summer on cape hedge

I love Cape Hedge Beach for its small size, its layers of sand and popples (smooth rocks), granite “bookends”, houses, view of Milk Island, and a peak of the Twin Lights on Thacher Island. It’s especially nice to have it at the end of the street.

 Hedge and Thacher, 20 x 30, oil on linen

Hedge and Thacher, 20 x 30, oil on linen

On some days the lifeguard will show up, but often the chair is empty and the warning sign is out.

Some of my pieces focus on the figures, others more so on the landscape; in both cases though it's about the simplification of shapes and their colors and the interpretation of light and feeling.

As I paint I do think about those that have inspired me, like Hopper, Avery, Diebenkorn, and Kent, for example.  Note each of these artists are very much about shape and color as well as the figure.

 Rescue, 12 x 16, oil on linen

Rescue, 12 x 16, oil on linen

"Summer Circle"

"Summer Circle" is a large piece that began on my plein air easel overlooking Long Beach. This can be tricky with a 3’ wide canvas when windy, but it was a relatively calm day. I spent a few hours up there looking down on the beach and water as the sun and tide moved along. Now and then I’ll have people stop by for a look at my progress - the kids are great as they are pretty open with their comments and big smiles.

Painting “Summer Circle” at Long Beach, Rockport

With the initial image on canvas I returned to the studio for continuing work. In this case I added more figures and worked hard on rendering the water and its changing colors at various depths and reflections of the sky.

 Summer Circle, 24 x 36, oil on linen

Summer Circle, 24 x 36, oil on linen

In the Garden

This summer began with the Rockport Garden Tour, in which we were one of nine Rockport gardens open to the hundreds of curious gardeners from around the region and beyond. We also had a group of plein air painters, including myself, finding inspiration in the flora. It was fun change of mindset to come home from the beach and take on the completely different subject of the garden with all of its complexities of flowers and architecture.

 Painting in the garden

Painting in the garden

 Garden House, 12 x 16, oil on linen

Garden House, 12 x 16, oil on linen

 Garden Chair, 12 x 16, oil on linen

Garden Chair, 12 x 16, oil on linen

sand dance II

Like the first Sand Dance, I was watching the kids fall into dance as they left the land behind and touched the water. On this early spring afternoon the air is clear and the colors are bright.

 Sand Dance II, 20 x 30, oil

Sand Dance II, 20 x 30, oil

dogs in fog

The tide is ebbing, leaving room for quiet chaos under the fog's blanket. This is a pretty big one at 40 x 64; I like sitting in front of it and falling in. Off season there are often many more dogs than humans on the beach.

Dogs in Fog, 40 x 64, oil

open studio sunday, october 16, 12:00 - 4:00

Last Sunday was a rain-out, but this Sunday looks lovely, so for those of you who couldn't make it, let's try again. Come see the art, the fall garden, and walk the beach. Thanks to those of you that did come last weekend. Saturday was a record turnout and, despite the rain, I appreciated those hard core fans that showed up with enthusiasm on Sunday.

red teens

Red Teens, 18 x 12, oil on linen
Red Teens, 18 x 12, oil on linen

A hot day is a good day for red and a hot date. Top it off with your orange bucket.

sand dance

Sand Dance, 32 x 48, oil on linen
Sand Dance, 32 x 48, oil on linen

It's enlightening to watch children on the beach spontaneously begin to dance. They spin, run, and splash, feeling the water, sand, wind and heat of the sun (ok, I could have said earth, wind, and fire.)

open studio tour May 21 & 22, 10 - 5 daily

The weather's looking good for the Cape Ann Artisans Studio Tour, May 21 & 22, 10 - 5 daily. Come see my new, spring work and take a stroll in our gardens (tip: if you're into birding bring your binocs - the warbler migration is in progress). The new work includes several 'atmospheric' pieces, like Low Tide (previous post), and then there's Good Harbor Water, a playful piece that leans abstract. My dog theme continues with Black, Red and White.Download a tour brochure and map here

Good Harbor Water, 24 x 30, oil on linen, © 2016 Rob Diebboll
Good Harbor Water, 24 x 30, oil on linen, © 2016 Rob Diebboll
Black, Red and White, 20 x 30, oil on linen, © 2016 Rob Diebboll
Black, Red and White, 20 x 30, oil on linen, © 2016 Rob Diebboll

low tide

Low Tide, 20 x 30, oil on linen, © 2016 Rob Diebboll
Low Tide, 20 x 30, oil on linen, © 2016 Rob Diebboll

Warm air pours over the cool, spring ocean at low tide, creating fog banks rising like dreams under a sleepy hat. This is one in a series of atmospheric pieces.

bonita beach

Bonita Beach, 40  x 54, oil on linen, © 2016
Bonita Beach, 40 x 54, oil on linen, © 2016

On Bonita Beach in January the Sanderlings run at your feet while the Pelicans glide overhead and the people go every which way, but usually north and south. No, we're not on Cape Ann anymore... This is a big one at 40" x 54", and took a good month or so to make. I keep tweeking things while it settles - this isn't the 'final' image anymore.

new online store

Just in time for the holidays, I got in two new greeting cards, "Brothers" and "East Breeze", bringing my offering to eight different cards. These are 4" x 6", blank, folded, with envelopes, in an attractive, clear box. You didn't know I had cards? To help with your last minute shopping I put together a secure online store. These are great stocking stuffers, or a nice, small gift for someone who appreciates sharing art. Take a look: https://squareup.com/market/robert-s-diebboll

open studio day 1

The studio is cleaned up and ready to show off the work, which I feel really good about - I think it's my best show yet. I usually get 100+ visitors and it's going to be great weather all weekend after last night's rain. Bring it on!

waves

Waves, 16  x 16, oil on linen, © 2015 Rob Diebboll
Waves, 16 x 16, oil on linen, © 2015 Rob Diebboll

This is a small color study done plein air, standing high up on the Cape Hedge popple dune (rock pile) looking down on the incoming surf. I'm intrigued by the life and color transitions of a wave. The many influences on the color include the wave height, water depth and clarity (bubbles, sand), ground type (sand, rock, seaweed), water surface angle reflecting light from the sky and sun. Of course, water is clear with a reflective surface, so it's creating color from what's below it, in it, and above it. This is the frustration and fun of painting water. BTW, did you know that the color "blue" was never mentioned in texts like Homer's The Odyssey and The Iliad?