Reflections on Low Tide
by Terry Johnson
I am a beach wander extraordinaire. I love the beach at all times early morning, evening, high tide, low tide, calm or stormy.
I wander, look, sometimes photograph but mostly look and save my visual treasures locked away as memories to draw upon while painting.
Recently I was interested to observe how the reflections of low tide sometimes have the appearance of a colorful abstract painting created by reflections, amazing clouds, stunning colours of sunrise or sun-set, texture of the sand and rivulets running back to the sea.
I decided to undertake a series of works based on this very idea of abstraction and reflections that I discovered at low tide.
I began each work as an abstract, adding a line that might be the horizon as a reference point to reality.
From the initial point of the application of base background colours I applied loose washes of both acrylic and oil paints, watching my canvas as I moved it about, creating my own tidal flows. As the paint moved about the canvas I could feel the energy of the sea, see the run-offs in the sand and I began to let the energy of flowing paint lead me into the creation of my work.
My initial goal was to be totally abstract but I found, as certain memories of beach walks appeared on the canvas, I couldn't resist bringing some of my own into the making of each work.
I discovered tide pools, tidal rivulets, drifting clouds and built upon what appeared, by chance, to complete my work by incorporating traditional painting techniques.
The experiment is complete. The works will be exhibited in my Robe gallery on November 2. Will the public like them? Will they sell? I shall see, but at no time will I regret this experiment in capturing through my art something that I love.