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Reflections Along the Canal

Updated: Mar 16, 2021

Along the Canal, 2013

By Bobby Padilla

Water soluble oil colors on chalkboard, 20” x 32” (framed)

In General, artists are moved by water. Whether it lakes, rivers, or oceans, they’re inspired by the quiet tranquility or the brute force power. Perhaps the quiet babbling stream that dissect lush green forests holds the artist’s focus or maybe the forceful cascade of a waterfall. Well, living in Rochester NY, I’m lucky enough to have access to a lake, river and a canal. If I drive 45 -90 minute to the east or west of here, you can find any number of waterfalls, including “The Waterfall” Niagara.

A couple of paintings I will highlight in this post are works I’ve done in my neck of the Erie Canal. While each painting took about 2 months to complete, they were both inspired by late autumn walks along the frosty canal trails in the fall 0f 2013. I wanted to capture the cold and crisp air that froze the landscape still against the rosy lavender blush of the fading day. The idea was to paint the unexpected colors of Autumn. I wanted to use a palette that was void of the conventional colors of fall. There are rich vibrant colors past the fiery crimsons, oranges, and yellows that most associates with illustrating that time of the season.

Reflections along the Canal II, 2013

By Bobby Padilla

Water Soluble Oil Color on chalkboard, 20” x 32” (framed)

Prussian Blue silhouettes reaching for the soft lavender sky, draped around the slow saunter of the mossy green water of the canal. Sienna brown stones that form a mosaic frieze across the bottom that seem to button up a cloak of fresh snow. Off in the distance, a bridge that crosses the canal. Is it giving you a direction to get to, or is it a marker to visualize just how far you’ve come? That’s a question that is more evident now than when I first finished it.

As stated, my goals were simple. To convey stillness and to bring a feeling of chilled isolation. A frozen moment, literally. To that end, I feel I was successful.

In the end, the body of water can dictate the tone of your piece. A canal lends itself to a peaceful tranquility.

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