These paintings were in “Ripples,” a 2009 Marin Civic Center show featuring seven watercolor painters painting water.
Water is the medium watercolorists choose for visual expression. When it is also subject matter, the results – as seen in “Ripples” – vary as much as each individual artist does.
Why water, for me?
The contradictions of this beautiful and mysterious element fascinate me. Water heals and it destroys. It refreshes and it sterilizes. It dissolves metal and it soothes a fevered brow. It can be gentle – strong -- out of control. It’s the only element that exists in three forms: solid, liquid, vapor. It is as pedestrian as a puddle, as grand as Niagara. The “inner space” of the deep ocean is as daunting and unexplored as “outer space.”
What we expect of water, so obvious and ubiquitous, also fascinates me. We seek to harness it, yet it finds its own level. We need it for life and sustenance, and love it for recreation, yet we waste and pollute it.
Water seizes my imagination as metaphor -- ocean of tears, stream of consciousness, water it down, cry me a river. And it speaks to me of faith, of Genesis, of Baptism.