There is a term in the Japanese language “wabi sabi” it means (roughly) a celebration and appreciation for human-made objects that have imperfections. In our digital, computerized world, it is possible to create images to near perfection, clean lines, bright colors, and clear edges. I am a painter, so the idea of spending hours in front of a computer to design my art is not nearly as appealing as playing with the color mixtures and placing brush to paper or canvas and developing some “wabi sabi” results. I do love the effect of lithography, I enjoy the texture of the ink and the smooth, flat areas of color it produces. Over 10 years ago, I visited the NCMA and saw a show that included many of Henri Toulouse Lautrec’s posters. I came away from that with an increased enthusiasm for the poster style. So I began experimenting with paints to see what I could use to achieve a likeness to these posters (lithographs). The answer came with gouache on paper board often with me adding a bit of conte crayon on top. I first created pet portraits, starting with my own and then with pets of others.
I believe I create my best art when inspiration comes from my heart and when I paint what I know. I have seen lots of artwork sell when it is of a local feature (say the bell tower at NCSU or the well at UNC). Van Gogh painted his own room, he knew that space well. I know Raleigh well, having lived here most all my life, and although I have been fortunate enough to travel extensively, my love for my home is great. As an art student, I thought a lot about what in Raleigh moves me as an artist. About 3 years ago my husband and I started training for sprint triathlons. This led us to Raleigh’s greenway system.
I have fallen head over heels for the greenway! This quiet, serene path that winds delicately and subtly through our neighborhoods and along Crabtree Creek is magical to me. I love the twists and turns, each one unique. I like hearing the gurgling water even if the smell is not always enchanting.
We as a culture in America are bombarded with commercials and advertisements everywhere we go and every corner we turn. I get exhausted with commercials, yet the graphic style of these lithographs mimic those very ubiquitous ads. I suppose the difference is that this greenway is not something to buy…it is something to experience. It is in this sense that I am proud to produce art to celebrate the greenway and encourage others to explore it. To that end, it felt like the right thing for me to do to donate 20% of sales of these prints to the greenway. This series of paintings could continue indefinitely, with so many beautiful areas, each season affecting the colors, mood and light, not to mention the system itself is ever improving and expanding.