Year: circa 1999
Reference: holy card in my collection
Watercolor is not a medium with which I have had much to do; I prefer to maintain mastery of
the medium in the mysterious interaction of touch, and instrument, and paper, and thought–and this
wet, leaky stuff escapes control so readily! And afterward there is no recourse. Once it seeps into the
deep-textured fibers of the cold-press paper, there it lies, for good or ill, forever beyond hope of recall!
For this rendition of an intricate yet simple Chinese Madonna and Child, however, I decided, for
reasons which I cannot now recall, to give this thing called watercolor a go.
So long ago it was, that now I can remember no more than the most general aspects of my
technical approach to this piece. I undersketched the lines in pencil, of course—when in my art career
have I not?–and filled the spaces, both the minute and the vast, with what diluted pigment I had at my
disposal (probably the cheap Pentel brand that lay around my house). But was the carefully inked
outline done before the color wash, or after? The answer to this burning question is, sadly, lost in the
obscuring mists of intervening time.
I know that I presented the finished piece of art to my sister Claire on the occasion of her
birthday; not at her request, but because she was collecting Asian things of every kind with which to
decorate her bedroom, and this, I thought, would put a Catholic image with an Asian flair into the
general scheme. Anyway, the looming and most certain deadline of a birthday led directly to the rapid
trip to Hobby Lobby there to have the picture professionally framed. It was not until sometime after the
fact that I realized, alas! too late, that I had taken first no scan or even photo of the bare and simple
image, and now it was securely under glass, matted, backed, and framed!
What was an artist, keen on keeping records of her artwork, to do in such a corner?
In the end, I placed the picture, frame and all, upon the scanner bed and obtained what digital
documentation was still possible in the case.
And that, dear friends and readers all, is why the edges of the artwork are cut off (including
where I signed the piece!), as you can see.
The original painting remains in the private collection of Claire Kosovich, though she no longer
has an Asian-themed boudoir in which to hang it, and there it shall stay until the end, or till some other
fate overtakes it.
Gloria Dei Art