My College Watercolors

I finally found my stride in my art major about four months before my BFA project was due. Before this time, I was still struggling to find my art voice. I actually dislike that term, but I don't know any other way to describe the thing that happens when you stop copying others' work so obviously and begin to timidly step out onto your own road.

I had a teacher I really admired who did little watercolors. They were the most beautiful things to me. He tore his watercolor paper (the large sheets) into 16 smaller sheets - all about 6x8 in. big.  He drew with his micron pen and then watercolored over it in beautiful abstract washes. I was mesmerized. I thought it was magic and I wanted to paint magic, too.
I honestly don't know how I found this style of painting. I think I started out by tearing my paper really small - 4x6 inches (half the size of my teacher's stuff - I was dainty and feminine!). I then taped out a rectangle and drew a few lines to delineate areas of importance. Then I painted and waited to see what happened. I became entranced with how the paint reacted to itself. I fell in love with the more opaque colors - white and raw sienna and ochre.

Some forms reminded me of flowers. In art speak they were "evocative of flower forms". Ha!

Then I did several that reminded me of doorways or ways out. Out of where? I don't know, but that's what they still make me think of. This particular one above makes me think of dying and seeing a beautiful door that opens into light with gold. I still like this one a lot.

I was reading the Chronicles of Narnia for the first time my senior year of college. There were several adventures that involved finding ways out of caves or darkness and coming to ends of journeys.

My work now still builds on this in ways. I have to say one thing I have decided with my art is not to try to explain it. I do not have that vocabulary within me and have no desire to try to pigeonhole my work with particular descriptive passages. I'm just going to have to let the art historians do that for me.


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