When I first planned this series of paintings back in January, it was in order to drill down and challenge myself to sticking with a theme. In this case, Intimate Spaces – Beach Series, was meant to depict how people seem to stake out their territories at the beach, and then to presume that they are invisible to the outside world. They aren’t, of course. The Artist’s eye is one of observation, especially of the human animal, and how we go about our lives in public spaces.
There are sixteen paintings planned in this series. I planned each one back in January, including doing preliminary drawings, NOTAN studies, and approximate sizes. Some are fun or humorous, some relay my quirky sense of humor in observation, but some are more serious.
I am painting each work in the order that I’ve planned them. However, as I drew closer to working on the painting Exodus, it seemed as if my thoughts turned to more serious matters. That is due in part to the turmoil that our country has faced in recent months regarding the influx of people seeking sanctuary here. This led me to reflect upon the Bible and the story of the flight of the Israelites from Egypt. (Exodus is the second book of the Bible.) Even up to the past few centuries when our country was populated by people seeking a better life than where they were from. My mother immigrated to the United States when she was only nineteen. I can’t begin to imagine the courage it took to leave everything and everyone she had ever known for the promise of a better life. It still gives me pause to think about.
So while this painting actually depicts a family leaving the beach at the end of a long day of sun and surf, with the young boy looking back wistfully at the ocean, it seems to hold so much more meaning.
The actual painting is 50 x 34, the largest of the series. No faces are revealed except that of the young boy. And the family seems to be marching off into the sunset.
The sky ended up with multiple layers and the beach sand is heavily textured. However, the figures are meticulously painted in a manner reminiscent of Renaissance religious paintings. Even the children have slight halos. I haven’t totally examined all my reasons for choosing such a method of painting but I’m sure it will dawn on me later.
To actually view the step-by-step painting of this piece, click on this link or go to the tab marked Artwork and scroll down to Exodus.
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