ROCKPOOL - 30"X30"/76cmX76cm - OOC

edited November 12 in Post Your Paintings
This is a rockpool at the end of our local beach. It was a cloudy day so no cast shadows or patches of strong sunlight, but I thought there was enough colour and contrast anyway.  It was a bit like painting a still life - mussels au naturel with sea lettuce. It's an unusual picture so not sure how folks will respond to it. But I got the canvas covered tonight and hoping for some feedback. 

Weather permitting, I'll take a better photo of the painting outside in sunlight tomorrow. 

Thanks for taking a look. All critiques/comments/suggestions gratefully received.  :)

Rob

PS For more detail right click and select open in new tab


GTOA_Time_To_PaintsridhargopalArtGalkaustavMCBGwhuntMoleManMichaelDJerryWdewaldAbstractionjoepmurray

Comments

  • There’s an abstract quality to it.  Then when I look closely and see that they are mussels and sea lettuce I get pulled into their world.  This size helps with that effect. The pool feels big and deep.  
    allforChrist
  • I absolutely love it! The colours are beautiful, the composition works really well and overall, the work has a sense of harmony to it. You have unique style, a brilliant balance between abstraction and realism. I can't offer you any criticism because I honestly wouldn't change a thing about it.   
  • Thanks very much @GTO and @IlariKoskimies. I'm pleased you guys picked up on the abstract qualities because that is why I wanted to paint it.
  • Beautiful and exquisitely painted @tassieguy. All of your work which seems to be at a breakneck pace 😉 captures the raw beauty of nature devoid of any evidence of human intervention. 
  • Thanks very much, @whunt. Much appreciated.

    When we stop and look closely at nature, when we zoom in, we see that there is a whole universe that we are mostly unaware of. And there is beauty there.

     I'm so pleased you think it works.  :)
    whuntallforChrist
  • @tassieguy, another quite spectacular painting on your current theme. Muscularly painted, and in large part, I think it is the mussels that make it happen. Very nicely done.  :)
     
    Best rgds, Duncan
  • @tassieguy

    Superb Rob, captured beautifully.

    I like the unusual composition.
  • @tassieguy beautiful as before,  zooming in through the second picture illustrates the abstract features from close-up.  The whole scene gives me the feeling of stumbling and looking more careful what is in the water. Thanks for posting! 
  • Thanks, @MoleMan, @MichaelD and @JerryW. I really appreciate your comments.  :)
  • The mussels under the "veil" of water are amazing. I understand you don't do glazing and for me such effect with direct application seems close to impossible.

    And just like with your previous work, I partly have a feeling of bird's eye view of some laguna. Maybe it's only on a small screen though.
  • Thanks very much, @outremer. Yes, it's all a la prima, no glazing. I'm too impatient for glazing.  :)
  • Works wonderfully as realism as well as an abstract set of shapes, especially with that dark band though the middle. I’m surprised the mussels haven’t been pilfered by scroungers looking for a free feed. Maybe they are too small. 
  • Thanks, @Roxy. I'm glad you think it works.

    A few people do collect and eat the mussels. Our Thai friend Mark gets them (and oysters) by the bucket load and eats them. But they seem to grow everywhere in great numbers so little danger of depleting them. 
  • Another beauty!   Opened your image as you said and saw all the tiny details.  Those muscles especially with the varying shades of blue as they pick up reflections of light.  How do you do it so beautifully?  Abstraction and details that make everything look so realistic.  Wonderful, wonderful work.
  • edited November 13
    Thanks very much, @A_Time_To_Paint. Much appreciated.

    I just paint what I see in my reference. But I do a lot of work on my reference before I start. I did some serious cropping and a major rebalance of the color to get rid of an overly blue/cyan cast in this one. And I reorganized the clumps of mussels a wee bit and slightly moved the bubbles on the water surface.

