Thoughts on Helen Richter Watson
“…The artist who works with clay must have a heart of innocence, like that of a child, to be able to play with clay, as well as intelligence to make something vulnerable, beautiful, and breakable, without losing its value. In anthropology, a small piece of clay will help us discover that everything in the world comes from the earth, including ourselves and everything returns to the earth except the spirit that we give to our work.
Helen Watson, our distinguished lady from Laredo, Texas devoted her life and love to her favorite subject: creating art from clay…The nobility and elegance of Helen’s work makes the figures stand with great dignity… we recognize this dignity as the spiritual art of clay.”
-- By Marti Franco From “A Tribute to Helen Watson: The Analogy of Art in Clay (2003)
"Helen Watson is a natural. It is unnecessary for her to lean on a current idiom or create make-believe aura of mystery about her work.
With keen and unusual balance between her disciplined hands and head, she continuously moves forward in spirit and accomplishment, from inner pressures that seem boundless with vigor and the deepening awareness of the power and the medium of ceramics.
She is undaunted by the size or the complexity of joining difficult ceramic forms. The mastery of her medium is reflected with the change of pace between delicate porcelains and life-sized sculptural forms, from huge ceramic murals to magnificently thrown pots and decorative tiles.
Her present love of organic forms in nature are perfectly married to her control of abstract organization. She has produced brilliant, elegant works in vibrant color, and is equally powerful in handling the rich colors and textures of stoneware.
She is an artist who, when commissioned to do an architectural project, understands the importance of an architectonic approach, and at the same time has the rate ability to satisfy both client and her own integrity.
As director of the Ceramics Division of the Otis Art Institute of Los Angeles, Helen Watson has created a great center for the young potters, and there she is an outstanding teacher.
The Art World is greatly lifted by the presence and the work of this gentle, powerful and dedicated artist."
-- By Millard Sheets (1907-1989), American painter and representative of the California School of Painting; former Director of the Otis Art Institute (date unknown).
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