For a large contingent of my family, visual art has been both a passion and profession. My great grandparents, Ernest and Eva Watson, were fine-art printmakers working from their home studio in Brooklyn. My grandfather, Aldren A. Watson, continued his parents’ artistic tradition, becoming not only a printmaker, but an author, illustrator, watercolor painter, and craftsman. Aldren passed all of these many talents and then some to his eight children, one of whom was my mother, Clyde Watson, and I was lucky enough to be privy to a way of living where making art was as much a part of daily life as eating lunch.
Due in part, I’m sure, to this legacy, producing things has always been of critical importance to me. Sitting down with a blank sheet of paper and leaving with a full one has been something that I consistently crave. It’s a proof of something but I’m not sure exactly what — either that, or perhaps it’s disproof that anything is static. At any rate, filling a page is evidence that some kind of process is taking place, and that is what I am after – always. Creative output in the tactile, tangible, and aesthetic sense of the term has always been a crucial element in connecting me to my essential self.
When I was around 9, I created what I called an “art station” in one corner of my tiny room in the house where I grew up. I would kneel at a small coffee table that my mother had bestowed upon me and be content to draw, paint, and make books for hours while listening to our old radio that was wedged between me and the wall. This is one of my coziest and most satisfying memories; one in which a sense of completeness and peace coated everything; nothing was lacking, and at the end of the day I had something to show for it. When I was deciding what to major in during college, although I never intended to get a degree in something that had always been strictly personal, choosing visual art was not a hard decision. I needed a very concrete way to consistently express and differentiate myself from the masses of gifted students who surrounded me at a huge ivy league school. Art inevitably became more of a public endeavor while I was at school, but having a visual mark of passing time, iterations of what I saw and how I saw it, felt extremely satisfying and helped me to process how I was developing as a person, and therefore as a creative being.
In the years since getting my B.A. in Art from Yale, I have focussed my visual output on my role as Graphic Designer for my former quartet, the Aiana String Quartet, and for my current projects. My most favored mediums — painting, photography, and printmaking — are always crucial elements in the continuum of my artistic process.