Beach Bonus

I’m not sure what was most exciting: seeing yellow horned poppies in bloom, watching recently hatched killdeer chicks scurrying in the strand line, or sketching on the beach in sunshine while northern skies blackened in advance of a terrific thunderstorm. Just being at the ocean seemed bonus enough. I love this rocky beach in southern Massachusetts. It’s full of speckled granite cobblestones and larger outcroppings of glacial-striated bedrocks. Beachcombing always proves fruitful and the birding is great. What’s especially nice is the pleasure of revisiting it through my sketchbook now that I’m back home in New York.

Tips and Techniques– Glaucous green! Who knew there was such a thing? But sure enough, here it is. While researching beach poppies, I found a poem that described “Her leaves are glaucous-green and hoar…” That led me down a rabbit hole of looking up information on the word “glaucous.” Turns out, glaucous has Latin and Greek roots and describes colors ranging from pale yellow-green to bluish-gray. The Latin name for this poppy is glaucuim flavum (glaucium = green and flavum = yellow). A mix of lemon yellow and cobalt blue are perfect for mixing glaucous greens. Combine and experiment with them for your next blue-green foliage.

22 Comments on “Beach Bonus

  1. I love Westport! Spent many happy days there in all seasons.

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Very beautiful, Jean. Both the art and writing. 👏❤️☀️

  3. Lovely and especially like your writings, so informative and always make me smile.

  4. Anything you sketch regarding the ocean is wonderful and transports me back to the coast. Always beautiful. It was June last year that we traveled to Maine to see our daughter and son in law. A very memorable trip. Thank you. Love that little killdeer .

    • I can’t go on my usual trip to Maine this year and will really miss it. I’m thinking of painting Maine scenes in commemoration during the week I would have gone. I am grateful to have had a brief stint in southern Mass.!

  5. I first saw horned poppies last year on Anglesey , North Wales, I had heard of then previously. They were growing next to sea holly. Thank-you for sharing your colour tip for gloucous green. I’ve never managed to get it right. Lovely page

    • They are native there, but not here. Still lovely! I never use lemon yellow, but remembered testing it years ago and thinking it would be perfect for ocean scenes/waves. When I read about glaucous green, I remembered the lemon-cobalt combination and pulled out the lemon yellow. Now I think I need to find room for it in my paint box. I suspect it could be very nice for shadows as well.

  6. I could just SEE the chicks skuttling! ..and the art is superb too! It must have been a lovely day…..

    • It was such a TREAT! Three chicks and two adults. I kept a distance and watched/sketched with binoculars. Not easy, but I could get the posture and major markings that way. I also saw a piping plover chick the previous day– it was about 6 feet away! I didn’t have my sketchbook so just had to enjoy the moment!

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