Friday, February 03, 2017
"Stormy Seas", after Ivan Aivazousky, 8x10, Susan Ploughe workshop, waves, boats, ships, storms, seascapes, Maryanne Jacobsen
On the third and last day of the excellent Susan Ploughe workshop that I took this week, the topic was waves. I rarely paint waves for a couple reasons. Firstly, they are HARD!!!!!! Second, we really don't have hardly any waves to observe here on the west coast of Florida (Gulf of Mexico) so I don't practice them. Our waters are pretty calm, with the exception of the occasional hurricane. Third, I have often thought that many paintings of waves were rather boring. That was until Wednesday, when Susan showed us a slideshow of how different artists handle waves and I was introduced to Ivan Aivazousky.
Whoa!!!!!! Can I say jaw-dropping, exceptional, mind-blowing beauty? I googled him that night to find out more about him and turns out he is considered one of the greatest maritime artists of all time!
Ivan Aivazovsky was born in 1817 into an Armenian family in the Black Sea port of Feodosia in Crimea and was mostly based there. He died in 1900 and evidently studied the sea extensively throughout his lifetime, producing the most incredibly gorgeous seascapes I have ever seen.
So as with the other days of the workshop, after Susan's demo, we were given chance to choose which wave photo we wanted to paint and how could I resist this?
Original work of Aivazousky above.
I struggled quite a bit with this one. Painting the delicate tracings of foam on the water almost made me cry, but in the end, I learned so much just from trying to copy the work of a true master.
I am going to continue to practice painting the sea, and maybe someday I'll find it less intimidating.
I highly recommend Susan's workshop "Waterways", if you want to learn some of the many intricacies of painting water in all of of it's delightfully daunting forms.