Stormy Emerald Sea

Here are a few images of my painting process and time-lapsed videos of my new wave painting entitled “Stormy Emerald Sea”. It measures 100 cm wide and 50 cm high and has a depth of 4cm or 39.5 inches wide x 19.5 inches high x 1.5 inches deep.

Stage One…Blocking out the main colours and light and dark areas.
“Stormy Emerald Sea” oil painting on canvas measuring 100 x 50 cm £350. Shows a large wave cresting in the middle of the canvas with the light coming through the wave turning the deep blue ocean emerald green at the centre of the wave.
Stage Two …. adding texture and highlights to define key shapes and wave forms
Stage 3 …. adding glazes to deepen the colours and enrich the surface. Knocking back the highlight at the front of the main wave
"Emerald Ocean Wave" oil painting on canvas measuring 100 x 50 cm £350. Shows a large wave cresting in the middle of the canvas with the light coming through the wave turning the deep blue ocean emerald green at the centre of the wave.
Stage 4 …. glazing with viridian green and cobalt blue oil paint mixed with liquin. Adding more detail to the surface water and the cresting wave. Think I have gone too far on the main wave cresting. Will knock this back when the canvas has dried some. Need to adjust the highlights on the water as they are getting too much and distracting from the main focus of the painting the emerald wave.
Stormy Emerald Sea oil on canvas painting measuring 50 x 100cm £350. Shows a dark green and blue rough sea with a large emerald wave cresting in the centre.
Stage 5…. I have refined the highlights and finished glazing the darker areas. The painting is now complete.

This painting is now available on this website, where you will find more details and close up photos of the finished painting a click here

Here is a link to a time-lapsed video showing my painting process click here

Pavilions hosts art exhibition by Catherine Kennedy

Art Exhibition by Catherine Kennedy of seascape oil paintings at Teignmouth Pavilions  30th June - 19th July

Catherine Kennedy’s 2nd solo art exhibition of seascape oil paintings at Teignmouth Pavilions starts Sunday 30th June – Friday 19th July.

This art exhibition is at the Pavilions, Den Crescent, Teignmouth, TQ14 8BG on the ground floor in the foyer. It starts on Sunday 30th June until Friday 19th July 2019. Opening times are Monday – Friday 10am – 3pm. Free entry. The Pavilions is a great space to show the new work of local artists.

Born in Buckinghamshire, Catherine moved to Devon 14 years ago and is now based in Teignmouth, South Devon. Painting from an early age it wasn’t until she reached her mid 30’s that she went to art school, graduating with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art in 2008 at the University of Plymouth.

Having visited the Torbay area annually as a child, the coastal images have had a marked affect on her work. Now drawn back to her childhood haunts the strong tides and rough seas of the Devon and Cornish coastline still inspire her work. These large waves have been the main theme of a series of oil paintings started 5 years ago that have amounted to 49 so far. The rivers around Dartmoor and long exposure photographic images of water have influence another series of paintings started recently. In particular looking at the way images are altered using this photographic technique and altering them further using another medium.

She is a member of the Devon Artist Network and a-n and has been recently elected an art Ambassador for the Torbay UNESCO Geopark.

Resolving a troublesome wave painting.

I decided to look at this existing seascape again and change some aspects of it.

Large Wave Breaking Reworked

This painting has undergone several changes overtime. The earliest photo of it is here. Sometimes I find it really helpful to go back in time to see where the painting was working before I became unhappy with it. I had forgotten the sky had been this light grey until looking over old photos.

wave breaking alternative

On the same day as the image above I had reworked the wave, but had put too much black on the underside of the wave.

wave breaking alternative image

The following day I had reworked the crest of the wave to a more pleasing shape and colour. Unfortunately I had decided for some reason to change the sky, which I can now see had already been working.

wave breaking alternative

I changed the colour of the sky again to a strange blue.

