So where did I leave off…oh yes, the mystery of the vanishing watercolors. Poof, over half a decade of work, vanished. Where is it? Where can I see it? Let me know, because it has become a quest. Even at the National Museum in D.C. there were a total of 2 (TWO) watercolors. The ensuing conversation went something like this:
Me: Uhm, excuse me could you tell me where to find the watercolors?
Information: Certainly, let me look.
Me: I did find two.
Information: Oh?... (flip, flip, flip through some pages) …..I'm sorry, that must be all?
Yes, with a question at the end. But, unfortunately that is the norm. Take a local museum. Fairly recently there was an actual watercolor exhibition. I was thrilled. Friends traveled to see it. But what to my wandering eyes did appear but charcoals, pastels, and prints. Wait, what the ….? Why are these included in a watercolor exhibit? Are they trying to fob these off as watercolors? Or worse, don't they know the difference? Or even worse than that, do they think the public doesn't know the difference? I casually enquired why these pieces were included in the exhibit. "You're not the first person to ask." was the beleaguered response. That at least brought a smile to my lips. I'll jump to the wild conclusion that their collection doesn't include enough watercolors to fill two tiny pass throughs that connect a stairway, and so these were added to fill the space. Well, kudos, high fives, low fives and fist bumps to everyone who asked about it. I commend you and if I had the power would invest you with knighthood on the spot. I am sure that you did appreciate the watercolors that were on display as much as I did. Continuing my quest, last weekend I visited a museum in Oklahoma and after many hours located an astounding number of watercolors. One. One beautiful, fresh, energetic, forceful piece relegated to an extremely narrow corner. Its segregated lonely existence amongst hundreds of oils only serves to reveal a truth from which watercolorists should not shield their eyes. Back to my brushes.
"For me the greatest beauty always lies in the greatest clarity." - Gotthold Ephraim Lessing