Sparkling Gems, pastel on Strathmore charcoal. pastel paper, 12 x 16 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Sparkling Gems, #30in30 Day 12

Sparkling Gems, pastel on Strathmore charcoal. pastel paper, 12 x 16 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

Sparkling Gems, pastel on Strathmore charcoal. pastel paper, 12 x 16 © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

I am participating in Leslie Saeta’s annual “30 in 30” painting challenge this month. This is my painting for day 11.

I have no idea why I chose to tackle this one today, except that after working on the water in yesterday’s little painting of a gull, the visualization I’ve had to do this painting for the past five years just took over my visual thoughts.

The reference photo was taken on a bright January day with lots of snow cover, and the mallards floating on Chartiers Creek where it flows under Main Street on my walk to the bank and post office. The water is shallow there, and with the noonday sun shining right down on it with no shade from trees, the water is filled with light as well as the sky reflecting down onto the surface and light reflecting in various shapes and colors onto every little ripple. It was beautiful to look at, but darned complicated to piece together the interaction of light in the water and on the water and reflections on the surface. I was determined to keep it loose because I didn’t want to contain the movement of the water with unmoving edges.

I named it “Sparkling Gems” because the water is so sparkling and clear like aquamarine, emerald, jade, peridot, tourmaline, malachite, turquoise, while the mallards are like the deeper gems, ruby, garnet, sapphire, lapis, adventurine, agate, and all so beautiful after a few days of cold and snow.

This painting took me longer than a daily painting usually does, but I’m glad I spent the time. I’m also glad I had the time to spend on it.

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