New Watercolors, Part II

This body of work has been an unfolding.

Working with watercolor is so often that way for me. It’s such a lovely medium that requires a light hand. As an oil painter, this light hand is something I have had to work to develop. Oil paint loves to be piled up, layer upon heavy layer. But if you over work watercolor, it dies. It needs room to breath, blank paper, white. It needs to unfold and not be forced.

“Resolute”, Linocut Print with Watercolor and Graphite on Paper, 19″ x15″, 2011

So it would often begin with a splash or a spill, or sorts. Enough to keep it loose and remind me to follow what the paint was naturally doing.

This was also my chance to try my hand at some simple printmaking. I began to make linocut prints and use them as a way to create organic structure, and also harmony between the pieces. I love working in new mediums, pushing my work beyond where it has been before. This offered a place to explore.

“Distill”, Linocut Print with Watercolor and Graphite on Paper, 8×10″, 2011

I also loved the simplicity of the process. Looking at what was naturally there, and building on it. This too, reminded me much of the work’s original concept. That of building a new life as a family. Making art is a daily process. Most works of art don’t happen in an hour—and certainly no artist is made in a day. Nor is a family. The work of showing up in the studio every day to add a layer is similar to showing up every day for those we love—giving them what we’ve got.

“A Certain Place,” Linocut Print with Watercolor and Graphite on Paper, 8×10″, 2012

And so it happened for me that in the unfolding of these pieces, I was also unfolding for myself what it meant to be a parent and an artist at the same time. These pieces happened sandwiched in between nap times and feedings, and the sheer exhaustion that is every new parent’s. But they happened. And I learned that it is indeed possible to carry one’s deep passions into the next phase of life—deepening, rather than diluting it.

“A Certain Place,” Detail, Linocut Print with Watercolor and Graphite on Paper, 8×10″, 2012

The body of work is entitled “Gathering.”

A gathering can be a process of collecting resources, or a moment of bringing people together. This work catalogs the process of both.

“Silkweavers”, Linocut Print with Watercolor and Graphite on Paper, 15″x19″, 2011

I hope that for you, you will not see in it solely my process, but yours too.

That it would give you courage to build, layer by layer, that which is yours to build.




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1 Response to New Watercolors, Part II

  1. Shannon says:

    beautiful works and such beautiful words and wisdom. thanks for sharing your thoughts on the unfolding of creativity and motherhood 🙂

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