I love that John Cougar Mellencamp song! Mostly because it
reminds me of being young, and that life is full of possibilities and change. It's
also a great reminder that the "small" stories of our everyday lives are the
ones that matter most!
||Roanoke by Mary Whyte, watercolor on paper, 2007.
Mary Whyte extols these same ideas in her watercolor art
especially in her latest series Working South. These beautiful watercolor
paintings show people of humble means--like mill workers, fishermen, farmers, and
even a shoeshine man--going about their daily work. They are surrounded by the
objects of their trade or painted on site at their places of work. Looking at
any one of the Working South paintings, I get a sense of human connection to a
real person--with a history, hopes, dreams, stresses, and pains--not just an
anonymous figure the watercolor artist chose to portray.
|Obediah by Mary Whyte, watercolor painting.
And my "art" eye is engaged with the works as well. As we
all know, Whyte is practically a virtuoso when it comes to watercolor painting
She is adept with color and composition alike, and has so many tricks when it
comes to patterning, texture, and transparency. Her paintings are like
watercolor lessons in themselves.
Mary Whyte's DVD, Watercolor
Portraits of the South is, in a way, a continuation of the Working South
series. It is one-part excellent instruction in which Whyte shows you how she
goes from inspiration to sketchbook to finished painting. It is also one-part
up-close documentary on the artist as she works with models, visits friends, and
shares her expertise in her own hometown and studio. Plus there are exclusive
interviews with one of the artist's collectors, a framer, and a museum curator. Enjoy!