oil monoprint & watercolor on Arches 140lb watercolor paper


Regina Ottman

I am interested in the way opposites inform and balance each other, and I love to explore these relationships in my work. Vulnerability and resilience, fragility and durability, sorrow and comfort, community and singularity, story and secret, these tensions are fascinating to me. As a lifelong birder, I see many of these dualities in the avian world. I love wild birds, and admire their beauty, intelligence, songs, and ability to rise above the peopled world. I find birds’ fragility, adaptability and strength compelling. They serve as both bellwether of the health of the Earth and a mirror of human frailty and resilience. In my paintings, birds are subject and avatar. I celebrate them using oil paint, a rich medium for creatures so rich in physical and spiritual significance. I recently found a box of hand-knitted doll clothes, made for my mother by my maternal grandmother before she died of breast cancer at the age of 40 The clothes are fragile, well-loved, created by a woman who knew her time with her daughter was coming to an end. Dressing artist mannequins in those tiny clothes revisits the original intent of their creator and allows me to explore how that intent translates into current time and space to become part of my personal artistic story. I find the little garments compelling avatars of frailty and endurance, love and loss The physical materials of my work – pastel on birch panel, oil monoprint on paper – reflect the tension between the delicacy and the durability of the subject. — Regina Ottman