    When I'm painting, I don't see a mussel or a bit of sea lettuce. I see a strip of blue here, a blob of violet there, a patch green here ... and I just mix these colors and put strokes of the right size and shape where they need to go. That's all there is to it. Anyone can do what I do. But it would help to have OCD, lots of time and a bit of patience. I don't have an OCD diagnosis but, at my time of life and being retired, I'm lucky in terms of time. Patience is always a struggle. :)
    A_Time_To_Paint
  • Amazing! Excellent level of detail...it's like somewhat stretched pointillism...new name for the technique?
    tassieguy
  • Thanks very much, @KaustavM. Stretched pointillism. That's an interesting idea.  :)
    kaustavM
  • the depth in the water is incredible. Very nice composition wonderfully executed!
    tassieguy
  • what really impress me is your ability to process detail without having the whole fall appart. So much details in your painting and yet it holds all together.
    tassieguyIlariKoskimies
  • Thanks for your comments, @adrdri.

    Up really close it's really quite abstract - just blobs and squiggles but, with a bit of distance, my hope is that they all coalesce into a meaningful image. I'm very pleased you think it works.  :)
  • I feel like this piece specifically plays so well to the notion of slowing down and observing our surrounding closer when otherwise we would stay indifferent to it. To me the painting came to life so much when I viewed it up close as the abstract shapes, the curves and the whirl of brush strokes pull you into this world and echo the feeling of the water in the middle.
    tassieguyGary_Heath
  • Lovely intimate space and you can feel the water movement. It transports you to our experiences of those moments at ocean beaches. I'm often looking for 'depth' or those dark places that give the eyes rest and to ponder. This has both the immediate and apparent with the mystery of what's beneath. it's an interesting composition. We don't often down look at our feet in paintings. But also just the masses and lines, colours and values.
    tassieguy
  • exquisite as always @tassieguy...looking close up made me wonder how do you use your reference work?

    AS in what size print are you doing and how close are you getting o the photo when you are working? 
    tassieguy
  • Stunning.  Another great showcase of your ability to show texture and depth with abstract details that build to a realistic whole. 
    tassieguy
  • Thanks, @judith.

    My print is the same size as the painting. My printer only does A4 so I have to tile the photo and print it in 8" square sections. I have the photo in the same plane as the canvas and so I just look across to the photo and paint what I see. I stain the canvas before I start with a mid-tone that occurs throughout the painting. This stain shows through in places and unifies everything. Then I lay in the darks, other midtones and finally the lights. I use proportional dividers to check the position of things or if it's a really complex piece I'll use a grid. I don't do an under-drawing but draw with the brush as I go. I find doing a line drawing hems me in and makes me paint too tightly. And that's it. The actual painting is a rather mechanical process. The "art" happens in the reference development stage where I do thumbnail sketches, crop the photo and move things around to come up with a composition I like and where I adjust the colour, lighting etc. I do all this in affinity photo and GIMP.  Oh, and there's also the "plein air" bit where I make colour notes on site with paint on scraps of canvas. I do this because cameras never get the colours right. I calibrate the colours in the photo to these notes. And that's it. That's my process. I'd like to work entirely en plein air but with paintings this size it's just not possible and I'm too old to be standing out in the Tasmanian weather for days on end.
    judithGary_Heath
  • edited November 15
    Thanks, @tamasgodanyi @Abstraction and @joepmurray. Much appreciated.   :)
  • The patience you put into each mussel shell is incredible!!  Well done.  @GTO is spot on, looking into the painting for longer is fascinating.  And it's quite an achievement to have a painting that is "gaze-into-able".

    And this quote is quite truthful:  "When we stop and look closely at nature, when we zoom in, we see that there is a whole universe that we are mostly unaware of. And there is beauty there."
  • Thanks so much, @allforChrist. I'm very pleased you think it work.  :)
  • tassieguy said:
    Thanks, @judith.

