The reference photo for this painting was taken on a bright January day with lots of snow cover, and waited about five years to be painted. The mallards were 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.
I was participating in Leslie Saeta’s annual “30 in 30” painting challenge in January 2017. This was my painting for day 12.
Read my wrap-up of all my paintings from this painting challenge.
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