Growing up I was all about math and science. I drew some but no one ever told me any of it was any good so I gave it up. In the 60's I was premed at Stanford University for three years but finished up my degree at UC Berkeley in Spanish, French and History. Later in life I returned to school to study psychology. I hold the Masters Degree in Psychology and have many years of professional experience in counseling and mental health centers, schools, a treatment center for male adolescents, the Correctional Center at Urbana (IL), a women's prison, alternatives to violence counseling in schools, as well as private practice.
My recent life as an artist began around 2003. I had always had a yearning for watercolors and pottery Lucky Landing Pottery. I am lucky enough to have been able to do both. I spent most of that creative time in Asheville NC. (You can read Jethro Waters' thoughts about myself and my pottery in The Asheville Citizen -Times.) In 2017 I moved to Washington DC with my husband, Ron ronsousa.com. Here I have let pottery go and focused on watercolors. Since arriving I have taken several courses in drawing at Washington Studio Art School. Apart from that I am self-taught.
Initial thoughts about my work in 2003 followed by an update in 2020.
My fondness for watercolor comes from its fluidity and ability to surprise--even the artist. Complete control with watercolor is very difficult. For me, complete control would still the art and stop the fun. I put down water, watch the paint flow and take pleasure in the process.
I enjoy expressing myself through watercolor, because I have no fears about what the paint might do on the paper--where it might go, boundaries it might cross, as well as borders that may form and intrude.
My paintings are to be enjoyed and celebrated for the pleasure involved in their creation in the hope that pleasure can be passed on to others. It matters to me that the people and animals I paint not be generic but be presented as individuals with their distinctive personalities. No matter the other artistic goals, that goal remains fundamental.
I began painting late in life and have some, though little, regard for rules in art. Art represents freedom to me—as much as I can bring to my work. I am for the most part self-taught and don’t pay a lot of attention to the work of other artists. I want to preserve my own vision. Just recently I have taken two courses from Sam Kelly, a wonderful artist and teacher. Interacting with Sam was both a supportive and inspiring experience.
Texture is my passion, but I enjoy experimenting with lines, repetition and simplification. My art spreads out over a wide variety of subjects and techniques. That's what keeps me fresh. Occasionally, I become very involved in color, but I am also at home with the darks I mix up and enjoy playing with shadow and light only.
I asked three friends who know me better than anyone what came to mind when they thought of my work. Here is what I got back:
Friend #1: My first thoughts are bright color, silhouettes, textured shapes, human forms.
Friend #2: What came to my mind is the following. It comes from seeing your work over the years but also, even more directly, from listening to you talk about what you’re trying to do in the several stages you’ve gone through.
From something that looks like impressionism, then on to your straight-line work and your cityscapes and blurred vision paintings, you are constantly developing ways to explore in and with the conventions of representation.
Friend #3: A few terms I can think of are fluid, impressionist, and light. A lot of the things you do deliberately focus on line without any depth or other spatial illusion.
My Work has been shown in galleries, appeared in magazines, and is in the homes of art collectors around the world.
@handle → @jabsartdc