Bluewater Shore – Labor Day 2020

Growing up, Labor Day meant that as a kid that summer vacation was coming to an end and the school year was about to start, usually later that week. Since summer vacation was about over, that also meant that the cooler fall weather would be quickly approaching. In the mid-west state of Michigan, that meant snow would quickly follow the colorful turning of the maple tree leaves. So there were mixed emotions on this day; bittersweet memories of summer play and the dread of another bitter cold winter.

Today, with a pandemic in full force since the America Administration has abdicated any attempt to control the COVID-19 breakout, we find ourselves in a vastly different place when it comes to the Labor Day picnics, family gatherings and of course, a last visit to the beach. Wearing masks is required as is social distancing, thus large groups of relatives and friends is problematic at best.

I have been working on a series of painting inspired by my artist book Bluewater Shore. My first shout-out about these acrylic over pigment studies, Ferry Crossing, was actually well received, thus I am venturing forward to discuss another that I painted a couple of years ago. I consider this a study since I am also experimenting with my painting technique. For this painting I wanted to use the large expanse of unpainted white paper to give this an illusion of the intense summer heat.

To obtain the details of this figurative study, I purchased and employed mostly transparent acrylics to allow the pigment under-painting to be revealed. When I needed a large expanse of dense color, then the opaque acrylics seemed to work fine. This entire series of small 15 x 15″ studies is being completed on rag paper. I am pretty happy with this painting.

As background, this is a found photograph from my family archive, set in the late 1940’s that was taken somewhere on a shore. Regretfully I do not have an information as to who these three women are, but only that it was my mom who probably took this photograph. I am guessing cousins or close friends of hers, thus they were important to her, which makes them important to me. This image has a very vernacular appearance to it, which I also find very appealing.

Cheers & be stay safe this Labor Day!



My coming exhibition and workshop:

Medium Photo 2020 Workshop: Developing a Creative Book workshop, which will now be virtual safe-at-home workshop that I will be leading is eight 2-hour Zoom segments over four weeks, starting Saturday, September 26th. This eight session workshop takes place on Saturdays from 10am–12pm (Pacific time) and Wednesdays from 4–6pm (Pacific time).

January 16th – February 13th; a two-person exhibition that will feature my Memory Pods series in a gallery located in north San Diego county (CA); more details very soon.


Featured artwork; Bluewater Shore (Bluewater Shore), copyright 2018, Douglas Stockdale


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