For the month of April, 2014 I was flattered to hang a show of my most recent New Orleans inspired watercolor collages at the Ariodante Gallery, Julia Street, New Orleans. I had been creating watercolor collages from “failed” watercolors for several years. In 2013 I rented a studio in the city and from one of my plein air Curbside Studio watercolors took a theme for the paintings above.
In New Orleans I paint from the street curb, which I call my “Curbside Studio”. I walk the streets with a bag filled with brushes, paint and paper and when I am struck by a shape or the light I just stop and sit down on the curb. This ground level seat gives a common low viewpoint to my NOLA paintings.
From one such painting, “Old House, no. 2” I worked on elephantine sized Arches watercolor paper cut in half lengthwise. I tore sheets of paper from a roll of Arches watercolor paper and randomly painted the paper colors that appealed to me and that I had an idea would be useful in the paintings I was imagining. This paper I tore into shapes and began to fashion the finished paintings above. I secured all with acrylic adhesive.
The four paintings above: 1. left, “Old New Orleans House”, 2. “Crape Myrtle”, 3. “Shotgun House at Mardi Gras” and 4. “New Orleans Shotgun House at Nigh”t, formed the basis of the collection at the Ariodante Gallery and was augmented by plein air paintings made of the streets of my New Orleans neighborhood and the French Quarter.
A collector recently purchased “Crepe Myrtle” and had it framed on a dark background. The effect was stunning. All the places where the collage extended beyond the edges of the painting became even more dramatic!