The Pool, Napa Valley

By Rob Pointon

The Pool, Napa Valley

We drove from San Francisco to Napa Valley expecting to produce one image of a vineyard, however, on arrival at our accommodation I was more taken with the pool as a subject. After a few weeks of urban subject matter in San Francisco I knew a water study in a private space would be relaxing and link back to our previous life aboard a boat.

This is the first swimming pool I have tackled and I would like to do more in the future. Of course, with any attempt to paint a swimming pool in California you need to be prepared for the shadow of the great pool paintings of David Hockney.

The challenge with this piece was speed of execution, we were only at the hotel for one night. I began at 3pm and painted for about four hours into the evening, finishing the following morning between 9am and 1pm thanks to the understanding hotel owners who let me continue despite having checked out. The main problem with this piece is the dramatic shift in light half way through. What was spotlit by evening sun was completely in shade by morning and vice versa.

I worked into a Venetian red base in this painting which sped up the process. With an attractive mid-tone foundation you are painting what matters rather than filling the white of a blank canvas.

Painting detail

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