Reflections in the Sand~ Where do I start?

It’s not always the case that I have a vision where I want to go when starting a new painting.  Usually I have a general idea when I start but rarely does a painting flow from start to finish.  I attribute this to the fact that I like to look at each painting as a unique piece, something different from all the others.  Most paintings I do go through an awkward stage where I’m trying to find that certain something that makes it unique.  Reflections was refreshingly different!

Reflections by William R. Beebe, 12 x 12, oil on board, SOLD

Reflections by William R. Beebe, 12 x 12, oil on board, SOLD

I chose the image because I liked the composition.  The four little Sanderlings scattering in the wet sand caused strong broken reflections, creating a frenetic scene.  I thought it was a perfect representation of how I see them at the beach.   

When I sat down at my easel with a simple drawing on a white gessoed board, I wasn’t sure where I wanted to take the painting.  The moment is like the Norman Rockwell drawing I did that is at the end of every blog I write, an artist scratching his head wondering what’s next.

Drawing by William R. Beebe

Drawing by William R. Beebe

I’m busy painting for an upcoming one-man show and I’m working on creating a cohesive body of work.  In other words, not having too wide a range in style from painting to painting.  I had no intention of pushing my range and creating something very different.

When I started this painting, the brush just kind of led me.  It wasn’t work, it was fun.  Within the first few hours I could see the finished painting in my head.  The problem was it was so different from my body of work that I thought, can I go with it or should I tighten up and refine it to look more like my other paintings?  

The broken geometric shapes and bold brush strokes were creating an almost abstract quality to the painting, and I began to wonder if I was getting too far away from my other work .

I decided I had to go with it.  If it became too “out there” for my show we would just exclude it.

Now that it’s done and it is certainly different, I’m glad I stuck with the direction my initial painting session took me.   I liken the process in this painting to how jazz musicians must feel when they begin to improvise and go off on a riff.

Surprisingly, the colors and painting compliment my existing body of work.  It just extended my range of style a little bit.  Jen and I both found ourselves staring at it, liking it and hoping others liked it too.

Fortunately someone did and it has already sold!  Reflections will be heading south and be near the shore in its beautiful new home.  

Thank you to all of you who have followed this and other works of mine in progress, commented on Facebook, and been so encouraging.  It’s always most appreciated!


One of the joys of being an artist is having the freedom to follow my passion...
— William R. Beebe
What's next? Drawing by William R. Beebe

What's next?

Drawing by William R. Beebe