The Fish Pond
Sometimes a simple moment turns into a subject for a new artistic endeavor. The digital painting “The Fish Pond” captures impressions from a quiet evening by a landscaped pond. The setting depicts a period of meditation in the diffuse glow of the coming twilight.
The original photograph and sketch started on a summer evening at a dinner party. I left the table for a few minutes to enjoy the host’s fish pond off their back terrace. Twilight hadn’t quite arrived, but daylight was starting to fade, and two koi were hovering close to the surface of the pond. I was captivated by the scene and the sound of the waterfall. Beneath the waterfall, you can see the underwater landscape lighting is already on.
I was also interested in the range of pond plants both in the water and growing at the water’s edge. They provided a wonderful display of shape, color, and texture. Water features in well constructed gardens add an ephemeral aspect to the landscape. The fluid motion of the water, along with its soft background gurgling, is intoxicating and fleeting.
Several years ago, I was touring a small inner-city garden with several waterfalls along a 50 foot run from the fountain source to a small pond in the garden’s center. The owner was the designer and builder of this water feature, and throughout the run of the stream, he captured three basic types of waterfalls. I have used his terms for them. I don’t know if there are more formal names.
Knife Edge: This waterfall lets the entire width of the stream pass over a straight edge stone and drop about 12 inches in his garden. The straight, even cut of the stone (knife edge) allowed the water to form a sheet or curtain of water as it fell.
Tumble: This type of waterfall formed when the water took a 3-foot drop over a series of small boulders. The water tumbled from one rock to the next in an uneven manner, with some areas concentrating the flow and others dispersing it.
Rapids: The last of his waterfalls consist of a two-foot drop over a four-foot run. The water rushed over a bed of fist to bowl-sized rocks, forming a set of rapids.
I was quite taken by the way he worked the three types of falls into his garden landscape.
The digital painting rearranged the scene and superimposed it against a muted background. The work emphasizes numerous variations in texture between water, rock, plants, and sky. An insert image below gives a clear view of some of these textural differences.