Christopher Kovacs - Fine Art
June 25, 2024   12:29 pm NL Time

Ragged Rocks

Click Here for Full, Larger View

Ragged Rocks


Status of Original Painting – For Sale

All prices are in Canadian dollars

Size: 13.25 x 20  inches

Price: Inquire

Medium: Watercolour on 300 lb Arches


These jagged, colorful, sea-scoured rocks form part of the coastline near the town of Bonavista, Newfoundland. I captured many subtle colors in these rocks that aren’t so visible in the reduced resolution of this photo  – varying shades of blue, purple, green, orange, yellow, and brown. Plus the highlights of whites and contrasts of dark black and brown that make the rocks so distinctive and crisp.

This proved a tedious painting to work on, which was unexpected. I’ve done many other paintings of rocky coastlines, but this one was exceptional for the endless details in the rocks and myriad colors. Painting the water was a welcome relief from the rest. Several times I considered abandoning it and doing something else. But I kept in mind the teaching of William Wegman, the Dutch artist who taught me for eight years during my elementary and highschool years. He admonished me to always finish every painting because there’s something to be learned from it. Also, he advised that what I’m not happy with may surprise me when it’s done. Plus, he remarked that the artist is not the best judge of their work; there is always someone who will love a painting that does nothing for someone else. This has proved to be true on so many occasions, where a painting I didn’t think much of has sold within minutes of completing it.

When I paint, the parchment is taped down horizontal on a drafting table (watercolor would run otherwise), so I’m always looking at it from an oblique angle. But when I’m finished, remove it from the table, prop it upright, and stand back, the difference in what I then see can be transformative.

I’m reminded that among my favorite authors, the late Gene Wolfe and now Neil Gaiman have repeatedly said that a writer only learns how to write the novel that they just finished. Every subsequent novel becomes a new experience in learning how to write that particular novel. And so too every painting represents a new experience to learn from – as well as to recall techniques that I’ve used before but forgotten. (What brush was that again? How did I do this before?) If every painting required the same efforts to complete it with no challenges, then it would be boring to do.

I was so wrapped up in completing this one that I had no working title for it. When I was done, nothing suitable came to mind. And so special thanks to my fiancée Lisa, who came up with the perfect title for it. Short and alliterative is always good.

Follow me on Instagram