Then I applied a glaze of light turquoise. This covered up too much of the under-painting and made the painting milky. By adding too many white highlights, I lost some of the definition on the surf

"wave breaking" oil on canvas 100 x 70cm £395

So recently I put the painting back on the easle. Then with a lot of turpentine, white spirit and elbow grease I scrubbed back the turquoise glaze to reveal the under-painting. Returned the sky to a light grey giving the focus of the painting back to the light coming though the wave. Also gave more definition to the shadows and the tunnel.

"wave breaking" oil on canvas 100 x 70cm £395

I think I’ve learned through this that it is vital to recognise what is working in a painting at its earliest stages. Hold onto those elements and don’t over glaze for the sake of it.

"wave breaking" giclee print
“Wave breaking” Oil on canvas: 100 x 70cm

10 Ways to find local artists work you enjoy

As a community, it is important to support local artists because, without local support, the art they make would stop and the impact it could have made would disappear. If you support a local artist, you are in turn supporting all of our respective creative freedoms.

Once artists are able to express themselves creatively and freely, beautiful art is made that can be admired by the community and beyond. These art pieces not only reflect the artists’ ideas, but also their hidden messages behind each work of art.

Sources to find local artists

  • Search Google for (insert your towns name) local artists
  • Instagram will list artists nearby if you type in your local town
  • Search Facebook. Artists will often promote themselves by creating a Facebook fan page. Here’s mine.
  • Google my business lists local artists
  • Yell lists local artists
  • Local artist list some local artist in your area
  • My Art Brief where you can commission an artist to paint a work for you with the dimensions and colours of your choice
  • Visit local galleries. They usually promote local artists
  • Look in your local paper. They will often feature local artists showing work in a nearby venue
  • In Devon, where I am based, you have the devonartistnetwork an organisation specializing in local devon artists with an open studio event every September

Multimedia Art Show

Multimedia Art Show at TAAG in Teignmouth 9th March - 15th March 2019 open daily 10am - 5pm
Multimedia Art Show including seascape painter Catherine Kennedy BA Hons, landscape painters Paddy Tuohy and Paul Littlejohns, animal painter Jenni Watters, ceramicist Gail Trezise, illustrator Rory Kennedy BA Hons and Emma Pritchard BA Hons, printmaker Danni Thurely BA Hons, painter and printmaker Becky Elia BA Hons and Marcus Nodwell BA Hons and animator Ross Kennedy.

“Multimedia Art Show” featuring 2018 graduates alongside well established artist at TAAG, Teignmouth, Devon. The young and not so young showcase their latest work. Starts 9th until 15th March 2019. Open 10am – 5pm Daily. Preview Evening Saturday 9th 6.30pm – 9pm.

A diverse exhibition of seascape, landscape and figurative paintings, prints, ceramics, digital art and video by Devon based artists and recent graduates of the Plymouth College of Arts. This eclectic mix artists makes for an unusual and varied exhibition.

Teignmouth based TAAG prides itself on showing a wide range of local artist and this exhibition is no exception. Exhibiting new work from this year’s illustration and printmaking graduates of the Plymouth College of Arts, animation from Bristol University student as well as a more established Fine Art graduate from the University of Plymouth and landscape, seascape and figurative painters from Teignbridge and East Devon. All welcome. Free entry. Lots to see and original artwork available to buy.

Sea storm the 5 stages of a new painting


Stage 1.

Setting out the composition of my sea storm painting  i.e. the combination of all elements in the artwork, not just visual elements, but also the mood and light.

Stage 2.

Refining the composition. I find looking at the image from a distance, at least 20 feet away, really helpful.  It can show things you have missed working close up. Also taking photos of the work can enable you to see things from a different angle and perspective.

Stage 3.

Glazing. I use glazes to enrich the surface to the work. I may return to a canvas several weeks after applying an initial glaze to reapply another if needed. Drying can change to the look of a painting dramatically, so its important to give it time to develop.
Stage 4.
Highlights. Once the glaze has dried or sometimes whilst it is drying, depending on the effect desired, I like to go back and highlight the crest of waves or the ripples on the ocean. This gives you a good depth of field.

