My watercolors are intricate and representational. Most often I am drawn to reﬂections and transparency – the sheen on water, for example, or the patina of vintage ornaments. I work in layers, transparent washes one upon another until I’m satisﬁed. Sometimes there are 35 or 40 washes in one area; the work is painstaking. I’m closing in on my 600th piece over my 25 year career.
I’ve long since thrown out the conscripted rules of watercolor technique I was taught, including the idea that a watercolor must be quick and spontaneous. All the never and always statements that combine to a formulaic recipe with predictable outcome: meh. If you want rules and certiﬁable outcomes, go into math, not art.
There are layers of symbolic meaning as well, though most often this is obscure, not obvious. My work explores relationships, connections, and disconnections. There’s an element of autobiography – I comment on my own journey, because it is what I know ﬁrsthand. And because I am seeking… Clarity? Insight? Peace. This search is played out in my compositions and color harmonies, dark and light values.
Sometimes there is meaning in the objects I choose to paint, sometimes it is in the way these things talk to each other, or the reﬂections hidden within. Often I pair still life objects by pure instinct. I do not know myself, why these things belong together until after the piece is ﬁnished and I write a description for my clients. Then: oh of course. This one’s texture is the inverse of that one. Or the curve of one object mimics the shape of another, in subtle repetition of form.
I grew up in Florida and the Caribbean, and majored in art at Florida State University. I’ve been a professional artist since 1989. Most of my work is in private collections near and far.
You can visit my working studio in the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia. A related extracurricular, much of the past decade or so has been dedicated to volunteering for and at times leading an extraordinary artist colony, the Torpedo Factory Artists Association. I’m not on any organizational boards right now, but I want to say how much I appreciate the artists who step up to lead and innovate, here and elsewhere. Kudos, Judith, on A&M Studios and Salon!