    My print is the same size as the painting. My printer only does A4 so I have to tile the photo and print it in 8" square sections. I have the photo in the same plane as the canvas and so I just look across to the photo and paint what I see. I stain the canvas before I start with a mid-tone that occurs throughout the painting. This stain shows through in places and unifies everything. Then I lay in the darks, other midtones and finally the lights. I use proportional dividers to check the position of things or if it's a really complex piece I'll use a grid. I don't do an under-drawing but draw with the brush as I go. I find doing a line drawing hems me in and makes me paint too tightly. And that's it. The actual painting is a rather mechanical process. The "art" happens in the reference development stage where I do thumbnail sketches, crop the photo and move things around to come up with a composition I like and where I adjust the colour, lighting etc. I do all this in affinity photo and GIMP.  Oh, and there's also the "plein air" bit where I make colour notes on site with paint on scraps of canvas. I do this because cameras never get the colours right. I calibrate the colours in the photo to these notes. And that's it. That's my process. I'd like to work entirely en plein air but with paintings this size it's just not possible and I'm too old to be standing out in the Tasmanian weather for days on end.
    ahhh interesting thank you...we work very similarly...up until you apply the midtones first....I have always followed Mark's method tightly but I'm changing my approach as it evolves...so interesting to have an idea of how you are working...

  • Rob again its just amazing. How long does a painting like this take you to complete?
  • Thanks very much, @dewald.
    This one took about 8 days working 10 hours per day. It sounds like lot, but I'm retired so I have the time and there's nothing else I want to do.  :)
    dewald
  • CBGCBG -
    edited November 15
    @tassieguy

    I find your work to be very original and compelling.  True to the realism of overall values, your foray into detail everywhere lends an immediacy to every part of your work, while the large shapes which support and compose the work play their part more as a secondary role, but still very beautifully supportive of the whole.

    This is stylistically perfect for the kinds of subjects you paint.

    The color harmony is delightful.

    This one has some beautiful echoes.  Whether painted or chosen, the curve between the light mass and the dark crevasse is repeated in various lines of mussels.  The dark chasm plunges into the painting in a similar way that the 2d profile of the light mass plunges downward,  The line of mussels at the top, the slope of the small crevasses in bottom and the lines of  mussels in the water.  This is all wonderfully orchestrated,  Again, it does matter whether it was painted or found this way, the selection  of this composition was intentional and it is all you.
    MichaelDJerryWGary_Heath
  • Thanks very much, @CBG. I very much appreciate your detailed comments and I'm pleased you think the painting works.

    As usual, you picked up on a lot of things. The colour is what was there but I did bump just a few of the mussels around a bit to reinforce and echo the curves of the rocks and the two sides of the chasm. I chose this section of the chasm because I liked the way it's upper and lower edges almost slotted together like the continents of Africa and the Americas if you slid them together across the Atlantic or like the lips of a giant clam.  Even the curves of the mussel shells were important. I wanted subtle echoes of their curves all through the painting so that the whole thing was all of a piece. I even rearranged the position of the bubbles on the water slightly with this in mind.

    Most people who look at a painting wouldn't notice the things you do. You have a sharp perception for elements of design. Like when you noticed that all the vegetation in another painting of a tree-clad headland I did looked like a single tree. I hadn't consciously planned that - it may have been subliminal or maybe just serendipitous - but you noticed it. 

    Thanks again for taking a look and commenting.  :)
    CBG
  • @tassieguy

    Thank you for your kind words and for engaging with me. 


    Knowing now how much you did consciously, it is even more impressive, but not unexpected!   

    Enjoying your journey and your fine pieces!   :)
    tassieguy
  • @tassieguy the color of the mussles is especially pleasing, it contrasts beautifull with the ocher rock, then is repeated in the water and in the bottom part of the painting. It reminds me of some of the beautiful later works of Van Gogh when he was in France. It's impressive that you claim to have started painting relatively late and have mastered skills on so many important and different levels (color, composition etc).   

    tassieguy
  • Hey @tassieguy. How do you draw/plan this out? Do you have any pictures of the early stages of the painting?
  • edited November 18
    @dewald, I don't have any pics of the early stages but have a read of my answer to Judith above. That sets out my process fairly clearly. Once I start a painting, I get so involved in it that I can't think of anything else. It takes my entire focus. But one day I'll get around to trying to make a video or at least take progress pics.  :)
    dewald
  • @tassieguy Ah! Yes. Apologies that was exactly what I was curious about. Also I was wondering about rather taking samples out in the filed as opposed to sitting and painting outside. Thank you.
    tassieguy
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