Thursday, February 15, 2018


Wave Breaking on a Peer, oil on panel, 33.5 x 59"

I'm in the middle of a wave-painting frenzy. Finished two wave paintings in the last month and I'm working on a third. Really enjoying myself. To me, a successful wave painting is about energy and freedom. Working on one always raises my mood. It's pure painting fun with all it's different surfaces: smooth, soft green patches where the wave is rolling over and explosions of white foam when it breaks. All these surfaces need a different approach: I glaze the smooth parts and for the foam I use pure paint, no medium at all. 

Wave Breaking on a Peer, detail

Highlight of the fun is painting the foam dots that are thrown in every direction. I use a worn out fan brush to splatter the thin paint on the panel. Back in Kindergarden we did it with a tooth brush, but a fan brush gives you some control over the splatters.

Stormy Breakers, detail

Stormy Breakers, oil on panel, 15.7 x 63"

For larger pics (with more details) please go to my website:, or click the link on the title of the paintings.


Thursday, February 1, 2018


Caspar David Friedrich
Wanderer above the Sea of Fog, 1818
I'm a Romantic. Not that I treat my wife to a candle lit dinner every week (she'd probably think I went mad), but I can relate to the ideas about nature of the Romantic era. It lasted from (give or take) 1800 to 1850. A true Romantic sees nature as a source of very intense and sometimes even religious experiences. The genre to best express that feeling is of course landscape. One of the most important Romantic landscape artists is the German Caspar David Friedrich. In some of his paintings he places a lonely pedestrian facing the overpowering presence of nature. In his 'Wanderer' this figure is still quite dominant, but in other paintings (of different of artists as well) it shrinks to a tiny dot in the vast landscape.

My hometown museum hosts an exhibition entitled 'Romanticism in the North'. In this case 'the North' means the north of Europe. Went to see it last week and came home with mixed feelings. On the one hand I saw some totally over the top paintings (some of them even poorly painted), on the other hand I was stunned by a few large size renderings of nature & drama, like the one I'm looking at in the picture. It's a shipwreck drama bij Wijnand Nuijen, a Dutch painter who was 23 when he painted it. He hardly outlived his masterpiece. Died at 26...

In the catalogue of the exhibition the figure-in-a-landscape theme is seen as symbolic for the deep longing to become one with nature and at the same time for the impossibility of fulfillment. Even though I'm a Romantic this yearning is strange to me. It's like wanting to be something you already are. We don't have to become one with nature, we are nature.

I just finished a painting that I think is definitely Romantic. It's called 'Before the Storm'. Not a human being in sight...
It will be the subject of my next tutorial. We're in the process of editing the vast amount of footage and that'll take a while. Hope to release it this coming May. I'll keep you posted.

Before the Storm, oil on panel, 27.6 x 47.2"