never been entirely happy with this piece, and yet it remains one
of my favorites. I never quite managed to capture the surreal, sun-drenched
look I was going for.
I grew up in the foothills of the Appalachians and spent many a summer
afternoon swimming the frigid waters of the local creeks. A favorite
swimming hole was a place called Playmore Beach high up in the hills
on John's River. Playmore was particularly interesting for the ruins
of an old dam washed away in the legendary 1940 flood.
My nephew Kerry was in his early teens when
I took the photos that inspired the painting. He and the old dam are
the only elements that actually exist. In many ways this painting
was an excruciating challenge. I struggled with the foliage and the
water, trying to get the light right, and never did. Yet I threw myself
at it with an obsessive fervor that was rare for me. You see, I was
inspired by the art of Eyvind Earle — and learned that I was
not Eyvand Earle. I guess a littte humility never hurt anybody.