Surfing in the studio

Let me make it very clear from the start: I am not a surfer! I have tried it (thought I could do it since I am a skier, have windsurfed and skateboarded as a teenager) and have been deeply humbled. The struggle to get out past the breaking waves made me exhausted. Then trying to catch a wave, almost always being too slow/too late. Then finding yourself in a big wave, looking down into the abyss, believing your last moment has come. Once I managed to stand up for about 7/10 of a second before being knocked down and tumbled around for what seemed like ages. But I have experienced the rush on a boogie board…

Working on this painting was a bit like the description above. I struggled, did not believe in it at all. I was working with dark thoughts going around my head. But then, this morning, all of a sudden something happened. It felt like I caught a wave and I believed I could do it. I wiped the brush strokes away from the face of the baby to make a feeling of smooth skin. I left the brush strokes on the face of the mother, added highlight and a touch of warmth (raw sienna).

The painting is photographed with daylight coming down from my ceiling lights, creating a glare in the space between mother and child. The size is 90×70 cm. What next?

Detail: there is still a lot of wood texture in the work. Even in the space between mother and child, where there is a lot of paint, there is a clear presence of wood structure, which you notice as you come close to the work.

Leave a Reply