6” x 4” watercolor
As a textile design major at Moore College of Art in Philadelphia in the 1960s, I studied botanical drawing and painting. It was, and still is, part of my artistic thinking. I believe when an artist has experienced the close observation of flowers and plants, that becomes part of the person’s artwork – consciously or unconsciously. Since then, I’ve been intrigued with the way flowers and plants are rendered in artwork – and years later, now that I no longer design fabrics and am a watercolor instructor, I encourage my students to carefully observe what they see in their natural surroundings. From botanical studies to my personal favorites, Charles Demuth and Georgia O’Keefe, there are many styles for drawing and painting flowers, and plants in watercolor; I prefer to work from nature on my floral and nature paintings, so they’re always somewhat seasonal. “Zinnia” is part of a series I began a few years ago. These are painted on a (purchased) handmade paper that I coat with gesso. With this technique, the watercolors lay on the surface without being absorbed into the paper and the pigments retain a pure vibrancy that they wouldn’t have on traditional watercolor paper. I am very pleased that “Zinnia” has been accepted into this exhibition.
Roses of my Heart
9” x 11” acrylic
There are many beautiful stories about roses and their miraculous beauty always leaves us breathless. One of the loveliest that affected me is when Flora, Goddess of Spring and Flowers, begged the other gods to help change a dead friend into the Queen of the Flowers. One god gave the breath of life, another bathed her in nectar, another fragrance, one gave her fruit and Flora herself contributed petals. The thorns are symbols of the difficulties we face in trying to reach our ideals, and the bushes, which continue to bloom again, show that we must continue with our efforts, and that eventually we will succeed. The roses, an eternal symbol of life, are in my heart forever.
21.5” x 11.5” watercolor
The nasturtiums are from my own garden and the mouse is from a Japanese children’s story. I thought if the little mouse visited my garden, the best place to set up house keeping would be among the very beautiful and profuse nasturtiums. This is a watercolor painting of that event happening in my own garden. I used the Japanese word for mouse as it seemed to be the best for the situation.
Second Moon Variation
15” x 24” mixed media paint and collage on stainless steel
Cherry blossom reflections,
with the Moon,
act like a reversed Monet,
engaging the space while declaring a surface.
Primitive impasto on stainless steel
like organic growth on a smart screen
Reflections of the desire to build a beautiful world
but will it be through technological progress,
by going back to our primordial roots
or symbiosis of the two?