I was asked by the newsletter editor for my swimming club
to respond to a short questionnaire about myself
and "why I swim." In response, I told her that, in addition
to using the sport to help me combat obesity,
I've found that swimming has given me more confidence
in other aspects of my life. It is also helping me
to become more disciplined in working towards
achieving my goals away from the pool.
For the past year, I've been working to develop,
to revitalize, really, my drawing and painting skills.
Not surprisingly, these drawings have had swimmers
as my subject matter. The drawings aren't so much
about the swimmers as they are about the water,
the colors and patterns that element takes on as the
athletes glide, kick, and move in the beautiful,
blue stuff. I'm working to make my marks on the canvas
and paper more personal, reflecting more how
I feel about what I see. I don't want them to be
mere illustrations; that is too easy.
I love David Hockney's swimming pool paintings,
but I don't care for his swimmers. While they are,
purportedly, homoerotic, I find the male
figures all to have undefined bodies with flat butts,
completely unappetizing to this womanly eye.
But never mind that - the way Hockney renders water
is interesting, and his marks are unique to him.
And so, I work towards making my own marks to
describe how I feel about this activity and the people
with whom I share the pool.
The top picture is a detail of a small painting
I am currently working on. The second is a ballpoint drawing
I made to use as reference. The third is the underdrawing
for the little painting. It was done over another
painting I'd started and set aside.
Hell, I liked the brush strokes set against
their predecessors grid marks and washy blue blotches.
I painted over it anyway.