W ater… envision the soft touch of a summer shower, ensuing puddles as warm as bath water, the evening calmness of a pond with ribbons of light dancing like fairies upon it, the rush of a rivers’ churning whitewater as it thunders over unseen boulders, the effect of salty waves as they pound the shoreline, and the gurgling of spring water as it rises from the depths of the earth. Although we intuitively know that water is a vital life source, we don’t really see it for the miracle it is. Yet, we continue to be drawn to it…we remain hypnotized by it. Whether still and silent or moving at the speed of light… water has a primordial, mesmerizing effect. In its’ solid form, water has helped shape the landscapes we paint and the land itself, carving riverbeds, mountains and coastlines.
In their book, “Sacred Waters,” co-authors Janet and Colin Bord discuss water symbols found on sacred objects in the British Isles as far back as 6,000 B.C. They have traced water cults and water-related worship back into the mist of pre-history. We use water in our rituals of renewal and rebirth. We immerse ourselves in it daily as we shower or bathe. We build swimming pools and ponds near our homes, carve out waterfalls or place fountains in our yards, and purchase or create table fountains for the interior of our homes and businesses. Collectively, we construct water parks to play in, include huge water features and fountains in our public parks. We purchase kiddy pools and slip and slides for our backyards, and participate in the summer ritual of running through water sprinklers for hours on end. The most desirable properties are located on water: lakes, rivers, creeks, coastlines, and beaches. And, our desire to be near water leads us to obtain photographs, paintings, and drawings of bodies of water for our homes and offices.
Capturing the movement and rhythm of water is the essence of this work. It is a snapshot of a brief moment in time never to be repeated. The work, inspired by the idea of Japanese Suminagashi, utilizes enamels, oil paint and of course, water. When working with this medium and technique, I sometimes feel that I have created an oil slick, but upon manipulation, the water begins to swirl and you stand watching and waiting with your paper camera for the perfect shape, line, pattern… magic. I am fascinated and mesmerized by its beauty. My interest lies in capturing the abstract quality and magical beauty of water. Sometimes an image emerges as I work and that’s great, but to create a recognizable image is not the intent of this particular body of work. ■
SPRING THAW: oil on paper, 10″x 24″
EARTH AND AIR: oil on paper, 10″x 24″
SUNLIGHT AND ALGAE: oil on paper, 23″x 32″
THE GREAT WAVE: oil on paper, 25.5″x 33″