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Southern Watercolor Society’s 37th Annual in Kerrville, TX

“With great joy” the Southern Watercolor Society, an 18-state regional, which includes Washington, D.C., informed me they have selected Crab-NetIMG_2406 for inclusion into their 37th Annual Exhibit to be held at the Kerr Arts and Cultural Center (KACC), in Kerrville, TX.

Linda A. Doll, aws, nws is a painter, digital photographer, graphic artist, instructor and the juror of choice for the Society’s show. A teacher of workshops and seminars throughout the US, Mexico, Canada, France, Italy, Greece, Spain, Ireland and Bali, she is President (2012-2014), a Past-President and Life Member of the National Watercolor Society, a Past Board  Member and Juror of the American Watercolor Society, and a past Board Member of Watercolor West. She is a Life Honorary Member of the Federation of Canadian Artists and an Elected Life Member of the San Diego Watercolor Society. Her paintings and drawings are included in many books and have been used by several magazines for their covers. Linda is included in many Who’s Who Publications, including Who’s Who in American Art and Who’s Who of American Women.

People and Still Life Subjects that hint at the person just outside the picture plane are Linda’s favorite painting subjects. Perhaps my Crab-Net told a tale in negative blocks of color and circular bits of string that included the people lurking just outside the net who had caught the crabs pictured inside the net. Perhaps she sensed them relishing the moment and thinking about the seafood meal to come.

In any case, this watercolor painting of N.C. blue crabs came to Linda Doll’s attention and is one of the only 80 paintings, with 5 alternates, that she picked out of 362 submissions from 18 states and D.C to form the 37th Annual Exhibition for 2014. Lucky me!  This painting, a 29 x 37, was a fun subject, product of a fun day, about a fun sea life, crab, and using a fun medium,  watercolor. For all that, it was one of the most intricate and difficult of my paintings, involving a lot of struggle in the painting. I love negative space, weaving, and the sensational  blues which reverberate in the beautiful N.C. crabs. This painting was like a weaving within a weaving. Add to it a tangle of emotional struggles which I sometimes encounter when I take professional vacations, and you have what was a life journey untangling from the crab net.

Once I began, I kept seeing emerging patterns,  so I would re-do the drawing to include the new pattern. One was the radiant vortex of the simple trap. The subject emerged enmeshed in spirals of knotted twine which revealed as many holes in the net as it did crabs. Such a simple thing, string, to outmaneuver cranky crabs. It reminds me of a recent story of a whale entangled in multiple nets that rescuers released from the string prison. A sea mammal showed undying gratitude to each rescuer in turn–such a touching display.

Crab-Net is my most recent watercolor, and has hardly been let out the door, but it did visit the Arts of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City in one of their shows. It is part of a new series of paintings I am doing that involve the sea in some aspect. I call this new series “Sea-Escapes by Joanna. ” Sea-Escapes can take you to a pier on  a July day where the crab pots are collecting piles of crabs, fishermen are fishing, and I learn how to crab–well, kinda, sorta. And the harvest of NC blue crabs turns into one of the funniest and simultaneously most beautiful piles of color in a painting.

Measuring the crab against one slat of the pier to determine if the crab was a ‘keeper’ or a ‘throw-back-in-er’ was one of the tips I learned. And scampering away fast so a loosed crab wouldn’t pinch a toe was a newly acquired skill, as well, and could well turn into a life lesson. What I took home with me was a stomach full of delicious white crabmeat dipped in butter and my own photos to work from on a watercolor which netted me the painting, Crab-Net, white string spiraling to a vortex over a circular metal loop, holding a complexity of colors and shapes that for me are pure visual escapes.

As for me, I am fully planning on attending the exhibit, as I did a couple of times in the past when my painting was included before, enjoy the members’ luncheon, the reception ceremony where I meet members from all over who are extremely friendly and rub professional shoulders. We may even visit family and friends while we are there on April 12th. I am one of the Southern Watercolor Society’s signature members, which means I get to sign my name, and add their initials afterward, SW.

Of course I will leave my picture through the duration of the exhibit which ends April 28, at which point, I will hopefully be in Washington, D.C. at the the Portrait Society of America’s Annual Exhibition, enjoying another topnotch show that expands horizons.

Such chances don’t come every day.

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