I escape the city as often as I can to go and watch the water. My studio is located in downtown Brooklyn, a gritty place that is also one of the most active retail trade centers of the world. Nonetheless, located as it is on the extreme western tip of Long Island, Brooklyn is of a piece with the pristine beaches that stretch one hundred and twenty miles to the east. The Atlantic Avenue train station is my doorway to heaven, closing on traffic-clogged, littered streets and opening onto the littoral, the blue sky and waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

I frequently carry a portable easel and my oil paints, working directly from the motif in the “plein air” style of 19th century landscape painters. I am inspired by a love of nature and a desire to see it preserved in an unspoiled state. My larger paintings are made in the studio using sketches and photographs, but my true guide is nature itself, etched in my mind from hours spent observing the interactions of the elements. Watching water is a wonderful way to experience the power and subtleties of nature, and to truly see.

I feel that painting in the midst of urban chaos gains a little poignancy from this juxtaposition of hope and harsh fact. Whether the paintings themselves are imbued with any special qualities due to the locale of their making I can’t say, but what I do appreciate is the literal, physical connection of Brooklyn to the beach--the fact that the great outwash plain under my studio eventually ends facing the ocean. And I like to think that feeling comes through in the paintings.

Some of the large seascapes will be in an exhibition at the Henry Gregg Gallery beginning February 25th, 2010. Contact art@henrygregggallery.com for further information.

Frank Lind

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