One of my and Lois's favorite haunts growing up in rural Maine was a stream that paralleled the railroad tracks. Brimming with icy clear water in the spring, you could find two kindred spirits in their rubber boots (usually water filled) hunched over. Hours of entertainment could be found beneath the surface, on the surface, and just being alongside the magical sound of rushing, gushing water. Smooth stones and our hands were magnified as we reached below. Sticks became boats, regattas ensued, and we would race to our bikes at the edge of the bank and ride quickly alongside to arrive at the finish ahead of the "boats" (if they did not get hung up along the way). Fallen tree branches were dragged close to form a bridge that was more like a tight rope or balance beam. We never made it home dry. In fact we may have stopped along the way to climb a grandfather pine, adding pitch to rolled up pants and cold arms.
Most recent river fun included "floating" in Wyoming. "Let's go floating today!" my daughter and her buddies said as they scrambled to the garage selecting their tubes. Off we went, bottoms sunk in the middle of the tubes, arms outstretched on one end, feet hanging over the other, "floating" a few miles through small and not so small rapids, laughing nervously.
I think a river painting should reflect that joy, that alluring nature of moving water.
“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.”
RAINER MARIE RILKE