"Untitled" - 14x20in original watercolor + Gicleé reproductions
This abstract watercolor painting, which was created in 2002 and has a date penciled in by the signature, has had several working titles over the years.
As with most watercolor medium paintings, this was planned out and carefully penciled onto the the watercolor paper before ever touching brush to paint. During the sketching stages, I was calling the work "Downhill Spilling Water" in my mind. Years later, with the painting never having been shown, I started to believe the title was trying too hard to help people see the figure holding a pot of water so I started calling it simply "Water Bearer.”
In mid-December I decided to unframe and scan the piece for future reproductions. Ironically and perhaps fortunately, I did so just as is was being announced that the Dakota Access Pipeline would be halted. While I hadn’t made the connection previously, I suddenly saw how relevant the painting is in context of the ‘water protector’ movement. And I started considering other names for the painting: “Aquarius," as the goddess water bearer who is ushering in the new age; “Dakota, the Sioux word for "Friend" or “Ally;” "Water Protector," because, well, the feminine figure in the painting is carefully carrying a pot of water with a few drops splashing out.
I settled on “Untitled,” because I never want to appear opportunistic and I know some of my works takes liberty with the impressions other cultures have made upon me. (see anything related to “ecstatic” in my body of work.)
This painting is more relevant now than when I painted in it in 2002. It springs from the wanna-bee Shaman that coexists with the damaged white man inside of me. It is a female figure carrying a pot of water. She is a water protector. She is Aquarius. She is ushering in the new age. Her name has become “Dakota.” For me, she has become a prophetic “water protector” sent to remind me that Water = Life.
—Scott J Bailey