After watching the amazing movie “The Secret of Kells”, the idea for this piece hit me like a bolt of lightning. “What if I used metal leaf like paint to add movement to the water and the leaves – the sunlight dappling, changing, shifting like the light on the leafing?” I knew this had a potential to add another element to the painting, allowing me to more fully express the sense of awe we feel while secluded next to a stunning waterfall. I had to learn how to use metal leaf and get good enough to apply it smoothly by creating small 5 x 7 paintings of birds with metal leafing in them. That took about 2 years, then I kept working on the piece in small bursts over the next two years. Usually I finish a painting much faster, but this was one of those special pieces that took extra time and care in every session. I had to adjust for the variability of the metal leaf’s changing values, but the final effect adds motion and life that is impossible to show in a photo (I’ll try anyway by posting a couple of details from different angles). I am pleased with it and eager to do more of this experimentation with metal leaf.