Seascapes are the most intimate paintings I make. Or rather, seascapes leave me feeling more vulnerable and exposed than anything else I’ve experienced since becoming an artist. When I start painting a seascape, I don’t know what I’m going to paint. The entire process feels like a trust fall exercise. I’m choosing to fall and trusting I’ll catch myself all at the same time.
I grew up on the gulf coast of Florida in a family of surfers. I learned to swim underwater before I could walk. I swam competitively as a kid, and as an adult I have become a surfer and surf photographer. Being in the water has always been an intuitive place for me. When I turn my brain off and allow my hand to move across a blank piece of canvas, I paint water. Water is what I’ve always known. Each seascape is a self portrait that tells the story of who I am in that exact moment. When I paint a seascape I am translating my own internal landscape into a massive painting.
And a seascape must be large! It is a physical practice. I want to make myself fatigued walking back and forth, climbing up and down. My body needs to be as much a part of the painting as my mind. I get lost in the painting. I get consumed. Then I come out the other side. Painting a seascape is a cathartic process. Even writing about it now makes me feel so satisfied and fulfilled. I am lucky to be an artist. I am lucky to experience all that painting a seascape means.