Start with a memory of water
I’m not sure I understand why, but something about the ever-changing nature of water fascinates me. Maybe it goes back to my ever-changing childhood (we moved a lot) .. or maybe not. But all my recent paintings at the League start with a memory of water, in California, in China, in Japan, in New Zealand, in Iceland. No matter where I go, I am captivated by the water. Lakes, rivers, oceans, beaches, you name it, my paintings start with water.
Many don’t end up looking like water. Some even look like the sky or outer space. But they all start as water.
In no particular order, here is a small sampling from the Fall of 2017 at the Art Students League.
I wanted to convey the depth of the water. Lots of layers of blues and white. This was on Lake Ashi in Hakone, Japan.
Yet another painting inspired by the water outside our boat in Japan.
Water is fascinating: how it moves; how it changes color; what’s on the surface; what’s down deep. You get glimpses, but you’re never really sure. It’s always changing.
This started to just be about water. Then I started seeing seals … or fish … or maybe birds. Ultimately it’s about migration.
I’ve done several paintings based on the water churning next to the boat … in New Zealand, China, Iceland, you name it. Sometimes it ends up looking like water; sometimes it looks like outer space. Sometimes I don’t know what it looks like. It’s hard to pin water down.
This painting took forever. I started it shortly after I came back from New Zealand. Four months, roughly 24 layers of very thin acrylic paint, almost as many layers of masking fluid applied and later removed … it doesn’t look anything like what I was originally aiming for, but somehow does remind me of New Zealand.
My most recent painting at the League is based on my oldest memory of the Merced River in California. Many layers of green, viridian, purple and white. Years ago, my husband and I visited Yosemite with friends and we stayed in a little inn next to the Merced River. I remember the hummingbirds, the delicious breakfasts, the sunlight and the water rushing around the rocks.
Water is ever changing, but my memories are preserved.