This is how I prefer my sparkling water 🙂 My family spent many happy hours by rivers and streams that looked just like this out in California. This scene is from a stretch along the Des Plaines River Trail. Not part of the main river, I believe. Sort of a river spur. I think what we’re seeing is a bit of engineering to recreate a meander, with some nice rocks added. I won’t venture into the debate over whether it’s “natural”~ I’ll just enjoy it for the momentary transport it offers me to wilder rivers I have known.
I’m often asked how long it takes to create a painting. This is usually a very difficult question to answer. First, there are the months or years I’ve spent studying the habitat or plant that I am depicting, thinking about how I might paint it. Then, there is the time the canvas is on the easel.I don’t usually make studies for my paintings~I just plunge in. (I also never read instructions…) This often means I’m feeling my way along and sometimes a year later I’ll realize what needs to be altered for the painting to work. This handsome fellow was different. What you see here is the first laying-in of an image. I’m just quickly putting down shapes and color, striking a balance between light and shadow. The final painting often looks quite different as I adjust proportions or make sweeping changes to the composition. However with this canvas life got really busy and I never got back to him. He just stood patiently against a wall while I dealt with a swirl of distractions that stretched into months. Visitors would tell me how much they liked him just the way he was and, over time, I began to feel that way too. I still really like the composition I originally had in mind but that may be for another canvas, another day. This one just feels complete the way it is. Time? About 4 hours. Very unusual for me 🙂