For years, I had wanted to create a painting with the atmosphere that the 19th century artist John William Waterhouse has managed to render in his versions of the water nymph. That proved to be quite difficult.
When I had made a sketch of the painting, I first found it far too busy. I made plenty of changes in both the posture and the surroundings, and more than anything, I removed a lot. The nymph originally had her hand on her tummy, and I had put reeds in the foreground, but that made it much too full. In earlier studies, I had also depicted the nymph dressed, but this did not reproduce the atmosphere properly. The final outcome is what you see here. I think that I have successfully created a calm and serene atmosphere.