It was The Blue.
When I first visited Cambridge Beaches in 1998, it was The Blue that seduced me. If you have never been to Bermuda, no words can describe it to you; if you have been to Bermuda, no words are necessary. A pencil artist for over three decades, I kept saying that someone should paint the infinite beauty of the island.
Next to The Blue was the bleachingly bright white of the rooftops, with their unique step profiles. Finally, there was the confectionary of pastels, mainly pinks, of the walls themselves. Someone should paint all of this…
I had no idea it would be me. Returning to Maryland and teaching art to students at Dulaney High School for my 24th year, I taught traditional Sumi-e Japanese Brush Painting. This was followed by color theory and watercolor technique. Finally, each student was instructed to locate a photograph of a landscape that “wanted to be a painting”. I chose four, all from my 170 photos of Cambridge Beaches, to use as examples, painting along with my students. They flowed…North Rock, Long Beach, Mangrove Bay, the Marina.
The watercolors are not typical. They are not light. They are, at times, dramatic and dense. But they are me. They contain a range of values from cool dense shadows to sun filtering through leaves to blithely wispy clouds. Many look through a darker foreground as I attempt to capture the layers of scenery and inherent framing on the island. Nature confides in those who will listen to her.
The water itself is an endless source of fascination and challenge. How can something so clear have so many colors? How can you still something that never lies still?
Our second trip brought twelve paintings to Cambridge Beaches…and planted the seeds for many more to come. This trip was an opportunity to relive my romance with my wife…and with Bermuda. It was also a chance to consciously paint with my mind as I shot roll after roll of the boats, the trees and, of course, The Blues.
I have now painted over 110 scenes of Bermuda and visited 8 times. Each time I visit, I walk through my paintings. Each time I paint, I learn, I revisit and I fall right back into The Blue.