tipping and breaking. The hydro-dynamics of it is outside my realm but it seems that the wall of water crashes when it reaches a critical point. The profile of the seabed has something to do with the shape of the waves near the shore too and that alters when and how they break. (I have been up close and personal with a surfer in times gone by).

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“Winter wave” 25x30cm, acrylic on linen panel

Looking at my paintings I can see that this breaking point has fascinated me for a while.

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“Building swell” 45x60cm, acrylic on canvas

In its evolution, this next painting almost broke me! For a start it is unusually large for me – 100x100cm – and was difficult to carry up or down stairs and all but impossible to fit in the car.

Secondly, “Breaking point” has been on and off the easel for about 5 years. It has had at least two titles. And lots of unofficial unprintable ones.

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“April Surge” in 2016

This painting has had many hours of work poured into it and it has almost been finished a few times. Between those intervals this painting has literally hung around the house and reminded me of my struggle.

It began as a brutish storm painting. Its subject matter was stirred and sandy water with ochres and early on, some seaweed purples.

Those colours changed and then returned again. They were heightened or muted, but somehow I just didn’t like it! Simple as that.

Benefits of travel

After our return this week from a long trip I had a clear vision for this painting. The adrenaline of returning home triumphed over the fatigue and bingo! Off the wall, onto the easel…

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phone camera blues

…and 5 years’ work was over in a day (and 5 years). “April surge” became “Breaking point”.

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“Breaking point” 100x100cm, acrylic on canvas

Beauty overtook brutalism much to my relief and I emerged Unbroken!

“Breaking point” will be hanging at Cafe Lune as part of my show of wave paintings for SALA 2017.

We open on August 23rd at 81 Jetty Road Brighton, South Australia. Come along and celebrate with me.

PS: I will be “In session” on 23rd, 24th, 26th and 30th August from 2-4pm.

The month of March – Shallows

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March – Shallows

Time for another wave painting! This time it is “Shallows”, another one inspired by walks on Brighton Jetty on stormy days.

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On the calendar, the image is a detail of “Shallows”. As you can see below, the painting takes in a long stretch of shoreline. That is part of the excitement of being on the jetty. The high vantage point is so different from the swimmer’s view.

From 5 metres up the whole effect is mesmerising. It is easy to see abstract qualities in all the movement. How I wish the breaking waves were not so fleeting! My compromise is to work in the studio from photographs, with memory adding to the inspiration.

It is a perfect project for a day that is too hot or too rainy for outdoor painting!

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Isn’t it great to have choices?

Smaller wave works – paintings, past and present

Smaller wave works

Smaller wave works do exist! And are featured in this post, especially for some inquisitive fans. Some are more serene than others as you can see by comparing these two.

Playing in the shallows (20x25cm) FRAMED Was $275, Now $235


Cascading wave (30x30cm) FRAMED Was $370 Now $325

Larger wave paintings give great scope for big brushwork and energetic approaches. The smaller works give impressions of energy too, despite being limited in size and bound in frames.

In preparation for the Open Studio weekend at the end of November, I am assembling wave paintings, finishing what’s on the easel and putting a little show together. It is fun to work to a theme and see how paintings co-exist. Over the past few years I have painted along several leads, but my two main joys remain waves (studio) and outdoor landscapes.

Smaller wave works – past

This post is also a chance to peek at three earlier small wave paintings which went to happy homes in Sydney last year. Not available for the exhibition of course, but for inspiration! These ferry paintings remind me of the times I have enjoyed gazing at wakes and wash on boat trips.

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“Port” and “Starboard” (sold)

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“In the wave’s wake” (sold)

Water and waves – definitely a moving target. More soon!


Making waves for you, in paint. Special feature

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Playing in the shallows.

Making waves

My old friends will remember “Making Waves” as the name of my first newsletter. It felt like a good name for painting news at the time as much of my work was focused on Waves, Wash and Wake.
Well here we are again with the same rich source of imagery – water in its elemental state.

At the moment I am running a terrific offer on Wave Paintings.

Most of them are medium to large in size – up to 1 or 1.5 metres for their largest dimension and unframed.  A few are small – 20x25cm and are framed..

Special offer!

Until 25th November they will all be 15% off their normal price. From that time the prices will revert to normal again online.

If you can visit my Open Studio planned for 26th-27th November you will still be able to pick up a bargain in person!

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Bouncing bow wave

A wave painting makes a spectacular single feature on your wall. It can bring hours of enjoyment through its mysteries, the surface and the depths.

And great value at the moment at 15% off. They may never be available at these prices again!  WAVE PAINTINGS HERE