Giant Clam and Seafan, oil on gesso board

Giant Clam and Seafan, oil on gesso board

I’ve been working on some smaller, square format paintings based on coastal themes. This still life oil painting of a giant clam and seafan is 8 x 8 in. It’s still in progress, I’ve a bit more to go on it.

These natural objects from the ocean and many more fascinating ones like them belong to a collection I feel privileged to live with. I’ve been studying them for a long time.  Their forms, subtle colors and textures, the way the sun glides over them throughout the day revealing new hues and intricate patterns sets my fingers twitching to draw them.

But I wasn’t sure how I could do them justice in paint. In the Museum of Arts and Sciences, here in my town, they had on display at one time, a few coral and giant clam shells. Presented on black bases, behind plexiglass cases and dramatically lighted, the museum pieces were striking and elevated my appreciation for the ones in my home even more.

I kept thinking of ways to set them up to paint. Studying them while I drank my coffee one overcast morning, in the distilled light, it struck me to paint them as they are arranged. Naturally.

So I set up my plein air easel in front of of this assortment of sea treasures and started painting.

Natural beauty in natural light.

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