Water and Art

So here’s the thing: Art has everything to do with water. If you’ve ever ridden a board, eddied out in a canoe, been entranced by tailing redfish, or felt a roll cast come peeling off your fly rod, you’ve felt that same unexplainable wave, that rush that happens when I put a brush to canvas.

What I mean is, there’s only so much I can control in a painting, and that’s what draws me to it. Sure, I can mock up composition, lay out a plan, mix pigment with a reasonable expectation of what I’ll get (it’s science after all), and follow general design principles, but stuff happens along the way. The art moves, it changes, my vision bends a little, and I adapt. The result is never quite what I saw in my head to start, and that’s the beauty of it.

If you surf, fish or paddle, you get it. You plan ahead, check swell models, call the surf report line, check the wind, watch the tide. But the waves aren’t bound by those models, and the fish don’t care that they’re ‘supposed to’ bite. So you adapt. Your blood pressure rises, breathing shallows, you question yourself, you’re caught off balance, outside, and you learn. Sometimes you take a beating, but sometimes you hook into that free jumping sailfish that wasn’t supposed to be there, sometimes you make a drop that you didn’t think you could, and either way you’re left with a memory that couldn’t be if you never went; never paddled out.

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