Evening Surf
30 x 30 in.
Oil on panel
$3600 available through the artist

Crashing surf hitting the rocky Maine coast or pounding the sandy beaches of the Outer Banks of North Carolina is the subject of a group of Jean Schwartz’s coastal paintings. While she also paints landscapes and cityscapes the ocean continues to be her favorite subject. Jean’s coastal paintings are inspired by places she knows well and has spent years observing.

In Evening Surf, as in most of her marine paintings, Jean’s subject is the ocean itself. Rarely are people or boats present and most have the viewer experiencing the surf up close from the rocks or standing right in the water. It is the ocean’s movement, light and color in all its variations that appeal to her.

“As a subject I think the ocean provides an artist a great opportunity to express a mood. The viewer can find a sense of danger, excitement, chaos or peace depending on the how the ocean is portrayed.”

Observation is what Jean feels is key in painting the movement of the ocean. Spending over 20 years on the Outer Banks painting in all seasons either from the beach or from the decks and windows of her house allows her to often create her studio paintings from memory. Rather than use a still photo for inspiration she will sometimes use videos of the surf she filmed on her iPhone. She finds it easier to paint moving water by watching it then looking away and painting what is in her minds eye. “Copying surf from a still photo can cause the painting to become tight and stilted. It is better to get into a rhythm and keep it loose to create the movement of the water”.

Jean’s paintings can be found in private and corporate collections both in the U.S. and Europe and some have been loaned to U.S. embassies through the State Department.

Jean is an artist member of The Washington Society of Landscape Painters, OPA, The Salmagundi Club, ASMA and is an elected fellow of The American Artists Professional League.

To see more of Jean’s paintings visit her website.
Or follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

Read her Fine Art Today Feature Articles here and here.