AD LIBITUM - WENDY ARTIN features ROME - Giant charcoal Statuary, Sepia watercolor landscapes, and still life paintings by Wendy Artin.
Few views are as exquisite as the hulking ruins against the Roman sky, the giant river gods on the edge of the cascading boulders in Piazza Navona. The work in this show is a celebration of returning to Rome, a place of visual joy.
Each spring the sky grows lighter, the days grow longer. I put my box of watercolors, my jar, my brushes, into my bag and off I go, hoping that the Roman sun will evaporate the puddle of watercolor just when the pigments have flowed to the right place to capture the way the sunlight illuminates the dome, the way the pine trees blend into the sky, the way the shadows almost shimmer - as though the Mediterranean sea has filled the world with tiny little drops of light. I sit and paint, while the sunlight gently moves across the stone, squeezing the shadows smaller and smaller till they suddenly switch to the other side, and it is time to leave. Again and again, and yet like actors on stage, no two puddles, no two watercolors are the same.
At home the walls are gradually covered with a new series of giant charcoal river god statues from the Piazza Navona. The drawings are a life-sized near-human presence, silently gesturing with the models who come to pose.
It is hard to resist painting the wild peas that grow at the side of the road, with exactly three matching twins of leaves going up the delicate stem and a butterfly petticoat marking the place where the two new shoots separate. And shiny purple eggplants... artichokes too!
This collection of art is a celebration of Rome, a return, and expressof the visual joy and the wonderous beauty of repetition.
The show will be up from Friday, November 2nd to Sunday, December 9th.