The painting seems somewhat in the tradition of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, which one can read about on Wikipedia. However, I'm not knowledgeable enough in art history to give any definitive esthetic judgments, although I can certainly describe what I am able to discern for myself in this painting.
Obviously, there is a large area of blue that suggests water of some kind, such as an ocean or lake. Then there is a sharp transition to areas that are not blue, which suggests a boundary between water and land. Some of the apparent land is green in color, which suggests vegetation on the land.
That's mainly what I saw in the painting initially. It seemed that the water most likely was ocean, and the distance from the observer to the surface of the water was probably from fairly high up, as in an airplane.
But then I noticed the pointed triangular feature prominent in the lower left area of the scene. That sort of looks to me like a canoe. If so, then the distance from the viewer to the ground must be considerably shorter than at first it seemed, such as from a tower or building roughly two or three stories high. And in that case, it seems more likely that the water is a lake rather than an ocean. Assuming that that the blue is water at all.
The whole painting is very blurred, like someone who badly needs a pair of glasses to see more clearly. If the subject matter of the painting was intended to be more specific than what I have described, then the artist should consider using sharper, more focused brush strokes and techniques. The lack of clarity is discussed by Leonard Peikoff in OPAR as a distraction and deficiency in a work of art. But at least the apparent subject, if it is truly in the work and not being projected into it by my own context, is a pleasant, generally benevolent subject. I don't see serious tension, conflict or malevolence in this work, other than the "blurriness" (lack of clarity) in depicting the subject.
If the questioner is looking for psychological revelations about the artist from a painting such as this, that is outside the scope of esthetics per se.
If, on the other hand, the scene was intended to be a depiction of a different subject, such as a churning, swirling volcano erupting or about to erupt, then it will need considerable refining to make such a subject more clear.
It has also occurred to me that this type of painting may only be an "ink blot," used by psychologists to help find out what's on someone's mind. Not being a pscyhologist myself, I have no idea what might have been on this artist's mind, or whether the work is just an "ink blot" in the first place.
answered Mar 13 '11 at 15:26
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