17 Modern Beach Paintings

Brooklyn, New York, and part-time Lake Michigan artist George Schmidt tells us about his contemporary-meets-coastal style.

Porsche Mandala

George Schmidt

Porsche Mandala

Ink on paper, 30” x 35”

“Just about anything, if repeated in a circular motif, becomes a fascinating, flower-like shape with compelling convergences and repetitions.”

On the Side Porch

George Schmidt

On the Side Porch

Oil on panel, 48” x 48”

“This is pretty much where I want to be. It’s summer. There’s nothing much going on. Perfect.”

 

 

Porsche 356

George Schmidt

Porsche 356

Ink and pencil on paper, 32” x 42”

“I have a fascination with old cars. I’ve never had a Porsche, but ever since I was little kid, I’ve wanted one.”

Ford Fairlane

George Schmidt

Ford Fairlane

Ink on paper, 32” x 42”

“This is a car that I actually have: a 1963 Ford Fairlane. It’s a leisurely, traveling-salesman type of vehicle. I think this guy must have parked next to some weird modernist pavilion somewhere on the edge of the desert.”

 

In the Yard

George Schmidt

In the Yard

Ink on paper, 12” x 12”

“He’s scoping out the waves at the beach in front of his house, wondering if it’s peaked or if it’s still building. This is something we do often enough in Michigan, where—don’t laugh—we surf!”

 

 

Motel and Barn

George Schmidt

Motel and Barn

Ink on paper, 7.5” x 11”

“It is what it is: a motel and a barn. I was living in Chicago and going to graduate school at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I’m proud of it because it now belongs to Richard Neel, the son of one of my artistic heroes, Alice Neel.”

The Battleship

George Schmidt

The Battleship

In on paper, 17” x 17”

“Everybody needs a battleship sometimes!”

Random Bits of Hardware, Chairs, Tables, and Spilling Pipes

George Schmidt

Random Bits of Hardware, Chairs, Tables, and Spilling Pipes

Ink on cut paper, 43” x 43”

“I love collage. The ones that I do are different because they’re not made from found imagery but rather quick, automatic watercolor drawings of shapes and objects. I cut them out and put them together in a new arrangement.”

Rachel Dorris, Barnstable, Massachusetts

George Schmidt

Rachel Dorris, Barnstable, Massachusetts

Oil on panel, 48” x 48”

“This is a portrait of an old friend, Rachel Dorris. She’s an amazing fabric designer who works at a fabric company called Pollack.”

Framing

George Schmidt

Framing

Oil on panel, 10” x 11.5”

“This is a painting of a house getting framed out. I like when a house is in this stage of construction.”

Beach House #2

George Schmidt

Beach House #2

Oil on panel, 10” x 11.5”

“This painting was the second in my series of beach house paintings. There’s nothing like a winter in New York to make you long for the heat of the beach on a hot, still day. That longing is what spawned this series. I’m still making pictures of these kinds of airy pavilions.”

Beach Chair

George Schmidt

Beach Chair

Oil on panel, 8” x 10”

“This is a real chair. Often, in August, you will see it sitting in a place just like this. Often, I will be sitting in it—not standing off to the side painting it.”

Beach House #12

George Schmidt

Beach House #12

Oil on panel, 14” x 14”

“This is another place I’d like to be. These structures approach my ideal of architecture—an airy, almost ephemeral lightness. A place for one’s imagination to find refuge.”

River Road #1

George Schmidt

River Road #1

Oil on panel, 8” x 10”

“This is the road in Muskegon County, Michigan that I take to go to the farmers’ market. The house sits in the middle of a field on the side of that road. In May, the grass that surrounds it is absolutely mind-blowing in its psychedelic greenness.”

Beach House #15

George Schmidt

Beach House #15

Oil on panel, 10” x 14”

“Who wouldn't want to live like this? The place doesn’t even have walls! The weather is always perfect, and the ocean is just down the bluff.”

New House

George Schmidt

New House

Oil on panel, 36” x 36”

“I painted this last September in the boathouse studio. I was listening to Sufjan Stevens’ album ‘The Avalanche’ over and over again for days. I love thinking about the structure of buildings, and how they are made.”

New Loft

George Schmidt

New Loft

Oil on panel, 32” x 32”

“This painting and New House were made side by side over the same period, so they share a lot of similarities in terms of the color and composition. This is all about the intersection of lines, and for me, the construction of volume with flat blocks of color.”

For more information on George and his paintings visit georgeschmidtpaintings.com.

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