A lake ebbs, a lily flower closes, a bird flies off. Many of the things in our world that we delight in observing will not stay still for long. Emilia Ivans, having fixed them first with a photograph (her own or one found in a magazine), then fixes them further still with watercolor. It’s a paradoxical medium to use—fluid, and so sensitive to time—and yet there it is. The red hawk sits still as a statue at the end of a branch, the tumultuous big sky stops blowing, the forest reflected in the pond stands blurrily still, the mist behind the fishing boat pauses. Now they can be seen for all their general beauty. And for their unexpected details, which demand more careful looking: the fallen brown tree leaf crusty against the damp green lily pad, the missing faces of the men and their precisely drawn fishing line, the hawk’s soft patch of red amid stark bands of black and white. When life moves too fast, paintings are thankfully slow.
—Lori Waxman 11/27/15 1:03 PM