As work continues on the pondscape series, I find myself drawn to the more subtle light and intricate reflections of early morning. Morning Reaches the Pond looks at the tangle of brush and trees reflected in the water not too long after dawn. I chose to not paint the duckweed or floating debris this time, but to concentrate on reflections and the various conditions of the water – ripples, riffles, and the sheen of luminous morning light. In some ways this is my most abstract pondscape. There are fewer recognizable “facts” to orient the viewer. I more consciously worked to preserve the textures and accidents of the base layer – to let them intersect with observable conditions in and on the water. The result is tapestry-like and mysterious, closer to my goal of finding the spirit of the pond. I’ve included a number of close-up details below. Enjoy!
Technical painting notes: As can be seen from the detail shots above, the interplay between transparent, semi-transparent, and touches of opaque paint form a recurring theme throughout the painting. The initial layer (put down with a soft rubber roller and monoprint techniques) provided all the textures and linear gestures of reflected woods. Layered glazes established the major colors and tones. Layered, semi-transparent light tones “carved” the sky into the pond. I painted onto a glazed, wet surface to achieve the soft edges, and used soft watercolor brushes. Small additive strokes suggest movements on the water, and slivers of opaque paint provide tiny jolts of color and perhaps suggest some of the floating pine needles I always find at the site.