Artists and the Sea

Mar 9, 2024
Joaquín Sorolla, one of my favorite artists, painted this in 1904 and simply called it “Mar.”

Artists turn to the sea again and again for inspiration – and it never disappoints. The awesome nature of the sea is spellbinding. It is large and powerful, beautiful and elegant, treacherous and threatening, inviting and sublime. It has the power to harm and sustain. Everyday we depend on it to enrich our lives. All these things have been recorded for us by painters.

Read this article: What You Should Know about Seascape Paintings for a really nice history of this painting genre.

Living on Sullivan’s Island as a young child was the luckiest thing that ever happened to me (other than Robert : )). As a child I stumbled across the dunes to the wet sand, it was like running up on a new exploration. I immersed myself in all the treasures being offered. The sun, sand, water, wildlife, shells, shoreline, breeze, smell, and the taste of salt in the air all gave me delight. As an adult, it now also gives me inspiration and subject matter for my canvases.

Some of my paintings of the ocean over the years.*

Here are my current works in progress of the ocean.

WIP – All That Glitters – Round 3

WIP – Atlantic Sunrise – Round 4

As ever, thank you so much for looking at my work. It is a pleasure to share it with you.


*This April will mark my 25th year as a full-time artist. I will celebrate at the easel. This year’s gonna be good y’all. : )


  1. Robert Lide McNinch on March 10, 2024 at 7:38 am

    All of those paintings are awesome. Love the one with the person walking toward the surf!

    • Michel McNinch on March 16, 2024 at 8:24 pm

      Hi Honey, Sorry for the delay in responding to everyone’s comment. I have been helping with a big project this week. thank you for always looking. I love you.


  2. Amy on March 10, 2024 at 9:12 am

    Such beautiful work, Michel!

    • Michel McNinch on March 16, 2024 at 8:25 pm

      Thank you, Amy. Don’t forget you were one of the major influences in my life. I saw you doing it as my older cousin and wanted to follow your lead. Thank you so much. M

  3. carole shelton on March 10, 2024 at 10:44 am

    Those are breathtaking.! Love them all.

    • Renee on March 13, 2024 at 9:16 pm

      You write as well as you paint Dearie! Good work keep it up!

      • Michel McNinch on March 16, 2024 at 8:26 pm

        Wow! I would love to write also. : ). Maybe my next lifetime. M

    • Michel McNinch on March 16, 2024 at 8:25 pm

      Those are some very kind words! Thank you, I appreciate the feedback. It keeps me going. M

  4. Uncle Gene on March 10, 2024 at 11:21 am

    Michel, beautiful paintings and a great memory of the past, which is not a bad thing !!

    • Michel McNinch on March 16, 2024 at 8:27 pm

      I love you Uncle Gene. Thanks for being there on the beach with me. : ). Michel

  5. Patrick on March 10, 2024 at 11:30 am

    i love these pieces and clearly the ocean and sullivan’s island life have inspired you

    • Michel McNinch on March 16, 2024 at 8:28 pm

      I’m glad it shows, Patrick. You and I have spent some time on the beach together. So long ago now. Love you cuz.

  6. Susan Burns on March 10, 2024 at 2:23 pm

    I am blessed to experience painting through you. I am in awe of all of your work but the the ocean scenes really speak to me.

    • Michel McNinch on March 16, 2024 at 8:29 pm

      Thank you so much, Susan. I am blessed to experience teaching painting through you! Let’s go!

  7. Kathy Hill on March 10, 2024 at 2:47 pm

    They are all so beautiful!

    • Michel McNinch on March 16, 2024 at 8:30 pm

      Thank you, Kathy. I appreciate your kind words.

  8. Jimmy on March 10, 2024 at 3:09 pm

    We loved all of them. Janet likes all that glitters. I love Mar.
    all the larger paints are up except one
    Can’t wait to find a home for Big Blue
    Miss y’all

    • Michel McNinch on March 16, 2024 at 8:31 pm

      I need a Janet hug bad… See yall soon.

  9. Pam wedding on March 10, 2024 at 8:01 pm

    All beautiful. Especially liked the perspective of the young man on the beach❤️

    • Michel McNinch on March 16, 2024 at 8:32 pm

      Thank you, Pam. I was on the pier when I saw him. He has no idea he is in a painting! It seemed he was drawn to the sea the way I am. Mother earthiness. : )

  10. Ellen Fishburne on March 24, 2024 at 12:11 pm

    I wanted to pick a favorite to praise but I can’t pick just one. You are SO GOOD with water and atmosphere. Mmmmwah!

  11. Jimmy on April 14, 2024 at 10:12 am

    It all started with a few paintings the first we all met. I think Jim and I came back alone and bout 4 paintings. We some how got them packed, drove the family back home and hid them until Christmas. What a great way to start a wonderful friendship with you and Robert. Now we have our own MM Gallery and still adding to it. Thank you for your friendship and sharing your visions and beautiful art. Just wonder what will be the next addition after everything is unpacked and placed in its new home. Janet and I love you two. Jimmy

    • Michel on April 14, 2024 at 10:43 am

      I remember that day so well. A great beginning to a wonderful friendship. Love y’all so much. True art patrons and true friends. My heart is full.

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