Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Face of Water

Craig Gilliland, "Fogbank LL"
 Oil on canvas, 6'x4'
Last year while out at sea with ACCESS, a research partnership between PRBO Conservation Science, and our two local marine sanctuaries, Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank, I had trouble concentrating on the story I was reporting because the surface of the water captured my attention and wouldn't let go.

A few days later I put a soundtrack to the feeling: 2Cellos play Cold Play's "Viva la Vida"

Painter Stephen Ehret, who has lived in an anchor-oat boat on Richardson Bay since the early 1970s, has painted nothing but the "face" of water for over a decade. "Water is very emotional," he says. "It goes through different phases and repeats different faces everyday depending on the wind and sun."

Stephen Ehret, "Early Morning Rain"
Graphite & acrylic glazes on canvas, 6' x 8'
"I try to capture a certain moment of light on the water," says Ehret. "This is one of the faces of water. It has a certain quality or gesture to it. It speaks somehow, has an emotion."

Ehret is one of the artists showing work in The BiggerPicture: 7 Artists Paint Large to Support Coast Cleanup, an art show at the Bay Model in Sausalito from September 12 to 29, 2012. The other artists are Chris Adessa, Jennifer Fearon, Craig Gilliland, Victoria Mimiaga, Thomas Wood, and Kay Young. For the show, the seven artists have painted large (at least 6 feet) to honor the beauty and mystery of the ocean, and to recognize the importance and challenge in keeping it healthy. A portion of the sales will go to the San Francisco chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.

Chris Adessa, "Sheltered Beach"
Oil on canvas, 60" x 72"
Meet the Surfrider Foundation on September 22 from 1 to 2 p.m., and stay for a reception with the artists from 2 to 4 p.m.

Bay Model Visitors Center, Sausalito
Contact: or (415) 302-1320