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Watercolors Exhibit on Display in Greenbelt

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Valerie Watson's watercolor titled "Dark  Red." Photo by Wanda Jackson

Valerie Watson's watercolor titled "Dark Red." Photo by Wanda Jackson

Published on: Thursday, January 02, 2014

By Wanda Jackson, Sentinel Arts Reporter

Valerie Watson’s art challenges the notion of watercolor being constrained to a small sheet of paper and less intense in color than oil and acrylic paint.

Her larger-than-life size watercolors push the boundaries of color, space and light, capturing flowers, exotic locales, and people at leisure, at work and at rest.

Viewers can judge Watson’s work for themselves. 

“Vivid” at the Greenbelt Community Center’s art gallery features eight of Watson’s unframed watercolors.

In “Gentleman of Dakar,” Watson’s brushstrokes portray a giant heroic figure draped in layers of purple fabric and gold brocade embellishments, symbols of achievement and status in Africa. 

In “Dark Reds,” viewers can visually dissect her dazzling close-up of a single red flower drenched by sunlight in a beautiful garden. Every stroke represents something — life, growth, beauty, earth — and each mark and stain is totally authentic.

Watson’s watercolor paintings begin with her photographs. 

“As an artist, I exploit photographic effects in my painting,” wrote Watson in the artist statement for her show. “This is the world as the camera sees it — fragmented, cropped, blurred detail, deep shadow, bleeding color and the frozen gesture. I blow up my images to larger than life and reanimate them with intense color.”

Watson’s watercolors will be on display through February 7 at the Greenbelt Community Center, 15 Crescent Road. For show hours and information about community center programs, call 301.397.2208 and visit

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