View Full Version : Turn of the Tides

Alex Wisniewski
01-01-2012, 05:38 AM
Hi all,
yes ... I'm a newbie, but this looks like a good site to connect with like-minded people. So I'm going to try my first image post and keep my fingers crossed that it works. This is a painting I did in 2005 called 'Turn of the Tides'. It's acrylic and collage (sand and shells) on canvas, 270cm x 150cm (8'10" x 4'11")

I live near the coast and love the ocean, my main inspiration. I've been painting professionally for 30 years and still haven't satisfied my inner critic ... some things never change. I'm looking forward to interacting and contributing to this community. When I sort all this new stuff out I'll post some of my source imagery (photos) and other stuff.

Oh ... and happy new year !!

01-01-2012, 06:29 AM
This looks pretty good to me Alex. It is impressive on my computer screen so it must be really something when seen in its full size. I look forward to seeing more of your work.

01-01-2012, 06:44 AM
Welcome to the Acrylics Forum at Wet Canvas. Glad to have you here.

IMHO, very nice work. Well executed.

chammi kaiser
01-01-2012, 07:58 AM
A warm welcome from me too, Alex. This is a beautiful, harmonious work and I am really looking forward to more of your paintings.

Alex Wisniewski
01-01-2012, 08:25 AM
Well that seemed to work ok. Thanks for the warm welcome. Here's a few more images of past work done at various times. I almost always paint on stretched canvas and have a few standard sizes to make life simpler for me and my framer.

"Afterglow - Lake Ballard" I had an exhibition of work based on this desolate and arid location, that's me ... trying to find beauty in the most unlikely places.

"Twilight Mirage - Lake Ballard" This one has iron stone pebbles and sand from the location collaged onto the surface. I spent weeks out in this desert, a hostile environment but an incredible inspiration at the same time.

"Moonrise - Little Meelup" A little closer to home this one, my favourite local beach.

I hope these aren't too big.

The colour graduations in the sky aren't airbrushed, I use layers of very thin acrylic applied with wide, soft brushes. It took me a while to realize that the big secret of acrylic paint is water!!!

01-01-2012, 11:02 AM
Welcome to the forum Alex, nice to have you here. I really like your paintings, especially Twilight Mirage with the texture in the foreground.

Alex Wisniewski
01-01-2012, 11:59 AM
Thanks PattiLou, I've been using collage for a while, mostly in seascapes. I love the tactile dimension it brings to the work. The irony of it is I spend half my time applying it to the canvas and then the rest of the time trying to hide it.

One last image before I clock-off ... this one is all about my passion for surrealism. It's called 'Mercury Distracted'. I still have progressive photos of it and will post those with a description of my working methods when I work out where to post them ... Not sure if this is the place to do that.


01-01-2012, 06:13 PM
Great stuff Alex


01-01-2012, 08:17 PM
i love the whole look of it

01-01-2012, 11:30 PM
Are you sure they are paintings? :) They are so good, i thought i was looking at photos

Alex Wisniewski
01-02-2012, 12:40 AM
Thanks paznbaz, Mz Sketch Pad and RayleneAus.
Yes, they ARE paintings ... I have the grey hair to prove it :)

Here's one more from the Lake Ballard series, this one also makes use of collage. Iron stone pebbles and 'pindan' (the red earth from the location). Nothing like sticking a chunk of your subject matter onto the canvas to evoke the feel of the location. Lake Ballard is in the northern goldfields of western australia so one extra touch was required ... I mashed up some gold leaf in binder medium until it was just specks and flakes of gold floating in the medium and then applied it over the collage to create 'nuggets' on the surface. It worked well, the photo doesn't really capture it but as you walk around this painting you get little flashes of gold reflections.

I'd like to post a series of photos showing how I apply the collage, I have some step x step photos of beach paintings where I use shells and sand. I have developed a technique which makes it far less time consuming (it used to take me weeks, now it's minutes!) So when I organize the photos I'll start a new thread just about that.

