The Flats

with Saul Jerome San Juan

The Flats is a popular swimming spot in which shallow water flows around long flat rocks.

All images courtesy Saul Jerome E. San Juan

Joyfully alone among strangers who now and then engaged with me in conversations ranging from mundane to worldly, I painted immersed in and using the very waters I was painting, waters receding day by day as the sun dipped below the trees earlier and earlier evening after evening. Saul Jerome E. San Juan

In the evenings around the Summer Solstice of 2021, I painted these watercolors at the area of Barton Creek known as The Flats, a place abuzz with a multitude of Austinites young and old, human and canine, frolicking and relaxing among the rocks and rivulets. It was the beginning of my first summer break as a high school art teacher, a career change that coincided with the onset of the pandemic that thrust many of us into physical isolation necessitating extremely virtual interactions. The summer turned out to be a brief return to carefree exuberance, made warmer and brighter by the cold and darkness we endured in the past year.