Artist Christopher Reid’s watercolor painting “The Swimmer” was a juried exhibition winner in Linus Gallery’s The Blue Show.
About his award, Reid said, “I was interested in using lots of abstract shapes to create a realistic painting that would still be a bit mysterious. The water created a combination of reflection and refraction to make the underwater parts into abstract patterns that only make sense when viewed as a whole. I used the foot out of the water and the edge of the pool to provide contrast and context for the underwater areas.
I wanted to capture the feeling of coolness that one feels when diving into a pool on a warm day. I could swim almost as soon as I could walk and grew up in the ocean and pools for swim team. There is something exciting about the first dive into the water of the day.
I began this painting by doing a series of graphite thumbnail sketches on scrap paper to determine the composition. Then I established the color temperatures of the warm skin and cool water with a light wash to act as a sort of sketch for the painting. Next I worked wet-into-wet one on the larger areas and worked back and forth around the painting developing each shape. I used a very limited palette of 4 pigments and only 2 brushes to complete this painting.”