Water Lilies

The pads of these water lilies reflect lots of hard light, in contrast with the reflected sky. Watercolour on paper – 23 x 30 cm


I can’t remember the location of these water lilies now, but I loved the slightly ‘abject’ look of it. The pond is a bit stagnant with a mass of weed, but the reflected sky and the bright leaves make a wonderful subject.

Lots of hard reflected light on the pads of the water lilies, and the geometry of the reeds, contrast with the bubbly yellow-green of algae, and the reflected sky. If I had the patience I would paint this again in a hyperrealist ‘photographic’ style on a huge canvas!

The plants seem happy enough in this pond, but it is a difficult habitat to keep clean. Most ponds suffer from agricultural run-off yet, as this article explains, they are cheap to make and extremely beneficial. Extinction and reduction have rendered our land bleak, when once it was extraordinarily fertile and diverse. Motorists (at least those who are old enough to remember) report that they hardly ever have to clean dead insects off their windscreens now that their numbers have plummeted. All these reductions of habitat and species have made our lives sterile, leading us to depression and anxiety even though we are not sure why we are depressed.

You might also like this more abstracted treatment of willows and a pond, perhaps a lily pond with a different atmosphere, or this painting of koi carp feeding in a lily pond. Or you might like this much larger painting of water lilies.