I’ve been looking at the shallows of my pond, watching the water retreat during this unusually dry summer. There are more grasses and ferns where I used to see fish and frogs. I miss the fauna, but the thriving flora is lovely. Pond’s Edge (with sleeping lily) features reflected ferns, tiny blooming bladderwort, and an apparently sleepy bullhead lily. I wanted to capture the lush quality of greenery at the water’s edge, and the cool stillness of an overcast day. And a sense of serenity. Details below. Enjoy.
Technical painting notes: I start a painting with an idea, but after the first day it usually goes off on a tangent. Pond’s Edge began with the ferns along the water’s edge (real – not reflected in the water). I worked up the ferns, then started painting the foreground water – but it looked too planned, too forced. After a few days I turned it upside down, rolled some streaky indigo paint on it, spritzed it with solvent, wiped it a bit, then let it dry. The next day I worked on the ferns, adding more density and suggestiveness, then rolled a semi-transparent gray over most of it. I began to like it. Weeks followed, adding lily pads, more pollen, then a lily, and finally the bladderworts. Lastly I refined the sheen on the water and the sense of movement. It was an adventure. I learned to trust my instincts and to be fearless with the roller.