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Senior Art Exhibit 2005: Michael Devore

Senior art exhibitor, Michael DevoreFor this series I studied a small area of shoreline in Malibu, California. I observed the place where the waves break and gently roll back to reveal small stones nestled in glistening wet sand. In my series I refer to as the "Beach Compositions," I have attempted to capture these elements in paint. It was through the struggle of adding and subtracting paint that I was able to create a feeling similar to the push and pull of the ocean. The ocean washes away the shore but at the same time continues to build it up. It is an infinite cycle that I have tried to put into single moments.

This was not an easy subject matter for me to tackle. I was surprised at the difficulty of arranging stone shapes on colorful, amorphous planes. Many times I became frustrated and stopped painting altogether. I experienced a breakthrough, however, by continuing to paint and observe my subject matter. By knowing my subject more intimately, I became able to see what was needed in my painting. I began to understand the play of light across the wet sand. I saw how the entire surface became like molten silver with highlights of pink and green throughout. I started understanding the relation and tension between the small rocks lying on the beach and how they anchored my compositions.

Painting this series has been a struggle, but at the same time has given me great peace and satisfaction with the end results. These paintings reveal my conflict and my resolution, much like the ocean crashes tumultuously against the shore and then pulls away to reveal peaceful scenes like those I have shown here.

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