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One of the benefits of a long-term relationship with a watercolor society is access to show opportunities all around the state.  This particular one is not divided by region, as are many now with WSNC who has divided its state into four sections to better serve artists in all regions, but one featuring its members who have won top prizes or been juried consecutively into their annual juried shows, thus earning the title “signature art member.” A signature member has the right to sign his or her name with the watercolor society’s initials after it. Yours truly has two societies after her name.

This show brings together what the title suggests, the cream of the state of NC’s watercolor artist crop, into the Cary Arts Center on 101 Dry Avenue–inside the curve at the school property, actually. The room is beautifully outfitted to hang paintings with gallery lighting and wonderful windows.

This coming Friday on July 25th from 6:00-8:00 p.m., the artists and Cary town folk will mingle at a reception which will serve finger foods and refreshments as a part of the Town of Cary’s Final Friday, and so the public is cordially invited to attend.

Some 50+ works will be on display at the Cary Arts Center for the month of August, until the 23rd.

The painting of mine that will hang is Whiff of Opium, a still life of luxury items: perfume atomizers, blown blue glass in a copper hanger, an art glass bottle with swirls, and a wonderful medicinal opium bottle I found in a thrift shop. I love assembling items to paint–no matter how intuitively you pick and join them, it seems they eagerly comingle to tell a story you did not consciously intend. I asked a friend to tell me if he liked the picture, or what he liked about the painting, if anything, expecting a hurried yes or no answer from him.Whiff of Opium Watercolor painting

Instead, I received a bonus. He stepped back from the picture, considered, and then started pouring out treasure.

“I see a woman here who seems to be shallow, to live on the surface. She loves beautiful things, the rich life, and yet, there’s more to her. She’s a famous celebrity I know, who was drawn into the dark side, used drugs, and drugs eventually lured her away from even the beautiful items that she loved, and ended her life.” I looked at my own watercolor again. Sure enough, behind the dark bottle for opium, was a dark slice into her reality. We looked at other of my paintings and found others that had the dark spot–some that friends and visitors had commented on over the years about that very thing. Subconsciously, it was there.

The message was not intentional, a fact I much prefer. Having viewed art in museums in a variety of countries, I have seen propaganda art–or tendentious art, I might call it–and to me, that loses on all levels. Maybe that’s just the problem: it flattens all its levels into one and turns into an in-your-face message. If my paintings have a message, I want it to be truth that is discovered. I prefer authentic art, based on a person’s loves and passions, and not a preaching platform–whether religious or political. In a lot of ways Whiff of Opium was experimental. The watercolor medium is a non-dimensional one, so you are taxed to find new ways of showing things like the glitter on the hanging material on the back of the painting. Reading the painting from afar as one does the impressionists works best here. If you are interested in more of my ideas about the subject of art, do please visit my website, http://www.joriginals.net where you can read blog articles from different months and my philosophy of painting in About You and other places.

And so I do hope you will come by and visit the show sometime during the coming month. I wouldn’t mind if you came just to see my picture, but there are many beauties to feast the eye on there. Come just if you’d like to rub shoulders with us artists there; come on out this Friday evening. I think you’ll be glad you did!

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