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May 08, 2016
Big Sur Northern View
Ever wonder why the sea foams? Apparently there are a lot of factors involved that cause the sea to foam, not all of them natural. Besides good ol' algae, seaweed, and other marine plant molecules of protein and fat, pollution particles also add to this briny foam. These particles contain detergents, sewage, fertilizers, chemicals, and run-off from factories which mix in with the plant molecules.
According to experts, the final foaming factor is caused by molecules that have both a water attracting and a water repelling segment to their structure, and with the movement of winds and waves, this creates bubbles, which become foam. That was my very simplified non-scientific version. For a better and more in-depth explanation along with a few photos of a Scottish shoreline literally covered in sea foam, click here.
I love how ocean foam frames the shoreline in sparkling white. Foam also shows the intent of a breaking wave which can be a very handy clue for a surfer choosing the best ride. And, for me as an artist, how could I paint the seashore without whitewater? It would look so flat!
In this painting of a famous point in Big Sur, California, I chose to take up my paintbrush and depict the north view. I love the colors of the ocean along this coastline, as waves and currents churn the water into swirling milky blues and greens, often outlined in foam. In the case of these particular coastal cliffs, the foam picks up a shade of pink from the red dirt that washes into the bay.
If you drive through Big Sur, be sure to stop often at the roadside pullouts to gaze at the amazing views. What a beautiful world we live in.
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