The Waves Series


This col­lec­tion of paint­ings, done over a three-year peri­od, fea­tures waves from the Atlantic and the Pacif­ic oceans.

It’s use­less telling the ocean to hold still, so the works are all based on pho­tos. From the pho­tos I select areas that work and these form the basis of the paint­ing. The cal­lig­ra­phy pre­sent­ed by nature is so beau­ti­ful and var­ied and true it pro­vides a very strong base on which to build. As I work on a paint­ing, my brush­strokes define the lines more and more; the mood of the piece is deter­mined by the choic­es made along the way and the mind-set of the painter.

These pieces are all back­ground. There are no fig­ures to draw the view­er’s atten­tion. This way the view­er is part of the scene. While the can­vas­es fea­ture per­spec­tive, and I sup­pose the waves them­selves are focal points, the image inhab­its the entire pic­ture frame in the man­ner of an abstract paint­ing. I hope that the minu­tia of brush stroke and colour rela­tions are as intrigu­ing as the over­all real­ist image.

It is also my hope that these pieces are seen as med­i­ta­tions and will evoke in the view­er a range of emo­tion. Each has its own sub­tle mood mes­sage. For me, some are joy­ful, some are peace­ful, some are angry, some are sor­row­ful. The pieces done after a recent med­ical adven­ture took on a dark mood. After this cri­sis passed, there were strong waves and then some stormy ones, which resolved into some very tran­quil waves. Each of the pieces spoke to me at a cer­tain time. The Cape Bre­ton waves, for instance. I looked at the sources for a long time before I was emo­tion­al­ly ready to paint waves of such deep power.

It is inter­est­ing to me to con­trast these paint­ings with my pre­vi­ous series of road­ways, with their clas­sic “V” shape to infin­i­ty. In these paint­ings, the per­spec­tive is so much more sub­tle and the main com­po­si­tion tends to be hor­i­zon­tal bands. They real­ly are min­i­mal­ist paint­ings, at the same time as their details are busy busy.

I think I’ve paint­ed enough waves. Now it’s time to step back and look at them.

Eric Ross­er

March 2012

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