57. Water Lilies and Turtles

Water Lilies and Turtles, oil pastels on aquarelle rag, 25cm x 20 cm, © 2019 Delfino Cornali

Seward Park, Seattle, boasts a colony of box turtles on Andrews Bay. On most sunny afternoons, they clamber aboard a fallen Douglas Fir tree to sunbathe. The water lilies that line the shores of Andrews Bay begin to bloom at the start of summer. On summer afternoons, this vignette casts a magical spell on the park visitors – including myself.

In this piece, I wanted to capture the delicate light reflecting off the lily pads. The concentric ripples on the water’s surface. The images of turtle heads reflected onto the water. The single water lily flower just on the verge of opening, a torch of dazzling white light.

During the summer, I swim in Lake Washington (well away from the turtles and their protective ring of water lilies.) I’d been training daily, in preparation for the Seattle Childrens Hospital fundraiser swim – a 1.3-mile event across Lake Washington at the end of August. On one memorable swim, my head down surveying the lake bottom, one of these box turtles zooms past, ten feet below me along the bottom of the lake. Turtles are not the slow, languorous beings our culture believes them to be.

This piece represents the first of the #ArtForGood series, where all proceeds from sales are donated to a non-profit appropriate to the piece. Water Lilies and Turtles proceeds will benefit Friends of Seward Park, a group of citizens working to preserve 
the unique habitat and cultural legacy of this historic park


  • Medium Sennelier oil pastels on Canson Aquarelle Rag, 240gm
  • Dimensions 8″ x 10″, mounted, double-matte (in colors, as shown), 11″ x 14″, unframed, cello-bagged
  • Donation US$75, excludes shipping (prefer Seattle-local sales)
  • Availability Date March 8, 2019
  • Status SOLD
  • Note Use of PSExpress to crop and straighten photo of the finished piece

~ by Delfino on 2019/01/18.

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