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SPACES & PLACES: Interiors & Landscapes in Watercolor
Solo Exhibition
350 Bleecker Lobby Gallery

Spaces & Places is a selection of recent work covering a period from 2008 to 2013. The newest paintings are landscape paintings of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Earlier works are interiors of Mount Pleasant, a 1760’s Georgian mansion in Philadelphia.

As my work turned from interiors to the newer Botanic Garden paintings, I realized whether inside or outside, I was painting rooms. Architectural spaces such as an attic, a stairway, and a kitchen are composed of walls, doorways, a window, and woodwork. Places such as esplanades and pools in a garden landscape are enclosed by rows of cherry trees, reeds, rosebushes, and sky. Interpreting these elements through perspective and the push/pull of color, I look for the feeling of being somewhere.

On the face of it, the work adheres to traditional tenets of watercolor craft. Paint is reliably transparent, allowing the white of the paper to do its job. Large areas of pale “washes” provide unpredictable drama. These techniques and others exploit subject matter in ways that pump up areas of interest, sometimes, with irreverent, sassy results. Wood grain in the floor of Attic (2008) for instance, is brushed-in with cartoon-like multi-colored lines. The prominent bed of rosebushes in the lower foreground of Esplanade for Lucy (2011) is painted in strong blacks, the color equivalent of negativity. However, the whimsy of the leaf patterns depicted is nothing of the sort (sort of.)

Most of the paintings are unusually large for this type of watercolor technique. Almost everything is rendered in one layer of transparent paint, even the smallest details. I work flat on a big table. The compositions are made from my own photography. Many smaller painted studies precede the final work. It is in these sketches that I work out the color and experiment with brush technique and paint application. One of the smaller studies is included in the exhibit, Blue Trees and Pond (Esplanade for Lucy.)

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