by Sandra Albo
Water has been called ‘the essence of life’, ‘the staff of life’, and ‘the source of life’ itself. Science believes that life began in the oceans. Our salty blood, sweat and tears attest to that.
Water is what makes planet earth so virile amongst all other planets that we are known to man. The river Ganges is worshipped as a holy place. The Bible tells that God created the oceans.
The Nile carried plagues and pestilence in bad times and life in its good times. The Tigrus – Euphrates area is accredited with the beginnings of man. Great civilizations began in river valleys and ocean coastlines.
Man since early times has subjected water to; worship, then agriculture, and later industry. When man found time to become artistic he mixed water and minerals for his paints. Today watercolors and acrylics are popular artists’ mediums .
The early Roman goddess Venus is born out of water in a clamshell in Renaissance art and Bill Reids Haida sculpture of man spilling from a clamshell or arriving in canoes comes from early oral traditions that man is from the sea.
The first artists drew symbolic figures and animals and graduated to realism in the Renaissance. Water art didn’t ome to the forefront until the impressionists took their canvasses out of castles and hovels and set up in “en plein air” to catch sunlight on the water and boasts on the water and even people in the water.
There are awesome waterscapes such as Monet’s “Bathers at le Grenouillere” and his “Grand Canal” done in Venice and the well known “Parliament Sunset”. Renoir painted “Moulin Bay” and Cézanne’s painting, “Bridge over a pond”, and Guillaumins “Sunset near Ivry” is a beautiful painting. Capturing reflections in water with sunsets and sunrises became demanded subject matter.
Today some of the best artistic subjects are considered to be studies of waterfalls, waterways, or water in conjunction with landscape as they incorporate and bring better light into one’s paintings. It is painted in liquid , solid, or vapor forms. (Pictured above: Carmen Tome’s A Hot Day at the Beach)
Come to the Oliver Art Gallery (pictured top) to see our artists’ interpretations of the waters of life. Remember that each glass of H20 that we drink has thousands of molecules that have been used countless times
before. Each living organism is 80% water so water is worth celebrating in life and in art.