I too was once afraid of paint. I just finished Emile Gruppe’s “Gruppe on Color”, a wonderful book. He studied with John F. Carlson, one of the most influential teachers of plein air/landscape painting ever. Gruppe relates a quote by Carlson that you should “paint like a millionaire“, which is so true. Some subjects just require lots of paint–not just for texture, but just to lay down pure color over others. You can have so much fun with brushwork!

I’ve been thinking about holding a workshop this summer–haven’t done one in years, but Gruppe taught all his life and said he learned a lot from his students, which is very true in my experience. If I do teach, I’m thinking about designing an exercise to relieve painters of their fear of paint, a very common problem. One would be to get some cheap paint that has the feel of oil, and just give them huge, half-cup piles on their palettes and ask them to use all the paint on an 11×14 canvas. Force the issue! I find that once you get over this apprehension, it really frees you. Did you have a fear of paint? How did you get over it?

Okay, back to the painting at hand. I can’t imagine doing my current “rocks & surf” series of paintings without mounds of paint. Ken Auster told me that the ocean is nothing but edges, so you have to paint it that way. Use lots of paint and your brush to create these edges, and it will read as water. I hope this painting is a good example of that.

I’m having a great time with this series–I hope the joy shows. Enjoy!

Rocks & Surf Frosting – Oil on Linen – 8×10

11 thoughts on “Paint Like Frosting

  1. Nice painting Ed, and I mean PAINT ing. You got lots of it on there. You can really FEEL the ocean and rocks.
    I need to put more on mine.
    I’m glad that you liked that Gruppe book. I am a true Gruppe groupie. He explains things so well.

  2. Fantastic, absolutely fantastic. I can even hear the crash of the waves, smell the spray, and shudder at the coldness of the water. I fancy having a go with my oils, right now. I’m off.

  3. Nice! Maybe the best of the series. Yep, I need to start piling on more paint. Perhaps I should start buying my “brushes” in the gardening department at Home Depot! ­čśë

    If you set up a workshop, I would certainly be interested.


  4. Roy in Norway says:

    Thanks for having the uppertunety to see your painting! I enjoy it very much!
    Would like to be able to paint in the same way !
    Roy in Norway

  5. Hi Ed,

    I truly admire this painting, Ed! Sounds like you are having a wonderful time, as well as learning valuable techniques.
    I am enjoying all of the paintings I purchased from you. ( And so are all of the recipients of those I gave away as gifts!)

    You just keep on getting better and better! It is thrilling to see each new painting… What a joy!


  6. I saw the image of this painting on the other blog you’re doing for plein air painters.
    The colors are very different there, but either way the textural quality of this painting makes a very bold statement. Interestingly the color harmony remains intact either way. You get a real sense of movement that reminds me of the Capa photos from landing on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. And right in the midst of all this coarse paint application is a threadlike delicacy in the brushstrokes too. Nice job!

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