Sunday, August 1, 2010

Waterfall in Red Bluff Bay, Baranof Island

Before painting, I studied this scene for a long time. I thought about it, wrote about it, felt it. Considered what about it meant the most to me. Then I painted. So often, I rush into a plein air painting to hurry and get it done before I run out of time/light/energy. Whatever. This time I took it slow.

It felt like the water came shooting out like cannonfire from the side of the tree-covered bluff. The walls of the bay echoed and amplified its thunder.

The light shape against the dark ground interested me most. I felt no obligation to explain what happened to the water once it hit the pool beneath the falls. Or to delineate the hundreds of thousands of trees surrounding its wonder. Just the shape and brilliance of the falls. Maybe the painting suffered because I did not include enough information or detail. Or, maybe it is the briefest of poems with lots of gaps for others to fill and interpret this landscape for themselves.

No less than 10 falls dropped from the cliffs towering 1000' above this bay. After a cloudy and showery evening, morning broke with a clear sky and warm breeze. Two black bears prowled the shore, fishing and eating the tender vegetation. What a place!

5 comments:

David Burbach Photography said...

I like it. It would be so easy to do a trite image. Instead you abstracted what was important to you.

s. v. Indigo said...

Bravo, Katherine. You have done such a great job of finding the little moments to document along your trip. I can really relate to those moments when it seems as if the journey is endless. I predict that in the long run you will treasure the experiences you have documented, and be moved by what you have captured. Keep it up - just keep sketching and painting in the most spontaneous way. My experience is that it all comes to mean something more, something different, when you look at it six months later. Keep up the good work!!

Carrie H. said...

There is a bigger message here than in a photograph. You have extracted the essence. What more do you need?

SamArtDog said...

When you posted this yesterday, I was staring in awe at the cascade on the ranch which only appears in times of plentiful water. Like, almost never. Your painting speaks eloquently for falling water everywhere.

B Boylan said...

Wow! I can feel the movement in that rushing waterfall! Nice glow too! Happy painting Katherine!