Saturday, March 27, 2010
Down to the River
Lately, fishing has figured prominently into my life and art as my teenage son has taken up fly fishing with a passion.
I'm grateful that he's chosen such a picturesque hobby. There's something wonderful about watching a fisherman wading and casting, wading and casting, all afternoon in the sparkling water. It's also a good challenge to my ability as a speedy painter; the boy doesn't stay in one place for very long.
Last week we spent a sunny afternoon at the Bow River pursuing our separate goals. He didn't catch a fish but I did manage this small sketch. It's a bare-bones version of my usual style: there is very little underpainting and I didn't even have time to tone the canvas. The sky, unlike my usual complexly-layered affairs, is just blue on white canvas.
My son moved to a different site during the painting so I only had him as a model for 20 minutes. I think that was for the best. If he'd been there longer, I'd probably have tweaked and fussed and killed the piece.
This summer, the boy and the river will be my teachers and help me to strip my paintings to the simple, honest essentials. I know my work will be better for it.