'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

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Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Reflections Painting - stage 3

Progress is slow on this painting; working title 'Reflections'.  It's complex.  I hope I can get it right, to my satisfaction.

1. The birches are some in shadow, and some in sunlight.

2. The leaves on the bottom of the still pond only show up in the 'shade' of the dark trunks.  They are richer, because they are wet, yet darker, because of the depth of the water.  There also is some tannin staining of the water, making them tending to the brown.

3. The leaves floating on the water are lighter and brighter, but reflecting the sky, so somewhat bluer.

4. In addition, the sky is a deeper blue at the zenith, ie, at the bottom of the painting, than it is at the top.

5. And the trunks of the trees are thicker at the top of the painting, where they are closer to their own reflection, than at the bottom of the painting, where they reach up into the sky, away from the viewer.

6. If you are still with me at this point, add to this the leaves at the bottom of the painting are closer to us, so larger, and more flat-on to us, than the leaves at the top of the painting, near the edge of the pond, which are smaller, and foreshortened.

7.  Let's not even start to investigate the minute reflections of each of the menisci around each floating leaf!

Phew!  I think that's enough for now.



  1. Your reflections on reflections are eloquent. One must REALLY LOOK at something to paint it with any sort of accuracy.

    Or to put it another way, negatively, paintings unerringly record one's inability to see. (I like to draw, but have not yet had the courage to face a canvas.)

    In any event, you're succeeding marvelously with this painting. I love it.

  2. Wow, that's incredible. I love it!

  3. Thaqt lookslike a lot of care & patience. I hope your efforts are well rewarded ! Great work.

  4. Katherine, what a beautiful painting! are you working from a photo or memory or?
    I wish I could paint like that...

  5. Brilliant artistry. Your onlookers are not as critical or as doubting as you appear to be but was any artist ever 100% satisfied with what they produced? That's part of the torment.

  6. Wow, I might not have understood the words, but I 'get' the painting.

  7. Katherine you have a very direct and graphic style - the bottom painting looks almost Japanese in style - excellent.

  8. i appreciate your breakdown. its informative, AND provides insight to your creative process.

    i had to look up "menisci", now i've got to use the word a few dozen times so that i won't forget it.

    an enjoyable post. thank you again.


  9. wow! that is beautiful!

  10. Oh, I love to see what other people are creating.

    My brain is straining trying to capture how hard you must concentrate to capture the images so nicely. Not easy!! But, lovely, lovely.

  11. When I saw the finished article I decided to wait and see the other steps as I got to them Anyway today I decided I just had to follow the whole process and look again at the finished article. I've done that. My Mum painted, my Grandmother painted, my Dad sketched, my Brother paints and sketches, the Gentleman-next-door-when-I-was-a-child painted (and some of his paintings were hung in august places). Whilst I have seen painting in all sorts of stages I've never actually known anything about the thought processes involved so I found this post very interesting indeed.

    For the record I have absolutely no artistic ability - just an appreciation of art.