"Geological Justice" - Acrylic, iron stone, pindan on canvas 180cm x 100cm (6'11" x 3'4")

I'll also post some of the photos of the salt lake surface with it's amazing patterns. The 'island' in the lake is a reference to the painting of Albert Namatjira, it is the top of a mountain from one of his incredible watercolours. I often plunder from the past and construct a scene from all kinds of sources. My intention with this series wasn't to simply represent the location, I wanted to load it with the feeling of the place and a sense of history.

01-02-2012, 12:52 AM
These are beautiful! Each is stunning in it's own right.

01-02-2012, 01:13 AM
Oh you had me hooked at the first painting! The way you use curves to both draw the eye into the painting as well as give it a sense of depth is quite remarkable. The reds tone down the blues exactly in balance and keep it 'natural'. Most effective technique.

Afterglow - Lake Ballard" has a sense of dryness, lonelinesss, and stunning beauty. I was sweating after viewing it. the fade from orange to orange is remarkable, seamless. Even more remarkable for having done that in acrylic.

Yes, I will look forward to your WIP's of this.

Twilight Mirage - Lake Ballard- I do not recall ever having seen a better "mirage" image done ay where. The outcropping is just floating. Was this done from a photo study or plein air? or both. Incorporating actual material from the site is quite an effective choice.

Moonrise - Little Meelup- again, the gradation blaending of the sky is stunning, as is the red rock caught by the setting sun. I like the reflection of the moon, too. Perhaps it is just my monitor, but am not as fond of the blue of the water, seems 'bright'.. The small wash of red on the high spot of each wave shows an attention to detrail and really adds to the painting.

'Mercury Distracted' is so complex and could be interpeted so many ways that I won't even reveal what I think about it... except to say my reaction is overwhelmingly enthusiastic! I think this is museum quality.

Geological Justice- "Acrylic, iron stone, pindan " in it ? and gold? and it is 180cm x 100cm (6'11" x 3'4")!!!!

My eyes kept feeling that the patterns made by all the little 'stones' mid-ground were pointing me to the outcropping. The pattern of "salt lake surface with it's amazing patterns" also seemed to be drawn geometrically and gave me a sense of direction toward the center. Not sure how you achieved that, but it is sooooo effective.

Having said all that, "Welcome!"

I am now a huge fan of yours, if available, I'd love to visit your website.


Alex Wisniewski
01-02-2012, 02:11 AM
Thanks Gayle and Greg.

Yes I do have a web site. It's not active, just an archive. If it's not showing up in my personal info here's the address: http://www.alex-wisniewski.com/

The mirage images are based on photos and location sketches. I use these as source material, manipulating them to fit my composition. I rarely duplicate photos, I have done commissions like that in the past but no longer accept work on that basis. If I haven't been to a location or have some connection with it I find my brushes are reluctant to go there.

I have some time to spare today so I'll get to work on posting some source photos from the salt lakes and a step x step of "Mercury Distracted"

Thanks again, this is a friendly site ... such a nice change.

01-02-2012, 02:23 AM
Alex - I just went to your website - amasing - simply incredible - i am wowed.

Your work is so beautiful - you have a fan here.

Tell me that you are a rich famous artist - surely someone of your talent must be incredibly rich :)

And by the look of it - you are an aussie :) I am so proud

01-02-2012, 02:41 AM
Thank you for sharing your artwork, these are stunning!

Alex Wisniewski
01-02-2012, 06:25 AM
Thanks RayleneAus and mlou jhu,

No, I'm not rich ... sigh
No, I'm not famous ... sigh
Yes, I am Australian ... yay!!!!!!!! :)

01-02-2012, 11:17 AM
Hi Alex!!
welcome to the forum!!:wave:
Magnificent paintings!! You have such talent for details and perception,
I LOVE them all!!:clap: :clap: :clap:
would love to see your progress photos.. You can post one painting with the work in progress(WIP) in its own thread!
Look forward to seeing it!!

01-02-2012, 12:41 PM
Beautiful Beautiful Work! Welcome to the forum!

Ms Nan
01-02-2012, 05:40 PM
Beautiful paintings. I think I could see the gold flecks in "Geological justice". They are all just gorgeous.

01-02-2012, 05:49 PM
Love your style Alex!

01-02-2012, 06:07 PM
Just checked out your site...Brilliant. I have to try this effect.
They show your wonderful talent and they must be spectacular to see full size.