ARTIST-A-DAY BLOG: Inside A Generous Kingdom V and the Mixed Media Realm of artist, Olivia Watson

"I want to create moments where it feels like maybe you’re witnessing something intimate. It’s a peek into the private lives of spirits and creatures,"

Olivia Watson

How does your work interact with the theme of “A Generous Kingdom V: Art that Explores Story, Symbolism, and Beyond”?

I get a lot of inspiration from the imagery of folklore and fairy tales, so story and symbolism are familiar. This piece takes place in some archetypal fairy tale forest and I use the lost dog as an avatar in several of my pieces. I want to create moments where it feels like maybe you’re witnessing something intimate. It’s a peek into the private lives of spirits and creatures.

What draws you to the medium you chose? And tell us a little about your process

This piece, like most of my recent work, is a mixed media painting. While I paint with acrylic, I’m rarely satisfied with that alone and can’t help but work in some pastels or collage pieces. This painting includes bits of found paper, mainly old postage stamps. I like that this particular piece, though it’s fairly small, has a lot of little moments where you can rest with a brush stroke or in the tiny image of one of the collaged pieces.

Who inspires you? And What do you do to get inspired?

Getting outside gets me inspired. I live in Providence, RI so that usually means walks in the city but during the pandemic, I’ve been able to go to the beach pretty often during the off season. When I go back to my hometown in Oklahoma I’m always taking pictures of the flat fields and sunsets for reference later. Music is important too. I’ve been listening to this instrumental playlist lately that sounds like the score of a western movie on another planet. I get a lot out of Instagram, too. It’s led me to so many inspiring artists. Some contemporary painters that are inspiring me right now are Naudline Cluvie Pierre, Jordan Seaberry, and Ruth Speer. I’m also looking at a lot of illustrators of folktales like Ivan Bilibin and Edmund Dulac.

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