The Stuff of Life

Cranberry Beans and Tomato Slices, 1998, watercolor on paper, 18 x 23 inches

Carolyn Brady (1937-2005) worked exclusively in watercolor, exploring three main themes in her painting: still lifes or tablescapes; flower-filled gardens; interior still lifes combined with vistas from nature and the out-of-doors. While these themes recur in the artist’s work, it is the subject of light and the architecture of creating a painting that provide a framework for each of the artist’s images.

Green Table by Carolyn Brady (1979)

Her tablescapes offered the artist’s personal view of the table set at lunch or dinner, with the meal half-eaten; the table filled with a pitcher of flowers, the daily mail, a tin of cookies — the stuff of life, all lit by sunshine that enters the window behind the table; the table as a stage for life’s rituals. In her later work she took color to a new level, pushing its intensity, pulling its contrasts, and enhancing our perception of reality by the heat of her palette.

Chauffage Centrale / Giverny, 1990, watercolor on paper, 44 x 68 inches

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