He Is Stealing My Heart

I’m a water person. I love boating, swimming, scuba diving, and just looking at the ever-changing surface of nearby waterways. And I’m not alone. American artists–and those abroad–have been enamored with so many beautiful bodies of water over the centuries. But the watery artist who is stealing my heart right now is Jonas Lie.

Old Wharves, Camden, Maine by Jonas Lie, ca. 1925-40, oil painting.
Old Wharves, Camden, Maine by Jonas Lie, ca. 1925-40, oil painting.

Lie was born in Norway, but he spent a large part of his career painting the coastal areas of New England. When I started searching for his art online, I was blown away with what I found. In every seascape of Lie’s that I look at, I feel transported. He made the light reflecting on the water look so real. But it was the way he crafted the light in the atmosphere, as it bounced off the water or filtered down from the rays of the sun or the moon, that really astonishes me.

The art techniques Lie employed are not overly complicated. He used color and texture to do what he did. It’s so simple, I tell myself. But looking at a painting like Old Wharves, Camden, Maine, with its blues and whites and greens and yellows, tells me I have so much to learn about creating atmospheric effects in painting.

From the Rockport Shore, Maine by Jonas Lie, ca. 1926-27, oil painting.
From the Rockport Shore, Maine by Jonas Lie, ca. 1926-27, oil painting.

I already know it will take a good deal of persevering, because I’ve never done a seascape painting before. But with Lie as my guide, at least I know I am fired up and inspired enough to try. One of my upcoming goals is to get out on the water and start sketching. But before I do, I’m going to delve into the essentials of plein air painting and work on my watercolor skills with several of the Autumn Art Expo kits at the North Light Shop. I’m especially drawn to the Fluid Acrylics with Linda Kemp Kit right now because it is an alternative to watercolor and really delves into natural light effects, which are so important in plein air painting.

So see what will help you in your next painting project and if you glean any ideas or tips from looking at Jonas Lie’s work that could help me out, leave a comment and let me know. You know I can use the help!


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Courtney Jordan

About Courtney Jordan

  Courtney is the editor of Artist Daily. For her, art is one of life’s essentials and a career mainstay. She’s pursued academic studies of the Old Masters of Spain and Italy as well as museum curatorial experience, writing and reporting on arts and culture as a magazine staffer, and acquiring and editing architecture and cultural history books. She hopes to recommit herself to more studio time, too, working in mixed media.   

5 thoughts on “He Is Stealing My Heart

  1. This whole painting just blows me away, but the impressive part to me, besides the light, is his mastery of perception, scale, distance…the boats so small, the trees and bank so high.
    An absolute joy to view, a gift to the soul!!!

    Melody Nydam