I generally have an avoidance for painting outdoor scenes. I think that it’s because if I’m outside, I really have no idea how to focus and frame, unless I’m looking at something small. This painting and its subject matter came about because of the upcoming (when I started) marriage of Sammi’s best friend Mary and her lovely husband, Daniel. We decided we would work together to make a gift for them. At the time, they were living in Kansas, and although I’ve never been to Kansas, I picture it as being rather flat. We agreed that it would be good to make a painting of a waterfall from Daniel’s hometown to remind them of the east. Sammi had a really nice picture that she had taken of Taughannock Falls (so she did all of the cropping) that we decided would be great to paint from.
We planed to paint it together, but as I started drawing it out on the board, I felt a panic, like it was totally outside my comfort zone. I had the feeling that we wouldn’t finish it, but that maybe if I plugged away at it alone it might eventually get it done. I think I took pictures of the process more to make sure that it got past the point of each photo than to document. I had never attempted to paint rocks before. They were tough to get through, as they were just various shades of brown without much excitement. As I finished those I realized that I hadn’t attempted ice and snow either. It was much more fun and moved along more quickly, as well as the water. I saved the details of the falls for the end. I had painted an under painting and adding the final frozen water was quite enjoyable. Sammi had the painting framed at Christensen’s Fine Art. M&D didn’t get the painting until months after the wedding, but they seemed happy with it.