Sweaty palms, heart pounding, nervous conversation...what is this, the first day of high school? Not quite, though the symptoms feel the same...just another drop-off for a juried competition, Uniquely Fredericksburg, a biennial art show celebrating the unique Fredericksburg experience.
Carl's Ice Cream (an iconic stop in Fredericksburg for over 50 years) has been masterfully painted countless times. It is probably the most painted recognizable image in Fredericksburg. They are open February through the heat of summer serving frozen custard to a line of visitors that often wraps around the parking lot. Who doesn't love a good frozen custard (aka: ice cream to the non-locals)?
Anyway, my goal was to present Carl's in a way no one had done it before...something more than a perfect portrait or whimsical, predictable building-scape (is that the right word?). Below is one of my favorite images (my in-laws), though maybe some would consider, less than flattering. I, however, love the casual, yet attentive attitude of the participants that so fits the personality and eccentricity of the residents and tourists in Fredericksburg.
I will be the first to admit I am not a "portrait" painter, just as I am not a "water-in-glass-vase" painter. I am, however, a shape and value painter in search of an unique, simplified perspective, whose subject this time happens to be people. This painting pulls together what I love most in watercolor...textures, blooms and glazes that create shapes of varied values and color mingling; shapes that alone would appear abstract, but when viewed together add up to a realistic (or should I say representational) image. I have heard from jurors that sometimes their decisions will vary depending on their breakfast. I hope this juror has a bland, boring breakfast...leaving her wanting for something more...maybe a curious painting of Carl's "thugs".
Watercolor on Ampersand Aquabord
Opening Reception and Awards
(August 5th, 5-7p)
1201 Caroline St, Fredericksburg