Patterns in the Sand
While working on my painting depicting a lonely flip flop found on a beach near Hoi An, Vietnam, I found myself having a dialogue with the natural elements. For example: “Sand, why did you half bury this tattered shoe? Why do you have subtle patterns flowing around you?” “South China Sea, did you toss this lost shoe all around during a violent storm? Did you ever wonder what happened to its owner? Where did you fling the mate to this flip flop”? and on and on….
The other day, I showed my earlier blog about the beginning of this particular painting to a person who said she began to ask similar questions about the singular flip flop tossed upon the beach.
My hope is that the painting, when finished, will be strong enough to evoke a sense of wondering and questioning.
Today, I brushed on a wash made up of varnish and turpentine mixed with the colors of indigo, white, and burnt sienna oil paint. Sometimes when I look at sand on a beach, my eye just barely notices the overall color. But today, after really studying my reference photo, I saw numerous linear patterns caused by the water and air movement in and over the sand. I wanted to include these in the art work, so I added some directional lines. After putting on the very wet wash, drips began coming down on the paper and I liked that effect. For now, the flip flop drawing is still covered with a resist plastic which will come off at some point to reveal a white space. Later on I will paint that area black.
The photo of the painting you see here was taken while today’s work was still wet. The view is from the side of the piece so you could see the paper actually hanging on the wall.
The challenge of writing a blog about creating this painting helps me to examine more intensely my entire creative process. It is so interesting how many thoughts quietly appear while making art. It is a meditation. This is especially so today as rain has been steadily falling all day and there is also a rare dusting of snow on the mountains nearby. The grayness adds to the mystery and beauty of it all.