Presenting Ann Arbor artist Jennifer Farina’s original watercolors at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. January 12-March 24, 2019. Free admission. Scroll down for a gallery of some of the works on display.
“These watercolor paintings are created early in the morning or late in the evening on an old drafting table a good friend gave me. It’s positioned near windows so I have a feel for the sky and time of day, and a view of the tree line across the way.
“Each one has a title written directly into the painting—either a simple phrase, a full poem, or a haiku—and the words are essential to the painting being complete. My painting and writing starts with my experience of the natural world and then leads inward and outward at the same time. The daily reading of the sky, the leaves on the trees, the behavior of birds, the lichen on a log, the flowers in bloom, the current of the river, the position of the planets, moon, and stars are the things that make me feel alive.
“When I first learned about poets and poetry it was like finding out about a great secret. Poetry was confiding, and beautiful and dangerous and scary. These people were experiencing the world, the people in their lives, memory, history, pain of all kinds, and love. They were giving it all the attention that it deserved. They were sharing it. It was messy and majestic. Art and artists were the same to me. A teacher of mine once called them ‘rescuers’, they could be depended upon to have already gone out ahead to find a safe spot. They were devoted to telling the truth—compelled to—even in the darkest moments of their lives.
“I learned that the art of creating something made the indecipherable things in life beautiful. What it means to be human—a part of everything, but still alone. Seeing things as they are, yet still hopeful.”