Monday, November 19, 2012

Who Speaks For The Water

Formerly called Bad Water, this painting's title was inspired by a blog post I wrote about a year and a half ago. I completely forgot that the photo I used at the beginning of that post is the same one from which I did the painting. The water was putrid in that lagoon. My brother and I were separated from it by an eighth of an inch of fiberglass. Get in a canoe and go there. Go into any little lagoon along the Hackensack River. You'll appreciate the pristine clear liquid that flows from the tap in your sink. Consider that the fact that the water in that lagoon used to be just as crystal clear, before civilization turned it into a sewer.

My only disappointment about this painting is that I wasn't able to fully capture the greazy film that was floating on the surface of the water. It was everywhere. It's lethal to anything that lives. It's gonna find its way into your body by way of the food chain. It will be in all of the food you eat. Your babies will be drinking it in trace amounts. If you're a mother it will be in your breast milk. Male or Female, it will be somewhere in your body. It may give you cancer.

I finished this painting in 22 sittings, and I captured each night's work and posted them here. The first one shows the original photo and an unpainted canvas with my pencil sketch, and you can follow the progress from there. I won't put links to all of them, but its easy enough to scroll through. I plan on making a video like the one I did for Xanadu, but maybe after Thanksgiving.

So here it is, the final photo:

Matthew Green, Who Speaks For The Water, 30" x 48", oil on canvas, 2012


  1. Interesting to see that you use bad water for your painting. It's really hard to get the really painting sketch of bad water.
    Water Testing

    1. I don't feel like I captured the dirty film on the water successfully. It looks a little more convincing in the photo on screen than it does in real life