Spirit of Water

“Hybrids”—Acrylic Paintings + Patinas on Steel

Exhibition at Hava Java Coffee—May through June 2016
32nd St and Camelback, Phoenix, Az

“Spirit of Water: Rushing / Rain / Pool”  ©Joan Waters, all rights reserved

Each composition in this exhibition is comprised of an acrylic painting (on wood or canvas), combined with a steel panel that is welded and colored with patinas. By juxtaposing these two mediums that are not often seen together, a synergy and dialog is created between the two different surfaces. The panels are close in size and on the same plane, to invite the viewer’s perception past the surface, into the layers of color and texture in each piece.

spring lake
“Spirit of Water: Spring Lake”  ©Joan Waters, all rights reserved

The perception of surface and depth in each pair of panels seems to suggest a layering of experience, and an awareness of different types of consciousness. The works begin to suggest how we are able to perceive the world around us on many different levels simultaneously. The accompanying text from the Tao Te Ching suggests looking at, into, or through the many forms of water, as a way of contemplating and exploring our internal worlds.

“Spirit of Water: Dew / Pond 1 / Pond 2”  ©Joan Waters, all rights reserved

The synergistic process of creating these works incorporates elements of randomness. Being open to chance makes these compositions come alive.  The painting and the steel are created separately. On the “painting” side, layers of thick acrylic paint and medium are scraped, textured, and thinly layered like glazes. On the steel side, the steel panels have welded marks and some have plasma cut openings. They are then ground and patinas are applied with heat, layered and worked with air tools. Final layers of satin lacquer seal the steel from oxidation (rust).
I’ll make several paintings and steel panels individually, then lay them out and decide which belong together. The combinations that seem to work the best are often the ones I least expect.

This is my fourth exhibition at Hava Java over the years. I’ve selected this series to accompany coffee and contemplation.

The quotations are from Tao Te Ching, translation by Man-Ho Kwok, Marin Palmer, Jay Ramsay,  Element Books, 1993.



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