I painted this picture in little over an hour on a piece of paper in Denmark. I don’t know if it was on purpose, but the lady actually sat down on that boat right as I was finishing up. Sometimes lucky incidents happen. I added her. This painting was my first en plain air. It taught me a valuable lesson. Always bring a parasol. My paint was drying up like crazy and I spent the next three days looking like a tomato.
There’s a story behind this picture that’s about more than what’s depicted on it. I was in Denmark with my parents and sister on what was probably the last time we’ll have a proper family holiday with just the four of us. I had decided not to bring any technology with me. No computer and no phone. I thought this would help me unplug from society and relax. Day three and I had discovered the only difference it made was that I was now grabbing for air every time I tried to grab for my phone. Talk about habit.
The first three days had been very dreary. Not just the weather. There was a tiredness that took a few days to leave my body. On the third evening we were watching Danish news on television. It was showing something about the failed coup in Turkey. My dad was reading something about dead cops in America on his computer. The news switched to France where some idiot had ploughed through 84 people a few days earlier. I had wanted to get away from this stuff for a week but it had found me again.
It was 9 PM. The Danish sun started shining for the first time since we arrived. I decided to take a little walk along the beach. To my surprise my family wished to join.
So it was ten minutes later that we were walking along a calm Danish beach overlooking the Skagerrak. Finally here, the ever present noise of a world at war with itself was drowned out. The gentle sounds of a friendly sea meeting with the shore were all that was left. My parents were walking ten meters ahead. My sister was walking next to me. I was looking for flat rocks that I could skid across the water. At the fifth attempt I finally managed to make a rock skid once.
My sister is cracking jokes about my poor throwing. Ignoring her I eagerly go looking for more rocks. Suddenly it’s no longer 2016. It’s 1999. I feel like a child again. Life is careless; The world peaceful. Summer will never end.