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Botanical Rain: the enduring Endico image



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Updated August 08, 2017 | By Bob Fugett ©2017

Less is More

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The Google street view above shows the central location from which Botanical Rain was derived.

Except it is thirty-eight years later, dated two years ago.

People's clothes and cars are slightly different, but the bus stop itself and structural environs remain virtually unchanged from the day Mary Endico, just a few hours after a quick drive-by glimpse on her way to watercolor class, painted the plein air from memory.

It is impossible for a simple photograph to capture the vast number of bits and pieces that Mary snatched from every direction while stitching together the watercolor, so it is easy to miss the painting's developmental provenance and graphic etymology that are shown here by comparing the two images.

Not so easy to follow along as Mary aggressively time-shifts dozens of disjointed moments to connect disparate physical objects and associated micro-events.

Given the difficulty of seeing a correlation between the two images, even when placing them side by side, it is almost inexplicable how the watercolor has enjoyed a forty year history as a recognizable showpiece in the Endico watercolor studio.

More than just recognizable, it is a perennial favorite, so it is abundantely clear Botanical Rain is much, much more than a mere depiction of a known location.

It is also much less.

Ironically, the power of Botanical Rain to evoke an immediate recognition of the location it portrays, with attendant strong emotional response, is based on what is missing in the painting as much as what is included.

Less distracting detail, more essential human interest.

However, comparing only this one Google image to the final watercolor is at best a distraction from the truth because what may appear to be a brutal deconstruction (rending the location apart), is actually a full-on thoughtful aggregation.

Botanical Rain - Mary Endico ©1979
(9" x 10" original watercolor)

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