Stage 5oil on canvas of a blue wave in a stormy sea

The wave highlights have been softened and a blue glaze applied.  The sky has been changed with a warm yellow in the distance to contrast with the cold blues in the foreground.

These 5 stages are not cast in stone and I may mix them up or return to stage 2 or 3 even after stage 4. It just depends on how successful or not the final piece is.

New wave painting from start to finish

abstract blue wave canvas print
Abstract Blue Wave painting available as a giclee print in 3 sizes
Stage one. Thick paint is applied leaving the palette knife marks visible. This is an abstract wave painting so the definition is left loose. Available as a giclee print in 3 sizes from this website.
New wave painting oil on canvas measuring 80 x 80 cm or 31.5 x 31.5 inches. Stage 2
Stage 2 of the new wave painting lines are smoothed out

Having decided to take photos from start to finish of my new wave painting. The first image is stage 1 and the other is the second stage. At this point I find it helpful to look at the progress of the work and decide where I can make alterations. Some of the parts of the canvas to me looked better in stage 1 than they do now. This can alter the way I proceed to stage 3.

I find even if you preferred the way the painting started initially to now you have to keep going. At times it can be frustrating but hopefully the painting will resolve itself.  It is important to take photos throughout as this helps you see your progress from a different perspective. Photos can highlight areas obviously in need of more thought.

“Into the blue” a work in progress

Large Oil on canvas painting "into the blue"

“Into the blue”

Just started on a new work today with a preliminary title of  “Into the blue”.

I have been looking at the work of Maggi Hambling and her attitude to the sea with its ‘walls of water’. Her use of oil paints and the free reign it gives her is really inspiring. She says “oil paint has a great life force of its own”.

The range of blues and turquoise from photographs of giant waves in the South Pacific has also inspired me.

However a winter sea with its pale green, white and grey can be equally interesting to try and capture.

One of the reasons that I keep returning to the subject of giant waves and their power might have to do with the fact that I was knocked over by a large wave as a young child and hurled into the sand with some force. I clearly remember the mouthful of sand which resulted.

I will add to this post as I progress.

Worked some more on this today. Trying to get the crest right.

“Into the blue, aqua version” Oil on canvas


framed oil on canvas 21 x 31 inches
Finished this painting and it is now available for sale “Into the blue II, turquoise version” Framed oil on canvas 21 x 31 inches  price £330 Please click here for details

Why I return to and rework some of my paintings

"Wave breaking" by Catherine Kennedy Original oil on canvas painting measuring: 70 x 100 cm or 27.5 x 39 inches. Large turquoise wave cresting

Rework a painting

Sometimes I find after working on a painting for a period of time I just can’t see it properly anymore. I have to leave it and walk away and return to it and rework a painting after a week or even months. It might appear to be finished or unresolved at the time. However when revisiting it I can see the painting with clearer vision. This process of time can change the way I look at a painting. I might be pleased with it when I initially finished it, but on reflection it just doesn’t seem right. So more work needs to be done in order for me to be satisfied with the final outcome.

Below are 4 photographs of a painting I was reworking. Taking photos gives me another viewpoint and can help with colours or see unresolved parts of the painting that just don’t seem clear to me in real life. I have now finished this painting and the large view is the completed painting. It took sometime to get there, but it’s all about keeping going until you are satisfied you have resolved most the issues. Finally it is knowing when to stop.

Before and after reworking

Large oil painting of a blue wave breaking, why I rework a painting
“Wave breaking”

large oil painting of a blue wave, why I rework a painting
“Wave breaking”








oil painting by Catherine Kennedy of a large blue wave breaking with a blue sky
Nearly finished. Final adjustments

waveart, wave painting, large oil painting of a wave
“Wave Breaking” Oil on canvas 70 x 100 cm or 27.5 x 39.5 inches.  This is now finished and available for sale. Please follow this link for more details “Wave Breaking”