Joyanna Rose Gittings

Contemporary Watercolor

Pigment As Balm

I am a contemporary watercolorist making surrealistic narrative paintings, sometimes translating them to acrylics for mural work. My subject matter focuses on transparent figurative and organic contours in hyperpigmented settings. I exaggerate scale and hue to emphasize our universal human experience free from visual labels that exclude.  


I work in watercolor because I appreciate the simplicity of the medium, being composed of only pigment and a soluble carrier that is lost, leaving the naked color on the naked paper or ground. For me, allowing the pigment to settle unpredictably into the micro- imperfections of the painting surface is a subtle rebellion against the control and precision with which we are often expected to conduct ourselves, denying our humanity. I embrace it’s need to find a resting spot as I believe we should do for each other. The pigment (and the human) in and of itself is enough, I don’t feel the need to enhance or perfect it. The work stands against messages of ever- more, ever- better consumer culture and artistic sensationalism, and instead seeks stillness amidst the chaos around us.