Ava, River 4/10


  • From a limited edition of 10 archival photographs
  • Signed and numbered by artist A.K. Nicholas
  • Image: 20×30 inches/51×76 cm
  • Paper: 22×32 inches/56×81 cm



This is a limited edition archival photograph of a nude in the landscape. I chose this location and this subject because both are beautiful enough on their own to be photographed. The light reflecting of the ripples in the river ties the nude woman’s figure to the landscape. The sun traces her contours, making her stand out from the pattern of rock shadows surrounding her.

Even shallow water has great visual depth. A range of colors and tones form a multitude of shapes. With the light coming from behind, the nude in the landscape is rimmed with a halo and stark against the brilliant reflection of the sky in the water. The tranquil mountain creeks of the Ozarks are soothing in sight and sound. The light filtering through the trees dances in a pattern of organic shapes, accenting the composition with flickering highlights.

This composition is built through a series of horizontal wedges surrounding the figure. The river banks at the lower left anchor the artwork with dense neutral tones. A brilliant blue counterpart of water fits tightly above this. The treeline and sky finish this combination.

Ava and I have worked together many times, but this was from her first time modeling for art. I found the most agreeable angle to be the light coming mostly from behind her. She sits on the rocks as if to say they are as delicate as her pale skin. She seems at home in the wilderness, staring into the magnificence of the day. The surroundings make her look almost ethereal. The viewer is close enough to be an unseen participant in this scene, as if one of the trees, admiring the brilliance of her unobtrusive presence. A sense of calmness fills the air as the water laps unhurriedly against the river bank.

Photographed at the White River in Arkansas.

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