Artists Take The Plunge: The Swimming Pool As Subject.


Above: My now stolen pool painting by Christy Botkin Reeves, 48″ x 72″

I got such a wonderful response to my post about varying artists’ freeway and overpass paintings, that I thought I’d do the same with one of my other favorite subjects: the swimming pool.

The Swimming Pool as Subject

Years ago, I bought one of my favorite paintings, a large empty swimming pool (48″ x 72″) painted by Christy Botkin Reeves of Los Angeles (shown at the top of this post). Unfortunately, a nasty subletter stole the painting upon being evicted from my apt. So if you see it, let me know – seriously.

Perhaps it’s the stillness of pools when no one is in them, or the beckoning of an empty pool, that appeals to me. But either way, I’m clearly not the only one who finds beauty in them. When it came time to replace my stolen painting, I was craving one of Glenn Ness’ photo realism pool paintings, but couldn’t afford an original the size I wanted.

Here are a few of his that I’ve coveted:

above: Glenn Ness’ Should I have Stayed?

above: After The Lie, 12″ x 18″, Glenn Ness

above: A Mysterious Childhood by Glenn Ness

above: Fading Of June by Glenn Ness

above: Maintenance by Glenn Ness

Upon realizing I’d never have the huge Glenn Ness original of my dreams, nor would I get my Christy Botkin Reeves’ back, I actually began looking for pool paintings. This became a labor of love, not to mention enlightening. (To see the pool painting I eventually purchased to replace the stolen one, it’s shown at the end of post Part III)

Anyone familiar with David Hockney is aware of his fabulous pool paintings and images of pools done with paper pulp and printed as monotypes. For those who aren’t, let me show you:

above: David Hockney’s “A Bigger Splash”

above: David Hockney’s “Pool With 2 Figures”

above: Hockney’s painting “Peter getting out of of Nick Wilder’s Pool”

As I said, he not only painted pools, he used paper pulp to create monotypes of pools, now very collectible. The one below went for over $5,000 at Sotheby’s in 2000 and would easily fetch over double that now:

Well, by now I was hung up on the photo realism thing after Glenn Ness, so this led me to find several contemporary realists who knew their way around a pool, so to speak.

There were so many talented artists who paint pools.
Empty Pools.
Still pools.
Pools at Night.

I’m going to break this article into three posts. Today’s is just paintings of pools, next week will be paintings of people swimming in pools, so be sure to come back.

Johannes Schramm’s photo-realistic pools:


And one of my other absolute most coveted artists, Patricia Chidlaw:

above: Patricia Chidlaw, White Chairs

above: Patricia Chidlaw,Pool and Birds of Paradise

above left: Whites Motel and above right: Still Pool

I’ve always been a fan of Rick Monzon’s work and was happy to see that he, too, painted a pool!

above: Rick Monzon’s Florida Pool

And more by other artists:

above: Cindy Stapper‘s Vernal Invitation


above: Sharilyn Neidhardt‘s Lazy pool


above: James P. Kimack’s Pool

above: My Houses (Pool with Waterfalls) by Julia Jacquette
available here from Pace Prints.

Jane Freilicher:

above: Jane Freilicher, The Pool, oil on linen, 2006, 25′ x30″
Available at the Tibor De Nagy Gallery

For today, I will leave you with another one of Glenn Ness’s works and be sure to see the upcoming post about swimming in pools, it’s almost twice as long!


above: … finally, Glen Ness’, Long Thoughts

More for you!
Be sure to see the amazing pool paintings in the following posts:
Part II: 50+ Paintings of People Swimming
Part III: More People Swimming Paintings

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