Cities of Gold
Watercolor and Ink on paper
At lunch Tuesday with my artist friends Katherine McDermott, Jennifer Cavan, and Julia Margaret we chatted about our roots and the directions we had taken to arrive where we were. Not that where we are is the final destination. Artists should continue to grow though there are any number that achieved a degree of success and then froze their style at that point. But most artists continue to explore their limits and so there is a progression of styles.
When I was majoring in art at the University of New Mexico I fell in love with watercolor. Oil smelled and was impossible to get out from under fingernails, pastel became this colorful dust cloud that followed me about, and acrylics just never would do what I wanted them to do. It was not in their nature.
After college my day jobs got in the way of my art and I transferred to photography as a creative form of expression. And textiles. But I still dabbled in watercolor creating art for my own apartments and houses. But when I returned to New Mexico and my creative life I by happenstance fell into making masks and did that as a profitable business for 15 years. Until the summer of 2006 when a falling garden shovel almost totally severed my little finger of my right hand. Pins and cast and physical therapy sidelined my 3-D work which definitely required two hands. And so I painted. First with my left hand and then tentatively with my right as the casts got smaller.
The above traditional watercolor with the addition of ink as the Chinese do is still one of my favorite works. I keep it on my wall at the top of the stairs to see it daily. It is a mile post in the development of my current style. It shows the love of my cliffs and canyons and the beginning of color for the sake of light: portraying a scene as you remember it.
It would be interesting to take the sketch for this piece and do it again on canvas in the style I have since developed.