For some time now, I’ve been intrigued by combining the written word and some of the watercolour artwork I’ve been doing. I’ve thought of the personal side of this, but also writing something that might be more widely subscribed, so to speak.
I’m guessing, actually, that some of the grounding in this approach has grown out of my longer standing interest in painting on ‘ephemera’ - vintage paper that includes everything from letterhead and envelopes to maps, ticket stubs, and cheques. At a much more abstract level, it’s not lost on me that all artwork is a kind of palimpsest of stories.
In this series, I’ve been far less cerebral about the whole process. I’ve taken a simple approach, the bulk of which turns around vignettes from my own life - and I’m guessing that many of these will ring through the lives of many of you too.
How many of you, for example, have spent some time at the seaside and had the good fortune of seeing small commercial boats coming in with their catch? More than a few I’m guessing.
That’s been part of my past too - and the piece here with the prawn is lifted directly from the wharves of Steveston on the southwest reaches of Lulu Island in British Columbia. As a kid, a neighbour ran his gillnetter out of those wharves, and I remember the huge buckets of prawns on other boats docked there. Years later, while attending university; we’d head off to Steveston to buy wonderful bags of fresh prawns for a rare feast. Yum!
The painting of Radishes has similar roots. I can’t believe that my mother was the only one who sent her kids to elementary school with tasty and crunchy radish sandwiches....and lots of mayo!
On the more whimsical side, I had to include balloons. Who doesn’t like balloons....seriously! (Just don’t release them into the wild blue yonder) Balloons have brought joy to millions for hundreds of years, and they had to have a place in this Spring 2021 collection.
Likewise with the painting of the ice cream cone. Again, where’s the Grinch who doesn’t like ice cream cones? I know I painted a strawberry flavour cone....but vanilla is absolutely my favourite. Now you know something more personal about me. :-)
In so many ways, I do believe that paintings are stories – I mean actual stories! They have meaning and they invoke feeling. They bring memories to the surface. They have personal value and collective value. I think that’s part of the reason we hold the paintings of the Lascaux Caves in such reverence. We may only be able to guess at the deeper personal meaning behind those cave paintings, but we damned well know there is a powerful personal story behind every image!
In this series, I’ve made some of that meaning more explicit and revealed some of the personal side of the individual works. I hope you’ll stroll through the Painting Stories here - just for the fun of it as a starting point
All three of my Winter 2020-21 Collections (Nautical Ephemera; Feathers; and Painting Stories) will go live at 6:00am (PST) on Saturday, April 17, 2021 on my website at www.waynewilsonart.com
I hope you’ll stop by for a comfortable stroll through this new work.
Wayne Wilson - Kelowna, BC