I have always loved visiting the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building in Harrisburg. It has it all: sweeping exterior staircases, incredible marble sculptures, murals beyond compare, and Commonwealth, resting atop the dome, a gilded fourteen foot six-inch statue I had the pleasure of seeing at ground level after restoration.
This is why I am so excited, and honoured, to be included in the Fifth Annual Daily Painters of Pennsylvania Group Exhibition taking place in the East Wing Rotunda for the month of July 2014.
The Daily Painters is Blog devoted to artists living in Pennsylvania. The diversity and standard of work is magnificent. I love visiting the Blog because it takes me back to my Art School days where we were able to view work in progress, and careers in transition, in an encouraging environment.
For the exhibition we each submitted three works. I chose The Mystery of Violet Oakley as one of my pieces. The Pre-Raphaelite influenced work of Violet Oakley is no stranger to us living in the Harrisburg area. Forty-three murals grace the walls of the Capitol. Violet was the first woman artist to receive a commission of such magnitude in the United States. Her extraordinary talent and life inspired my collage.
As one of the Red Rose Girls, Violet shared her life with Jessie Willcox Smith and Elizabeth Shippen Green. Living together encouraged a climate of extreme creativity and speculation on the true nature of the arrangement, a mystery that would never be fully solved.
The substrate for my collage is canvas. In addition to the photo of Violet, I used handmade and art paper, ribbon, joss paper, a letter written by Violet, and a pressed rose petal.
Although we Daily Painters don’t physically live together, we do share a home base on the Blog. And like the Red Rose Girls, it is an enlightening and nurturing place to be.