This waterfall has been two years in the making (started in 2019 and finished 2022). Was it a labor of love? Or something else?
In 2019, I went on a safari trip to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana and came back incredibly impressed with Victoria Falls and enamored of waterfalls in general. Based on some of my many pictures, I started painting. At first, two small paintings, which were okay but more representational than I wanted. I thought of them as practice … getting the kinks out.
With them behind me, I was ready for a bigger waterfall. My biggest canvas (at the time) was 30×20. Vertical, it seemed perfect for a waterfall. Ahh, hubris! My first attempt was fortunately lost(I didn’t take a picture and barely remember what it looked like). My second attempt (painted on top of the first) went from the rack at the Art Students League to my easel at home during the Pandemic, where it languished, untouched, for about a year. I had no idea what to do with it. It was okay. It even looked like a waterfall … just not the one I wanted.
When the League reopened, it returned along with my hope that I’d figure something out. Two months later, I decided the solution was to paint the underlying rocks first and then the falling water on top. So I painted the rocks.
The middle of June, I added the water.
But everything was vertical (look at a real waterfall…it’s not just vertical). It needed a diagonal somewhere.
Fast forward to early July (I’m skipping a few steps) …
Skipping a few more steps and putting the finishing touches on at home, et voila! The final version, or The Nth Waterfall.
So it was definitely a labor of love. Though in the middle there was a lot of frustration and certainly a lot of temptation to gesso over it and start fresh. But the waterfall in my mind just wouldn’t give up.