Judy Southerland


History Painting for a Small Town was inspired by an early artist statement:

 "People plowed ground, planted gardens, sewed dresses, built houses, repaired cars and bad roads, decorated churches, made music, got together, drank whiskey or didn't, had fights, had babies, looked at the stars and buried the dead. That way of life seems ancient now but the visual language I inherited is flexible enough to take on whatever comes to mind."  


Block stenciling this text with watercolor pencil onto canvas or linen kick-started a series of paintings. Articulated letters would fade under glazes becoming a vehicle for meditative mark making and rhythmic detail in the ground of the painting. An outgrowth of this process was a series of drawings using watercolor pencils to make small color blocks which accumulated until some form with quick emerged. 


In counterpoint to the text based work I made a visual chorus of oval paintings, the shape of which is drawn from the art historical legacy of portraiture. A collection of people surrounds us as we grow. Lucky or not, knowing it or not, they prepare us to go out and find our way. We all have these someones. Their stories and games becomes a residue and presence in memory. 



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