Going BIG

There is a time for everything and this year was my time to go BIG.


Sixteen foot wave, oil on aluminum panel

I’ve wanted to paint a life size wave for many years now and a number of things had to happen before that was possible.


The first piece to fall in place happened 8 years ago when my husband hammered the last nail into my studio. It’s a splendid space and has room to work large.

Then a conversation with Save the Bay turned to the possibility of my work benefiting their work though a show about Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay.

Finally Donna Parsons, the gallery director at Dryden Gallery asked me to have a show in their Grand Gallery. Their Grand Gallery is certainly grand! The top floor of an old warehouse, it hosts 30-foot walls perfectly suited for 24-foot waves.

So last year all the pieces were in place to move those waves from my imagination to the canvas. Only I didn’t paint on canvas, I painted on aluminum panels.

I sketched waves at  beaches over the past two years.

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I took loads of photos and combed though my old wave reference file. I studied other artist’s waves. No wave went unturned. I designed my waves using this reference and then painted the small studies which worked as my blue prints for the large paintings.


Small study for Sixteen foot wave

I have never had much of an interest in painting directly and exactly from photos. Even when I intend to, I veer off into my own invention. These paintings are about 80% my own design. The photo reference is the seed.

Wave composite Gap

Five panel study for Twenty Four foot wave

I’m not a wave expert, but I do swim in the ocean. I wanted these paintings to express the exhilaration of diving into a daunting wave. One of my students said they make her seasick! I guess that’s close enough!


Twenty Four foot wave oil painting on five aluminum panels

The Waves, along with nearly 100 smaller paintings will be available at Dryden Gallery in Providence RI October 6th through December 1st.

Let me know if you would like an invitation to the show!


*My previous blog mentioned a track in the snow I couldn’t’ identify. A few weeks ago I heard David Brown, a wildlife track expert, on Boston’s NPR, so I contacted him. He thinks a River Otter made this track. How cool is that!