Sunday, April 2, 2017

Why Do I Find Water So Fascinating?

12x24 oil on canvas

I don't know why it is that I find water so compelling to paint.  In real life, I am not a water person, don't care much for swimming or water sports, though I do canoe and used to raft white water.  I prefer having my feet on sold ground.  But water plays so wonderfully with light, and it is one of those elements that is constantly changing.  There is much to be learned from water, as an artist, as a human being - water seeks its own level, it is capable of change from liquid to solid or gas, all within a normal range of temperature, unlike rock, which takes a huge amount of heat to melt.  And we can't live more than a few days without water.  Our bodies are composed of 95% water, or something like that.  Buddhist philosophy is filled with references to water.  I guess it makes no sense to wonder why I am compelled to paint water.  I'll just do it.

I was satisfied in the above painting to finally paint those rocks under water in a way that seems realistic.  I have always admired those painters who do it, and I've shied away from it because it seemed so impossible.  Somehow I found that it isn't.

8x10 oil on board

This smaller one is something I have played with for a day or two, wondering if there is anything there.  It is from a recent walk along a creek, and the contrast of the flowering tree and the green of the water struck me.  I regret my muddling of the paint, but I was really trying to see if there was something in the combination that would warrant another attempt with care.  In the end, I really keep returning to the thought that this is an image that would be better served by my friend, Randall Tipton, who I can imagine doing wonders with it.

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