Often I am asked why I use watercolors. For me it is an alchemical medium ——-
colors mixing with water, joining with it, being extended by it ——
creating new life where none had been before.
(Just now I thought of nascent life floating in water in a woman’s belly).
For me, this medium is a perfect dance partner.
No, it’s more than that, it is the dance’s original choreographer. Actually, for me it is Dance itself.
Watercolor is powerful, having a life of its own.
With it I have to let go because it pushes me out of the driver’s seat, takes over the wheel.
I am no longer in ‘control’.
I am sitting there beside it, but it becomes the driver, the driving force.
The water color process takes me and itself to a destination I had’nt even known existed, or that the new found place was even on the map.
Parenthetically, in life on actual car trips when I’ve gotten lost,
went off the main road and found new terrains,
it was these un-for-see-able places, these new discoveries which turned out
to be the most memorable and the most valued of places arrived at.
It’s the same way with watercolor. Whatever I put down on the page, the paint will dry as it wants to.
What I love and appreciate and honor most about watercolor is that it has this particular and unique nature.
The pigment combined with the water is unpredictable when wet, & when dry truly becomes something else
—- surprising and totally original .
For example, let’s say l work an hour on a painting —- the colors will have a certain intensity, the forms a certain identity — the painting will look a certain way,
it will be how I had, more or less, wished it to be.
Yet, after it’s dried, when I come upon it, it will look 70% or 80 % different than it had when wet.
It is not longer what I had painted but something else & new in a way I could never have imagined.
Therefore, in doing a watercolor, I never know how it will turn out.
The water color always paints itself, creates its own painting.
As you can imagine, this phenomenon is very freeing.
I figure, it’s like life. No matter how much we plan for a certain day to be a certain way
we can never, ever know what in actuality Life will have in store for us, what will be coming around the corner, and what will insert itself into the ‘picture’ we’ve so carefully envisioned.
It’s like that with watercolor. It’s alchemical and mercurial having its own intent & purpose.
What was it Wallace Stevens said?
“The Blue Guitar surprises you.”
I have realized over these decades of painting, that the more I get out of the way in the painting process, that the ‘never-seen-before’, the ‘not-yet-known’, can emerge and come into existence.
By being in the painting moment, by surrendering to it, by truly letting go, forgetting the self,
one can invite to center stage that which had for so long
been waiting in the wings, just waiting to come out on full stage, and be in the full light,
as it gets the chance finally to express itself.
I feel that by being open to this unseen’s Big Mind, whose space is unlimited and boundless ,
one can find what which yearns to be revealed,
and it is that which can be birthed in the work of art.