Artist's Statement

Artist's Statement
Peggy Flora Zalucha • 1992

These paintings celebrate the familiar. They dignify the everyday objects which surround us, exalting real worth and beauty which too often the world fails to notice. These paintings celebrate the humble. No subject is too pedestrian, too ordinary to glorify in a classic still-life setting, each characterizing the idiom of our daily life. These paintings celebrate the overlooked. They express the hidden significance in what others discount as trivial. These paintings celebrate the commonplace. They urge the viewer to observe the reality that lies below the surface of a cosmopolitan world. These paintings display beauty in simplicity, objects draped in warm, rich light, shimmering with the elegance of reflected light, disclosing the vibrant colors hidden in the mundane. These paintings show great respect for a medium which is much misunderstood. They break away from the misguided idea that watercolor is merely a fugitive sketch medium, instead introducing techniques that utilize the jewel-like qualities of the pigments, creating permanent images enhanced by their transparent and brilliant colors. These paintings reject the negative and overblown jargon of so much contemporary art. Rather, they invite the viewer to luxuriate in the simple pleasures of living. They are, in short, modern examples of genre painting. Much more than mere description, they express and reflect the unpretentious good life of late 20th century middle-class America. But in so doing the ordinary becomes an expression of the privileged, and like their Dutch antecedents, the paintings present a simple moral, defining the underpinnings of a class and a way of life which contrasts so dramatically with that of others.

Statement of Purpose
Peggy Flora Zalucha •1990

My paintings are watermedia on paper, consisting mostly of transparent watercolor and, at times, acrylic washes and india ink.Through exploration of the medium, I have tried to create realistic images which are both pleasing and stimulating to the viewer, as well as reflect the vigor and excitement with which I approach my painting.

I am constantly working through two different series; floral environments and still life. After painting a few pieces in one series, I will alternate to paint a few in the other. In this way, I am able to keep each idea fresh and, in many cases, solve problems in one series by coming at them in a different manner in the other. Occasionally, I will try something totally different, such as a landscape or figure, in order to work out a problem that does not lend itself to my other series.

Florals and still-lives comprise a means for me to convey a modern view of traditional subjects. I use the botanical paintings as a means of exploring color, pattern and texture. The paintings have a strong underlying design quality, which, when combined with confident, aggressive painting techniques, create pieces which have a firm sense of direction and a clear goal.

The still-lives that I paint are based strongly in the traditions of still life painting. I try to make them a statement of contemporary culture, most specifically dealing with items that relate to me and my everyday existence. The structure of the composition as well as the content are of primary importance to me.

With each painting, I try to create a new problem to solve. Since watercolor is an elusive medium which cannot easily be reworked, I take major steps a little at a time, working my way through technical and conceptual problems slowly. By this method, I have evolved techniques and ideas which are recognizably my own. I am not afraid to tackle problems in watercolor that may seem insurmountable because of the perceived limitations of the medium. Breaking away from the traditional idea that watercolor is a quick sketch medium, I treat it as the significant art form I understand it to be, spending many days on each painting, using permanent pigments and acid free papers.

It is my intention to make paintings which utilize the jewel-like qualities of watercolor by developing techniques which enhance its transparency and brilliant color. Slowly the medium is gaining the recognition that it deserves. Since watercolor, in the past, has been considered a "wishy-washy" medium, artists who use it with control and dynamic exploration have a whole new world opening to them. It is my intention to assist and support this by exploring, experimenting, and pushing the limits so the viewer will constantly be stimulated by my images and by the medium.