Monday, June 10, 2013

"Sunny Marina" (oil on stretched canvas; 12" x 16")

"Sunny Marina" getting block in, next to the reference photo

A couple of weeks ago, two friends and I went to the Washington Sailing Marina on Daingerfield Island in Alexandria, VA. Believe it or not, it is right next to the Washington National Airport.  It can be noisy there and the weather forecast was HOT. But one doesn't hear anything when absorbed in painting boats.  It was actually quite nice in the breeze too.

A small plein air painting I did on that day turned out so so.  Although there were good things about it, I scraped it instead of sweating out to make it work.  Why not a fresh start?  Why torment myself and the world with a mediocre painting?

"Sunny Marina" is a bigger and more complicated painting than the destroyed painting.  I give a standing ovation to the artists who can paint good boat paintings on location.  Boats have got to be the hardest subject to paint--as hard as portraits. Even with the optimal studio painting conditions, it was taxing to paint the boats all stacked together, like sardines in a can!  By the way, I made one important change from the reference photo.  Can you tell what it is?


  1. I think it is the addition of the orange on the left hand side.
    This is a terrific picture. I studied water and boats this weekend. So much going on that an editing brain is a necessity .

  2. There is that. But the biggest change was the brown-to-red boat on the right bottom. Do you mean to say that you enjoyed yourself by the water this weekend? LOL.

  3. I just logged in to guess the red boat but the cat's out of the bag already :-)
    You are right....SO much information to capture!

  4. Yes, it gives me headache. That's why I am not painting boats everyday! Thanks, Mary.