Watwood’s paintings travel through worlds of mythology, allegory, and contemporary human life. Her images are carefully designed to convey the beauty and stillness of the visual world. Philosophically, the paintings reflect the artist’s search for meaning and desire for spiritual connection with both subjects and viewers. “Faith in the Wilderness” (2011) is an example of Watwood’s combination of classical technique, contemporary sensibility and personal philosophy.
The artist describes the work as an allegory about her motives for painting. She writes, “The model is the unattainable beauty of ‘perfect’ painting. The landscape is the urban jungle that is my world. Faith is what is required to traverse the distance between the hope and the reality. The wilderness is many faceted-uncertain prospects, an uncharted course, the complex art world, or even just the impossible passage across that expanse of cheek between the nose and ear. I pick up my palette and keep traveling”. Her style has caught the eye of editors, who have featured her in numerous art publications, including twice landing the cover of American Artist magazine. Her paintings are in private collections and her commissions include a portrait of the astronomer Cecelia Payne-Gaposchkin for Faculty Hall at Harvard University; the journalist and anti-lynching campaigner Ida B. Wells for the Kennedy School of Government; and the former Mayor of St. Louis, Clarence Harmon, for the St. Louis City Hall. Aside from studio painting, Watwood has been an adjunct professor of drawing at New York Academy of Art and has given lectures and workshops across the country with Teaching Studios of Art, BACAA, the Portrait Society of America, and Studio Incamminati. Watwood lives in Brooklyn, New York.