The Creation of Water Colors: Philosophies, Theories and Processes That Guide My Work

          I have a spiritual connection with water.  I have always been drawn to water.  For many years it was not something that I considered consciously.  About ten years ago, my marriage of thirty years began unraveling.  It was as if I had been thrown into a dark hole.  I was suffocating, and I could find no way out. While I was visiting my son in Boston, we took a boat trip in the Boston Harbor to see the lighthouses.  As I stood on the bow of the boat with the mist blowing up into my face, I realized that I was happy, truly happy, for the first time in a very long time.  I felt alive again.  I could breathe.  Obviously, the pain of my divorce did not disappear because of a boat ride, but it did make me aware of how much my proximity to water affects my sense of wellbeing.

          I have been drawn to water for as long as I can remember.  It is all around us. It is in the air that we breathe, in the oceans, lakes, swamps, and marshes on this round ball we all call home.  It has been a part of us since conception.  Semen carrying the sperm that generates new life is 96 percent water.  The amniotic fluid surrounding that new life begins as 99 percent water.  The body at birth is approximately 75 percent water and remains around 60% for the rest of our lives.  Without water, life as we know it could not exist.  We may live for weeks or months without other nutrients, but without water, we can only survive a few days.

          My current body of work is a series of fine art form-based photographs of reflections in water, firmly rooted in abstract landscape photography, with linguistic elements of movement, color, and light that are captured as they affect the appearance of water.   Water is, by definition, fluid.  It moves constantly.  The reflections that I find in water change from instant to instant. What I see at one moment will no longer exist the next moment.  It is this movement that has encouraged me to seek a medium of presentation that accentuates this characteristic.  For this reason, printing on silk is crucial to my vision. The silk is used to mimic the fluidity of the water being photographed. By printing on two different types and weights of silk and hanging the two layers three to four inches apart, I am able to create the illusion of three dimensions. The chiffon is translucent, and the charmeuse print hanging behind it can be seen through the chiffon.  Layering the silks creates a sense of three dimensions, much like looking into and through water.