Those who are not conversant in works of art are often surprised at the high value set by connoisseurs on drawings which appear careless, and in every respect unfinished; but they are truly valuable... they give the idea of a whole.
- Sir Joshua Reynolds
We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.
- Anais Nin


Friday, May 23, 2008

Alexis America

Posted by Charley Parker at 10:23 am

Alexis America
As an antidote to yesterday’s scary monsters, I take you this morning to the tranquil beauty of a water garden, alight with the brilliance of water lilly blossoms, in botanical watercolor paintings by Alexis America.

America has a series of paintings of water lillies, lotus and related water plants, their bright blooms, colorful stalks and delicate floating pads rendered in fresh, crisp watercolor (image above, top). These are presented in a web site gallery called Alexis America botanical paintings.

The site provides little background information, but with a little digging I was able to find that America, originally from Connecticut and now living in Hawaii, also has a series of Water Paintings created as aqueous monoprints (image above, bottom).

Aqueous monoprinting is a process closely related to traditional Italian book marbling, in which oil based paints are floated on water, taking advantage of the old adage that oil and water don’t mix, and the colors are stirred or moved around with delicate wands or by blowing air through a tube to create intricate marbled patterns. A sheet of paper is then gingerly laid atop the paint, and carefully lifted off, preserving the pattern in a single unique impression.

I had a chance to see traditional marbling done when some Florentine artisans participated in a cultural exchange here in Philadelphia a few years ago, as part of the little known “Sister Cities” relationship between Philadelphia and Florence. If you ever get a chance to see the process demonstrated, it’s fascinating and quite demanding. In America’s monoprints, she has used the process in a more representational way that I have seen before, in images suggestive of rolling and breaking waves.

Both her botanical and water paintings sites offer limited edition prints, though there is no indication of whether the originals are for sale or have gallery representation (or the size at which they’re done). Oddly, neither site mentions or is linked to the other; leading me to wonder if she has other sites of themed paintings, though these are the only two I turned up with a quick search. I also found a mention of her on the Tiki Art Gallery, that includes a small bio and offers prints some of her older figurative work.

[Link and suggestion courtesy of Ocean Quigley]

6 comments for Alexis America »

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  1. Comment by emila yusof
    Friday, May 23, 2008 @ 11:41 am

    Beautiful paintings by America! Love the waterlily!

  2. Comment by smacleod
    Friday, May 23, 2008 @ 1:47 pm

    These are incredible! So hard to do! Her pieces look amazing. Wow, so much talent out there. So humbling.

  3. Comment by Mark Miller
    Friday, May 23, 2008 @ 9:36 pm


    I have to let you know I’ve been enjoying reading your blog for the last few wks now. (Great read while trekkng to work on the bus) America’s painting are very captivating. Lots of great talent you’ve brought to my attention. Makes me want to pick up a bristle brush again and set down the PSD brush for a while. Thanks for all the info you provide here.

    Mark Miller

  4. Comment by Charley Parker
    Saturday, May 24, 2008 @ 12:24 am

    Thanks, Mark!

    Hey, why not go ahead and pick up that brush?

    Doesn’t have to be a big production, just a quick sketch for fun!

    Just a thought (grin).

  5. Comment by oakling
    Wednesday, May 28, 2008 @ 2:33 pm

    oh!! we did aqueous monoprinting in elementary school! maybe in a summer program? And I promptly forgot all about it. It’s easy to make pretty wrapping paper or something that way, but very difficult to control the oils to make a picture look a specific way.

  6. Comment by CHARLES WEST, D.D.S.
    Saturday, November 8, 2008 @ 3:17 pm

    Alexis’ paintings simultaneously capture the uninhibited, explosive energy of Nature,and quietly glimpses within the subject to trace the fine textural beauty of order and peace.

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