The Power of Ocean Paintings

Ocean paintings can grace the walls of homes both near and far from the ocean. Ocean paintings are wonderful for those living far from the ocean to remind them of the peace and repetitive sounds and images that have brought tranquility to mankind forever. As for those right on the beach, seascapes are a way to bring the outdoors inside.

The greatest challenge of seascapes is to get the sense of a fluid medium when working with semi-solid paint that dries to a permanently fixed image. I find that the acrylic flow style of painting lends itself well to ocean paintings. The trick is to know the viscosity of the paint and various drying times so that the colors blend esthetically but still give a sense of liquid, fluid movement.

Ocean paintings can symbolize the source of life and the abundance of life that dwells in the ocean. The ocean is constantly changing, and thus symbolizes limitless opportunity and possibilities. For this reason, a seascapes painting can be advantageous in an office environment.

The most common use of ocean paintings is for bedrooms. The blue colors are peaceful and conducive to sleep and relaxation. They also work well for dining rooms and living rooms. Large paintings can be overwhelming in a small space. Small to mid-size paintings will be more successful for a small apartment or a small room.

Next to portraits, ocean paintings are probably some of the more difficult scenes to depict. The surface of the ocean is like a face with an expression that never stays put! A successful painting is a real treasure--capturing a single instant in time.

Seascapes can be used to balance environments with lots of yellows, reds and orange colors. The cool water element helps to balance the more fiery colors. Ocean paintings also help to soften environments with a preponderance of metal. The fluidity of a water painting can help to offset the harsh edges of metal cabinets and furniture or sterile environments. Ocean paintings would be especially useful in doctor's offices where the relaxation of the patient is paramount and the rooms often have a good deal of white and metallic colors.

A small ocean painting is a study in contrast--the huge, almost immeasurable mass of the ocean contained in a small space in a painting. In addition, an ocean painting is usually a depiction of the surface of the ocean, but what lies beneath is so much more vast as to be almost inconceivable. Under the surface of the ocean is a completely different world of strange creatures, communities of sea life and occasionally sunken boats and treasure.

Seascapes appeals to people of all ages. The ocean is almost as universal as the sky. Although not everyone lives near the ocean, it covers about 70 percent of the planet, leading to our self-designation as the blue planet. To my surprise, I discovered that there are even underwater national parks. A number of historic sites where ships have sunk beneath the waves have become national parks, including the Ellis Island Derry and the war ship Arizona.