I love the way Willard Leroy Metcalf has used just a touch of orange, in the form of light from the setting sun striking the hull of the boat, to complement the blue in this work. Complementary colors make each other appear more intense, producing a richer painting. Here they have been used with great subtlety and imagination. The orange patch draws attention to the huge fish.
Complementaries produce an interesting grey when mixed together. If the two colours are only lightly mixed, preserving a little separation, the resulting grey will have an iridescent quality a bit like shot silk.
The greys in the clouds may have been mixed this way.
Alfred Thomas Bircher (1837-1908) was a luminist and one of the last painters of the Hudson River School, one of the best-known schools in American art. With the advent of Modernism, the luminist style - and landscape painting in general - fell out of favor; however, in more recent times Bricher's work has seen a revival, and he is now recognised as one of the foremost marine painters of the 19th century.
While storm-whipped waves provide a seascape with drama, the more tranquil moods of the sea give scope for the luminist exploration of light reflecting on the surface of water.
Bricher painted many of these calm, reflective coastal scenes. He often contrasts the smooth, mirror-like surface of the water with rugged cliffs and highly textured clouds.
As a lover of maritime life and the sea he purchased a home in the 1890s close to the sea in the New Dorp section of Staten Island where he had views of the Atlantic Ocean and Raritan Bay. He lived and painted at the shore in New Dorp until his death in 1908.
This pastel piece, by the Canadian artist Horace Champagne, keeps superfluous elements to a minimum in order to focus on the power and beauty of the surf. A glimpse of neutral grey rocks and sky, a single sea bird, is all that's needed to set the stage for the drama of waves and spray. White at the top is balanced by white at the bottom, linked via a zigzag path of foam.
To paint the sea, you must love it, and to love it, you must know the sea. - Frederick Judd Waugh
About this Blog
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This blog is intended as a reference resource for seascape painters (particularly those working in oils) and for art lovers. It's a mix of nautical/maritime art, seascapes and coastal scenes, both old and new. The blog is of a non-profit, educational nature; however, if you are the owner of an image and would like it removed, please advise in a comment to the post. Add comments by clicking on the word 'comments' under a post.
Copyright of images of paintings on this blog are usually held by the artist or owner and are not generally in the public domain.
A large proportion of the artists are from the US simply because their work seems to be easier to find on the internet, and perhaps the genre is more popular there, but suggestions of famous painters from other countries (and for the blog in general) are welcome.
Apologies if a link to an artist's or gallery's website has been inadvertantly omitted. If you are interested in seeing more, or purchasing, work by any of the artists on this site, google their full name in inverted commas, with perhaps the word 'paintings' or 'artist' and it should take you to their site or the site of a gallery representing them.
If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry