Christopher Kovacs - Fine Art
April 17, 2024   10:43 am NL Time

Before or After the Storm

Click Here for Full, Larger View

Before or After the Storm


Status of Original Painting – For Sale

All prices are in Canadian dollars

Size: 15 x 20  inches

Price: Inquire

Medium: Watercolour on 300 lb Arches


Is the storm coming or going? Rainbows mean hope and a promise of better times. Although they usually follow a storm, they can also precede one too.

The scene is Antigua. I was reading on the beach when I noticed the storm clouds rolling in, the rainbow, and the man fishing. I took my camera and wandered down the beach to get the shot depicted here. While I was doing so, people splashing in the surf noticed the storm clouds, shrieked and shouted to each other, ran out of the water, and went back to their rooms. This behavior puzzles me, because you’re already wet in the ocean, why does it matter if rain falls on you? It was clearly going to be a short-lived sun shower and not a lightning storm. In the meantime, the guy fishing persevered as the rain started, I got the photos, and then I retreated under a beach umbrella so that my book wouldn’t get wet. The storm lasted about 10 minutes as the clouds swirled around and was followed by a rare site: a triple rainbow. The people who’d run off missed all that. The man kept catching fish as the weather cleared about him.

When I was looking through photos to decide what to paint next, I saw this scene as a metaphor of the pandemic.

It’s been a very stressful and difficult time. In addition to the acute illnesses and deaths that have directly resulted from the virus, there have been other struggles. People have feared going out for their medical appointments or have been unable to because the offices are closed, which has meant they’ve suffered along with deteriorating medical conditions or even died. Elderly have been lonely for company in nursing homes that have had to restrict or even ban visitors. Suicides have increased. Relationships and marriages have been strained or ended as people suffer through not being able to see each other because of the restrictions, or seeing too much of each other by being cooped up in the house with nowhere to go.

I think we need to be like the fisherman in this painting. He is focused on his task, persevering with what he sees as important. He knows the storm will pass, he’ll get wet in the meantime, but better weather is ahead. The rainbow promises this in advance of the fierce storm clouds. I think we need to keep that attitude during the pandemic and not let the stresses of this time affect our lives and loves more than it has to. Keep our friends and loved ones close and help each other out as best we can. We will get through this.


On a technical note, this is the first time that I’ve ever painted a rainbow. I wondered partway through if I’d made a mistake including it. Rainbows are ephemeral and look unreal to begin with, and trying to capture one in a watercolor painting and have it look realistic proved to be a big challenge. It’s not what I thought it would be, but as with every painting, I learn from experience.

Follow me on Instagram