Have I ever mentioned how Naiad is pronounced? In case I haven’t, it’s ‘Nay-ad’. I always used to pronounce the first part so that it rhymed with ‘eye’. There’s nothing like a Greek name to get your tongue in a twist.
The photo below was the next stage I finished where I had painted in the remaining flesh of the boy. Trying to get the subtle tones of the muscles and ribs of his torso wasn’t easy and even then I’ve fallen a good way short of how wonderfully well Waterhouse did his. It’s always a bit of a battle, as inexperienced as I am, in trying to get the same flesh colour with every different mix. I think I did ok though and hopefully I’ll get there the more I paint. Battles aside and as much concentration as it takes (it’s like a meditation at times which can have it’s own euphoria) it continues to be a joy to do.
And for all the girls out there, here’s a close up of the boy. The ‘boy’ apparently may be Hylas whom Waterhouse also painted in Hylas and the Nymphs. I have read that the original title of A Naiad was Hylas With a Nymph but I’m not sure where in Hylas’ story this image would fit in. Briefly, for those who don’t know, Hylas was one of Jason’s Argonauts in Greek myth who, upon landing on the island Lemnos, was sent to look for water. He came across a body of water where within it are seven water nymphs. Whether he is actually lured into the water and drowned or to live with them in the depths for all time I can’t really figure out, but one thing is for sure is he was never seen again. Maybe Waterhouse’s image didn’t fit in with this version of event’s and thus changed the title. By the sounds of things, Waterhouse was rather private and little is known of his thoughts so maybe we will never know. Anybody out there have any ideas?
While doing this painting I was reminded of a question I often think about and sometimes ask other people out of curiosity and that question is: if you could go back in time to witness anything you chose, what would that be? There’s so many things I’d love to see and mysteries I’d love solved (I’m still burning up over which of my brothers nicked my bar of chocolate that I was so looking forward to when I was about 8 yrs old 😉 Very high on my list though, would be to watch Waterhouse create one of his paintings from start to finish. Don’t ask me which painting though; I had a hard enough time last night trying to choose my favourite girl from Hylas and the Nymphs!