Catherine S. Poole
“The media of watercolor is challenging, particularly when one strives to show that watercolor can be bold, rich and dramatic. Because of my many years in academia, I put pressure on myself to create design and art that made a statement, or held “hidden truths or meanings”. I respect and love artistic endeavors that push one to an edge and question political, social, spiritual truths, yet when all is said and done, I love nature, flowers, and the beauty that resides in my own back yard. My passion is in expressing my personal interpretation of nature's unique beauty.
My research and expertise has always been with color, color psychology, color theory, and our emotional connection with color. Art is a valuable healing experience for both the creator and the observer and art is what started me on my journey as “The Queen of Color”. I now come full circle, realizing all along that art in its many forms, is what I am here to do.
I am fascinated with depth, shadow, texture, and movement, I have always felt that watercolor is about working with subconscious emotion. There is a hypnotic effect in studying the flower itself, and determining how those pigments can be introduced to paper. With a medium that is so easily faded or “muddied” in the process of layering, it can be a challenging process.
I love creating unusual compositions by shifting my perspective within the unique corners of my backyard here in Southwest Virginia. There is a world within the flowerbeds, among the wildflowers and in my back woods. Even as a child, I would study the intricate details of these hidden places, insects, layers of overlapping leaves and petals, the shadows and the water droplets. It is a spiritual journey for me when I seek out a composition; and this journey continues as I place and shift pigments around the paper.
I am also intrigued by forms and the values held within flowers and leaves. I believed you could not be a serious artists and paint flowers-again the years in academia. Yet, from a spiritual viewpoint, a flower illustrates our own cyclical nature, and represents in us faith, hope, and beauty- everything from the seeds, stem, bud, and blossom. Each of us has the choice of simply seeing a flower or something much more.
It is a wonderful feeling to take the “ordinary” and elevate its status through dynamic renderings of pigment and texture. Taking what seems to be complicated and creating a visually simplified form is perhaps the most satisfying path. Simplifying this complexity through rich pigment choices and sharp value contrasts allows me to create dimension and realism within my compositions.
Everything in nature has a voice but not everyone can hear it. We are caught up in the external pushing and pulling in our lives and don't take the time to hear or see the signals of nature. We can become distracted and confused. I think I eliminate some of this by bringing the essence of the flowers into my paintings”.