March 26, 2009

Retrospective, NOLA, Part 1

So there we were... loving our old house on a lake, thinking it would be forever. Then in 1986 an offer came that couldn't be refused and we were soon moving to New Orleans (with both our mothers needing to move along as well.) Our youngest was entering high school and the search for a good school lead us to a spit of land squeezed between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, upriver and about 30 minutes from the city.

I felt isolated but teamed up with a new artist-friend who was just as hungry to grow as I was... and we were off and running. Made many trips into the city, joined anything and everything in order to feed our hunger to be involved and to grow as artists. Read about an artist retreat just a few hours away in rural Mississippi which held gatherings twice a year featuring an invited artist of note... talking, critiquing and judging a traveling show. The Mississippi Art Colony became a strong force in our development. Can't say enough for all it offered... and all I received.

These years were devoted to refining my watercolors... competition helped hone a 'look' that would catch the judges eye, stand out as different but with quality. These were my grasses... any elongated leaf in tangled detail, sometimes tied in knots. Gone were the flowers and still lifes that marked my early years, I was seeking something outside the norm.

Watercolorists can take advantage of a strong network of competition through well respected National and International watercolor societies. I worked my way up from the local Louisiana W/C Society, earning signature status up through the National Watercolor Society and acceptance in American W/C Soc... and with that last one, I was finished with this segment of my career. I felt I'd done everything I could do with the subject and the medium. It was time to move on.

At Colony, I had to opportunity to pick the brains of many different visiting artists and each in turn helped me sort though the puzzle of how to proceed from where I was to where I wanted to be.

As it happened, I had to make tracks... Patterns and Tracks...

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