The Wave

When I came across this painting I nearly fell off my chair its impact was so powerful.

Gustave Courbet: The Wave 1870 Oil on canvas

“Two bands of equal height divide the space of the picture, the two parts separated by an absolutely straight line indicating the horizon. Water and sky occupy parallel spaces, but far from flowing into or interpenetrating one another, they stand apart as rivals in density and power.” ” The canvas is cleaved in half by the rivalry of the two systems, each of which comes forward in turn, depending on whether the viewer responds to the illusionistic shading (the clouds) of the physical presence of rich pigment (the waves).”

Clay, J., Romanticism, Vendome Press New York, 1981

This image and concept resonates so strongly with my own work where the horizon is a predominant feature. Also, in a previous post Curvature: Pastel, I have begun to separate out the elements of earth air and water into individual spaces.  I am interested in the dividing line of the horizon and particularly when elements merge in certain  conditions creating an eerie, mystical illusion where the eye has nothing to focus on other than the intensity of the atmosphere.



About Annemarie Tickle

I am a Lecturer in Textiles at Hull School of Art and Design. As a visual artist I am interested in atmospheric conditions and events and how the scale of nature makes mans mark on the landscape look insignificant. I enjoy the act of doing and getting my hands dirty so my practice is intensly process led. I use a wide range of media but am particular interested in dying techniques.
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3 Responses to The Wave

  1. Yes, what a fabulous drama!


  2. Alice Fox says:

    Hi Annemarie, I recently found your blog and have really enjoyed looking back through your posts. I’ve just started a six month project as Artist in Residence at Spurn so your work is very relevant to my thinking at the moment!
    Wide horizons and the division of the view into sky/sea/land are very much in my mind too. Best wishes, Alice.

    • Hi Alice, Thank you for looking at my blog and for getting in touch. I have had a look at your blog and it seems we have much in common, am very interested to find out more about what you are up to (is it ok to put a link to your blog on mine?). I have bookmarked and will follow your progress. What an amazing residency you have got, a dream come true to spend so much time in such a beautiful place. I would love to meet up with you sometime. I have got loads of questions to ask and it would help me tremendously with the next module of my M.A. Also, I am sure your practice would be of interest to some of my degree students. My email is it would be great to hear from you.

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