Water Works By: natalie rivas

During Spring Break I had gone to my aunt's house in Virginia and she absolutely LOVES painting and has all the necessary tools for it as well.

The very first photo of the pot is for the Observation of Modern Life assignment (not part of the water works but I didn't know how to add the canvas to my notebook haha). From what I understood it would our interpretation of life as we see it. The Pot and the plant are all observation and then the background and insects were my creative inputs to make it my own.

The second photo is of a desert. With all these assignments about water, I really wanted to just show the lack of water and how dry and cracked everything looks. The colors are very sad and dark looking- browns, blacks, grays. That thing to the right is actually a tree. I realize it might look like a reindeer (I tried fixing it). Also, for this photo I thought it would be ironic if I used water colors to paint it with. To me, it was much harder using water colors because I felt like I couldn't really control what I was doing since I wasn't sure how wet or dry the brush needed to be. With other paints you can just paint over something where you made a mistake. But the paper I used was not for water color paint and the result of it was a slightly curled up piece of paper. Even though I used water to create this image, it is extremely dry as a result.

The bottom photo is a painting I made of the view from the back porch of my aunt's house. The river was so serene and had a very pretty light blue color. It was interesting to see the water easily passing by without any disruption. The houses on either side hug the edge of the river, making it extremely accessible.

Scale Drawing for that earlier assignment

This one is not the prettiest but this was my interpretation without just putting lines all over the page which would look messy. I hope you can read my explanation at the top.

Comparison of two pieces.

(shown below)

Think about an important gathering around water in two different settings. The first, you most likely picture various animals in the wild surrounded by a large area of clean, drinking water. The second, you could possibly picture middle class families taking a dip in the local pool on a warm summer day. Both settings occur often yet one provides a need while the other provides a want. One provides necessity while the other provides luxury. One emphasizes survival while the other emphasizes grandeur.

These examples can be greatly expressed through two different paintings. George Seurat’s painting, Bathers at Asnieres, portrays a very serene scene. Although it is not as well known as his A Sunny Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, it is a better extreme to compare to the other chosen piece. In juxtaposition, Herb Ryman’s painting of a watering hole for Disney’s Epcot World Showcase that never came to be is a wonderful example at the other end of the spectrum.

Seurat’s piece shows people enjoying a sunny day by gathering at an available river. The industrialized background emphasizes the point of occupancy by humans within nature. The cloudless sky makes the polluted cloud of smoke very prominent. Children are cooling off in the water and playing while the adults are sun bathing and relaxing on the grass nearby. There are a few sailboats floating on by and people possibly fishing in the distance. Clothing is carelessly strewn along the lawn. A dog watches comfortably by the side of its owner. The people could either be seen as bored or relaxed in this scenario. One child is entertaining himself by cupping his hands around his mouth. The lighting is quite bright and positive. The frame is quite filled except for the empty space in the sky. The image is clear and the lines are precise. The colors used are quite faded and the only ones that stand out prominently are the random uses of red and black.

In Ryman’s piece, there are different wild animals found surrounding a watering hole somewhere in a jungle. A few animals can be found in the shadows and trees. The giraffes appear to be in the middle of movement, maybe walking across the watery area. The elephants seem to be just entering the space. The rhinos probably have been there for some time and are looking on at the other animals. The image is so dark that some other animals are unidentifiable to me. The color black is used the most within this image, creating a sense of mystery and anonymity. The darkness gives the piece a vignette around the edges, making the water hole the center of attention and the most important location within the image. There might be a sense of danger since we are not able to see in the dark parts of the jungle, therefore unaware of what evil is lurking on its prey. The cool color palette gives this piece a tenser tone. The perspective also makes us feel like a predator watching the scene unfold from a safe and secure distance.

Both pieces portray water but in different ways. Ryman’s piece gives water an importance for survival by providing the animals with clean drinking water. It is also a prime location for predators to find their next meal since they are guaranteed to find an animal quietly quenching their thirst. Seurat’s piece feels more at peace and shows people cooling off on a hot day. They don’t necessarily need to be at this river but it is a relaxing way to pass the time. The boats provide an even comfier way to relax on top of the water without even really committing to getting wet. Nobody is necessarily worried for their safety and take the opportunity to nap beside the water. The space is open and inviting whereas the watering hole is closed off, isolated, and exclusive to only those who know that it is there. Depending on its location and purpose, water can be perceived in a negative or positive light.

Poem about lack of water.

(shown below)

In The Absence of Water

The new generation takes water for granted

Until the pipes stop working and the flow becomes scanted.

A home is where water is expected

Yet when there is construction, it is often undetected.

With the water turned off the toilets cannot be flushed

And our anxiety increases as our bowels become stuffed.

When our teeth can no longer be brushed

Our morning routine is scarcely even rushed.

What will we choose to drink

When there is nothing filling up in our sink?

Our bodies become caked with grime

When we are not allowed to shower during this time.

As much as your wishes

Consist of washing the dishes,

You just have to wait

And endure this new state.

When the water comes back,

You can wash off your plaque

And continue on living

With the patience you lack.

Poem about a scary experience.

(shown below)

Accidental Mermaid

Small child swimming in the Mediterranean off the coast of Spain

Feet digging deep into the sand

Feeling every single grain

The day is hot

The water is still

Her salty hair twisted in a knot

They float as if in a bath

Looking across the horizon

There is nothing in their path

Every small wave becomes a ripple

As time passes by

They don’t even triple

There is calm in the air

But what is coming soon

They remain unaware

Little girl begins swimming out

Completely unsupervised

Her confidence leaves her without a single doubt

She kicks and she paddles

Without any floaty

There is nothing to straddle

A wave forms in the distance

As it grows closer

They learn of its existence

The height of it grows with consistence

She tries to swim away

Without any assistance

The wave extends so high

Swelling in size

That she begins to lose sight of the sky

It looks impossible to escape

Everybody shares glances

At the surface they begin to scrape

The little girl gets hit in the head

By a nearby dolphin-shaped floaty

As she continues to tread

Her vision becomes a cloudy brown

Sea particles rush past her head

She prays that she doesn’t drown

Without trying to resist

She gets pulled around

Her body continues to twist

That last gulp of air

Was absolutely not enough

But open her mouth, she doesn’t dare

Waiting for the surface to break

She violently flails her arms

The little muscles start to ache

Welcomed by the light

She sucks in as much air

As a prize for her fight

The shore is her destination

As tired as she is

She quickly swims back without any hesitation

There is sand trapped in every nook and cranny

She is unembarrassed

And quickly wipes off her fanny

Satisfied at the fact she made it out unimpaired

The wave moved her so far away from her family

This is quite a difficult day for which she is unprepared.

This photo is part of the view from my Aunt's back porch. I zoomed in on the dock where I am able to be as close to the water as possible. It moves along with the slow current of the river and just kind of bobs around. It was very windy and cold by this area but it was still so calm and peaceful. I edited it to really bring out the blue from the water and show how bright it is behind the dark trees.
Created By
Natalie Rivas

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