In early July, there are tiny yellow flowers on thin stems that grow along the shallower edges of the pond. If you were in a rush, you would miss them, but their cheerful presence grows the longer you look at them. Suddenly they are everywhere, perfectly erect in posture, smaller than the nail on your little finger. Compared to the tough, HUGE waterlilies, they might seem insignificant, but I think these diminutive flowers (which might be called Greater Bladderwort) are there to remind me that small is, indeed, beautiful. Details below. Enjoy.
Technical painting notes: This painting was supposed to be about light striking pond scum along the edges of the pond, creating an array of beautiful patterns. That was before I saw the bladderwort, and they stole my heart. I adapted the original painted first layer to accommodate the new subject, letting the underpainting show through. I decided to exaggerate the effect of dappled summer light on the pond. I also framed the flowers with yellow halos, as if they were glowing with an inner light, which I think they do. Now the magic of their discovery is embodied in the painting. It is essential to take liberties with the reality of what’s “out there” in order to capture the reality of what occurs in the mind, eye, and heart together.