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Ocean Art – Oil Paintings of the Sea

Introducing my latest oil painting of the ocean, Aqua Symphony

Foamy Aqua Ocean Surface Oil Painting

I visited Baja this winter by airplane, remembering when I sailed down the coast of Mexico in my 20s.

I had what some might call an inner death and I was reborn with new perspective...

Here's an excerpt from my blog:


February 9, 2011, Bahia de San Quintin, Baja Mexico (I just turned 27)

"We left Ensenada early Friday. We had the engine firing as first light came over the mountains. We motored in calms through the passage between Punta Banda and the Todos Santos Islands and laid a course a little offshore down to San Quintin, about 110nm South, we estimated a 24hr trip. Dolphins followed us in clear calm water riding the swell (10ft at 17sec) until the winds started to pick up around 1pm.

We were full sail making 7 knots on a broad reach – excellent speed! The winds really started to pipe so we reefed down the main and half furled in the genny. The seas started to build enough I was feeling sick and went below to lie down. Nearing sunset I threw up lunch all over the transom. There was white caps everywhere. The swell was so much bigger than I had ever seen, as we sailed through the troughs it was just sea towering above us,  and as we went over the crests the boat surfed down the face. As night closed in on us the winds didn’t die down at all and the seas had built enough to give me a solid scare.

It was a miserable night but the boat sailed beautifully. Afraid to tack, we headed a little off course farther out to sea thinking we might just go farther South.

We decided to heave-to around 2am, which we had never attempted before, just read about. It makes the boat stall basically. We managed to pull it off after digging up the storm tactics book and madly flipping pages yelling directions. There was no sleep.

Around 4AM we had our first close night encounter with a cargo ship. It showed up on the AIS before we saw any lights, moving northbound at 20 knots, right at us. We tried to alter course and made a few useless calls on the radio. It passed less than 1 mile from us, which at sea felt way too close on a moonless howling night.

Dawn finally came thick with clouds, the winds died down and we headed for San Quintin – still throwing up."

In retrospect, this night I was so sick and in such a terrifying situation, I had the fear shaken out of me over hours of throwing up in the middle of the stormy sea. 

I remember this night as one of the most profound nights of my life, moving through fear with a new meaning of what it was to be alive. This was totally a self-guided decision and I thought I might die at sea, which was not reality. We were not even taking water on deck!

Being in a small 27’ ft sailboat in that kind of swell, off the Baja coast, in mid-winter, with over 30 knots of wind was the wildest most crazy sh*t I’d ever done. But I survived, and I learned about fear that night, and overcoming it, and I kept on going!!

So, if you are still with me on the longest email ever...

When in Baja this last winter, I walked the beach and climbed the rocks and found a magical nook where the waves were crashing. I was feeling so alive being on the frothing ocean, reminded of that night sailing south, and overcoming fear through the oceans ultimate power.

This is what inspired this piece :)

Through my art, my intent is to help others heal, sharing the ocean's resilience and power to soothe souls and offer hope 💙


This painting, Aqua Symphony is available here 💙


This painting, Aqua Symphony is available here 💙

This painting, Aqua Symphony is available here 💙

This painting, Aqua Symphony is available here 💙


Ocean Oil Artist Julie Kluh