The preoccupation I have with “flow” and with softening things, with over-spilling edges and boundaries and with water as a healing aspect or as expression of the sacred feminine was bound to come up in my painting sooner or later and, this autumn, emerged as a series of waterfall studies. Inspired by my two recent trips to the Brecon region of Wales (yes, I fell in love with the place so much I had to visit twice), the Moving Water series is a collection of five oil on canvas paintings, three quite bijou and two somewhat larger, exploring different facets of the idea of “waterfall”; each of which could just, as easily, be said to describe aspects of the feminine.
Whether demure seeming and withdrawn, like a magical portal to another world or brazen and relentless, these paintings also seek to express something that is universal about water and that is its flux, its flow, its adaptability, its softening and concessionary aspect. It moves and sculpts the earth (quite literally)…and, yes, making things happen in its own formidable way…yet it would always rather go around the obstacle than create the stand-off or impasse that becomes the hard conflict. The beauty and gentle power of falling water speaks for itself; anything that holds that much light, anchoring it to the earth, is an agent of radiant momentum and the most uplifting, dynamic kind of enlightenment, bringing this aspect in to the world by enchanting, relating to and engaging with others. This, to me, is the feminine aspect at work in the world.
The three smaller canvases have been presented under glass, which is new for me; adding a fresh, contemporary and uncluttered foil to all the movement going on within the artwork. All of them work together as a series or hung individually given no two are even nearly the same; testament to the many complex faces of the feminine (and these are just a few of her expressions) so I suspect this may be a subject I return to fairly soon. Certainly, “spilling over hard edges” and “soft power” are themes I anticipate playing with some more in paint as I explore its very real potential in life itself.
You can see all waterfall paintings in much more detail under the “recent artwork” heading on my website www.helenwhite.org
RELATED: These are just a couple of related posts about waterfalls (there are more) on my website Spinning the Light: