Saturday, November 15, 2014

Unexpected Outcomes

The blue and white watercolors grew indirectly out of my use over many years of china cups as a subject for paintings. The cups were from my grandmother's house and were decorated with an old fashioned pattern called Blue Willow, also in blue and white, incorporating landscapes, a house, birds and trees inside a geometric border. My grandmother, Mary Sherwood Wright Jones, was an artist and illustrator. She lived in a large, magical house on a hill in southern Ohio. We would visit her several times a year when I was young. I used the cups as subjects for works in many different media and at different scales -- some as large as five feet tall. I juxtaposed the cups with open watery landscapes. 

Eventually I realized that the pattern on the surface of the cups could be altered and provide a way to tell my own stories. The intimate scale of the watercolors evokes the experience of holding and drinking from a tea cup -- something done alone as a form of meditation or in conversation with a small group. One theme that surfaced in the blue and white watercolors was the "model falling on the runway" of which "Catwalk" is an example. The theme reveals one component of the stories I want to tell which stress the importance of recognizing one's own subjective experience as the foundation for one's thoughts and actions. Our sense of self is fluid, sometimes we feel confident, sometimes we feel invisible, sometimes as in "Catwalk" we need to adjust to an unexpected outcome. 

Above images: 342 Granville St., Newark, Ohio and "Catwalk" 2012, 10" x 8", watercolor on paper. 

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