Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What I Learned From The Ocean

The Maine Coast  6 x 13  Pastel   ©Sheila Ashley Liston
Available $135

The fresh newness of every moment, that forgets the past that has already gone and the future is not yet, leads one to learn to stay in the present moment...

My goal was to study the anatomy of the ocean wave, yet the ocean showed me the concept of  "staying in the moment".  The concept was not new to me, but being a person who learns visually, I somehow needed to "see" it in a way that only the ocean could teach.

  • The wave reached its crescendo, crashes against the rocks and quickly recedes into the greater body of water....a job well done.

  • The water in the background gathers from the deep, forming a swell waiting in queue for its moment to be the shining star.

  • In the meantime, the wave with all its power and force, moves front and center for its mighty "one and only" performance, lasting but a few seconds in time.

How often have I wasted that fleeting moment of the present, worrying about the past that is gone and waiting for the future that hasn't yet arrived? 

Only after spending time there, drinking in the sights, sounds, smells and touches, did I feel worthy to try to paint the ocean. The real beauty of painting for me is in the actual process where I get to relive the whole experience of being there.

Beginning the initial drawing with vine charcoal, then I began to establish the light and dark areas. This painting is done on black Rives printmaking paper with pastels. This scene is from the coast near Kennebunkport during our trip to Maine last fall. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Springtime Visit to Blackwater Falls

After The Rain  9 x 8  Pastel   ©Sheila Ashley Liston
Available $135

Mighty waters rushing down the canyon through the storm back to its Source...
Do I not desire the same? Running back to my Source during the storms of life...

This painting was done on a recent spring trip to Blackwater Falls in West Virginia. It had rained for several days creating a massive cascade of water forcefully making its way through the Blackwater Canyon. The black water is the result of tannic acid from fallen hemlock trees and red spruce needles. With all the rain this season, the foliage is lush and rich in hues of green that seem even brighter than normal.