Friday, March 25, 2005

Watercolor Past and Present

I love watercolor and if it isn't the wettest year on record than it's almost the wettest year, so it seemed entirely appropriate to visit the Huntington Library to see "An Eye For Beauty, Collectors and the British Watercolor" And then, a few blocks away, in Pasadena, "Liquid Los Angeles, Currents of Contemporary Watercolor Painting." In the first there is a range of work with watercolor often used as a drawing tool, using a very fine brush as a pen. Having worked quite a bit with watercolor outdoors on site I was appreciative of the compositions. Many of these artists were traveling to some remote areas to capture images of nature. The second show demonstrates the versatility of watercolor, showing some very free uses of watercolor, for example Shane Guffogg's flooding of the paper, really saturating it with deep color, as well as the photorealistic work of Cindy Craig and Judie Bamber's masterfully rendered and also fragile paintings. Alltogether a refreshing counterpoint to the David Hockney show at LA Louvre.

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