FULL STREAM AHEAD

DestinAsian - - SKETCHBOOK -

Cana­dian wa­ter­col­orist and for­mer raft­ing guide Don Barnes ( don­bar­ne­sart.com) has al­ways loved paint­ing sub­jects with flow­ing wa­ter, be it a river, a stream, or in this case, the world’s largest wa­ter­fall. “See­ing Vic­to­ria Falls for the first time was awe-in­spir­ing,” the artist re­calls of his visit to the one-and-a-half-kilo­me­ter-long cas­cade on the Zam­bia–Zim­babwe bor­der in Au­gust 2013. “As my wife Lyn and I walked along the foot­paths that af­ter­noon, the power of the Zam­bezi River roar­ing over the cliffs of the gorge brought out ev­ery­thing I love about wa­ter.” Though named by the 19th-cen­tury Scot­tish ex­plorer David Liv­ing­stone as a trib­ute to his queen, the wa­ter­fall is lo­cally known as Mosi-oa-Tunya, or “the smoke that thun­ders,” which is a much bet­ter de­scrip­tion of the mist-en­shrouded spec­ta­cle. Barnes was es­pe­cially drawn to a sec­tion called Rain­bow Falls, shown here, where lay­ers of an­cient rock are ex­posed be­low the cas­cades when­ever the Zam­bezi isn’t at its high­est flow. For Barnes, work­ing in wa­ter­color gives him the chance to re­live the ex­cite­ment he once felt while raft­ing all over West­ern Canada. “A river is full of twists and turns filled with beauty and dan­ger. Though I am no longer guid­ing, I ex­pe­ri­ence the feel­ing every time I paint flow­ing wa­ter. I imag­ine my­self out on the river try­ing to ne­go­ti­ate the path down­stream.”

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