Art is mystery, and so is the sea. That's how I see it, feel it. When I look at the ocean waves there is a fear, an awe inspiring type fear; I know the depths and power of the wave, that it could swallow me up without thought or care and I vanish forever. And there is art. My art specifically. It is a mystery no matter how long I've been doing it. What comes out onto canvas is much more than the sum of it's parts--it is as profound as a wave is powerful.
I paint the water because it is the great mystery. It is the monster that haunts my mind and I tame it, at least there, when I paint it on canvas. I feel the power in each movement of the brush. The strokes are as if blown by the wind itself. That's what it takes to paint convincingly--you must feel it. Command of the elements of art are only the beginning of being an artist. Depth of feeling is the unteachable thing. It comes as an ache in my muscles that guide my brush, and fulfill my motive.
You can't think about how to feel. You just feel it. I think about the elements sometimes--this shape, this value or color, relationships in the composition--but I don't think about how to feel. I react to my feeling.
Painting water is the closest thing I can think of to painting God, more so than any other motif. That is the goal isn't it, with art, to find ultimate meaning and purpose.