Saturday, January 11, 2014

Zen Seascape

"Seascape Sunset"
oil on panel, 2009
3.5" x 5" (cm x cm)
private collection

Here is a small seascape study I did as gift a few years back.
Besides the recent ones I have been doing, exploring different directions, I also have been looking back at earlier ones I did.
Sometimes I had thoughts, recorded in these studies, that got lost in the shuffle of other projects and paintings.
Now is the time to consider which ones I will reincarnate for a seascape series.

I stood on the cliffs just before sunset on a calm day at low tide, the water smooth as glass except near the shore where the gentle waves washed over the rocks, radiating these circular ripples. The deep rich saturated colors of sunset reflecting off the water like a stained glass window.

I remember it as having a zen like quality and realized that a view including the sky would turn out to be just another sunset painting and that the sensation (zensation?) was actually in the foreground, no distant horizon was needed. In fact including too much might have defeated it altogether.

I am reminded the sea has many moods, from the stormy to the meditative.264


  1. David!
    Excuse me! But a very loud and wonderful "Wow!" I am such an ocean lover! This one is spectacular! A fantastic vantage point! You are so right about the moods of the sea! I love everyone of them! I also love reading your thoughts about your work! Zen is so right on! I could watch the ocean forever! Even at its stormiest times I find relaxation! So my dear art buddy, thank you again for filling me up with more art wonder! The ocean, trains, urban landscapes, industrial areas, and on and on and on always amaze me and bring me joy! Thanks David!
    Your David J. Teter Avid Art Loving Buddy!
    (Some great news....I start another art class at MFA in Boston Monday! Yippee!)
    Go Patriots Michael

  2. Thank you Michael,
    The ocean is hypnotic isn't it? This was one of those rare days when a lot of factors came together at once and was so beautiful.
    One day I will have to get to the east coast and see a sunrise!
    Great news on the art class...

    Keep painting....

    1. Hi David! East Coast sunrise. West Coast sunset!
      But now I am very concerned about the extreme drought in Southern California. The news keeps reporting record heat, drought and wildfires. Sounds quite scary. Hope you and yours are all right. Keep me posted okay buddy!
      Take care.

    2. Hi Michael! Yeah we are OK here, it's life in SO CAL as usual. The heat is less of an issue near the coast where I am.
      We here joke that we have only 2 seasons unlike 4 most of the country gets.

      Fire season followed by mudslide season.

      The way that works is the wildfires destroy the vegetation then the rain washes away the unprotected hillsides.

      We will survive!
      Keep painting...

  3. This is amazing David! You have so much depth in the water, yet have retained such a perfect sense of the surface. Amazing!
    I just googled the weather in LA and was shocked to see you have temps in the high 20sC! That can't possibly be normal for this time of year can it? Wouldn't you usually have temps in the mid to high teens in your winter? I hope that's not a sign of what we can expect during our next winter. It is scary how the weather is changing so much, so fast!

    1. Thank you Wendy,
      This one will most likely be done at a larger size as part of a seascape series for 2014. It has been too long since I really did any serious seascapes so it is time to get back to them.
      Problem: I have so many ideas/paintings/series I want to do + all the ones currently I don't know how I will ever get to them all!
      But I live near the Pacific Ocean so I must.

      Current weather the norm here you ask?
      Well, that depends. The last 4-5 years it has been colder than usual this time of year, (whatever usual is?). I sometimes think the weather is tied to the bad world economy,ha ha ha ; ) if so then, yippee! we all need more (warmer) sales!
      Previous years have been like now, with warm temps moving in and out during the winter so it is not unusual and is part of normal weather patterns.
      Changes in air pressure, high pressure cause The Santa Ana Winds from the northeast, off the desert warming us up and is normal this time of year. When winds blow off the ocean it is cold.

      Then toss in the El Niño and La Niña and it all starts to make sense.

      Does that help or does it make more confusing? I didn't realize I knew that much.

      Keep painting...

    2. Thanks for taking the time to explain it to me David. The Santa Ana winds sound a bit similar to the howling easterlies we get in summer. They are terrifying when the temps are very high and bushfires are out of control. I just googled your average temps (I should have done that in the first place and wouldn't have needed to ask you what was normal!) I am surprised to see that you have cooler summers and warmer winters than we do - I had thought if anything, your winters would have been colder than ours. Sounds like your neck of the woods has one of the most liveable all year round climates you can get.
      Good luck with all your various series you are working on! Life is too short to fit it all in!!

    3. I am surprised too that our winters are warmer than yours.
      Yeah, our So Cal year-round weather is why so many people move here, we don't have the extremes of other areas or the humidity.

      It sounds like your howling easterlies fan wildfires just like our Santa Ana's.

      Keep painting...