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Aquarius National Watermedia Exhibition 2014, Southern Colorado Watercolor Society to Exhibit My Watercolor
“Congratulations, your painting, “Crab-Net,” was accepted into the Aquarius National Watermedia Exhibition 2014,” Jan Steers, the Shows Chairperson of the Southern Colorado Watercolor Society, writes me. What wonderful words to hear from an organization I have wanted to exhibit in ever since I began painting in watercolor and exhibiting my work.
This painting is the picture of summer fun, centering as it does around the most colorful and lively of creatures, the N.C. blue- shelled crab. Learning how to maneuver with the crabs and pull the teeming, gyrating mass up from the water was an experience like no other. Had I not seen these creatures up close and personal, I would never have believed the vibrant colors they sported. I remember the frequent pulls and the workout it gave my shoulders as though it were yesterday. Nice of a friend to bring a newbie into the arena. I gave out a little early, as I recall. Oh, did I mention that blue-shelled crab taste delicious?
fun to paint, as well, in one of my two favorite media. For all that it was a difficult subject, as entangled as the crabs were with all their multitudinous parts, and as many concentric spiralings as happened in the net’s weave, in the metal clamp, and the outher rim. I have always loved to paint the subject of weaving, and prefer a puzzle to keep me inspired. If it wears me out or makes me crazy, well, that’s just part of the challenge. Painting in negative space–a necessity in watercolor since the white that remains in the finished painting is the white of the paper beneath–is always a challenge. A bit like patting your stomach and rubbing your head simultaneously, you must get the move of what lies beneath, as well, even when it turns in the opposing direction from the action on top.When I took off for my painting and writing sequestration last year, I worked on this piece as well as a book. I kept seeing new patterns emerge in the drawing phase, and so I would erase portions and re-do the pencil lines, once to introduce the metallic inner circle, the radiant vortexes of the simple trap. In a circular pattern, all the spaces between are wedge-shaped and organic, so working them together correctly was tricky. The subject emerged entwined in spirals of knotted twine which revealed more holes in the net than it did crabs. String has always fascinated me and is such a simple thing to outmaneuver cranky crabs, as fisherman from time immemorial have known.
‘Crab-Net’ just took a trip to Texas back in the spring (http://joriginals.net/texas-hill-country-foray-for-the-arts/) when it was accepted into an 18-state and Washington, D.C. Regional show, Southern Watercolor Society’s, of which I am a signature member. This became the occasion for a fun trip and seeing relatives in their part of the country. The 29 x 37 matted and framed work will exhibit September 27, 2014 through January 3, 2015 in the National Watermedia Exhibition at Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center, 210 N. Santa Fe Avenue, Pueblo, Colorado. An awards reception will be held on November 14, 2014, from 5-8 p.m.
Colorado’s Southern Watercolor Society is not looking forward to having my painting in their exhibition nearly as much as I am. Who knows–maybe we will be needing a trip to Colorado for my birthday and can attend the Awards reception. Whether or not one wins anything other than the juried acceptance into the show, I find it exhilarating to rub shoulders with my peers in other states who create in the same media, find new friends, and make new opportunities. And I would be remiss not to mention my local watercolor society, The Watercolor Society of North Carolina (WSNC) and its group of wonderful members whose input has helped me along the road over the last few decades.