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Botanical Rain: the enduring Endico image



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Updated August 08, 2017 | By Bob Fugett ©2017

The Blush

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At first no more than a slight rosiness.

Not even a hard edge, just an ill defined warm glow appearing slowly across the back of the neck and filling in from both sides along the line of the collar.

As the light pink spreads, intensity increases until the glow has ascended the full neck and face, filling in a final deep brilliance.

I started calling it "the blush" after Mary described this recurring phenomenon associated with several of her most avid collectors.

A light sweat appears on the brow and temples.

This is an extreme example of aesthetic response, and Mary reports it happening (at this level) to less than a dozen of her several thousand repeat collectors.

On the other hand, virtually every person who purchases an Endico watercolor has some degree of the same experience.

Mary has sold more than 21,000 watercolors painted by her own hand during her 40 plus year career as a professional artist.

Due to the fact she has sold almost all of the paintings one-on-one directly to her collectors visiting her studio in Sugar Loaf, New York, Mary has had ample opportunity to observe human aesthetic response up close and personal.

From the extreme example described above, all the way down to an almost imperceptible startled half twitch, the strength of response exhibited varies over a smooth gamut.

Mary Endico has become expert at identifying aesthetic response within a few seconds of somebody walking through her studio door.

In fact her livelihood depends on it.

Efficiency demands that she spots the most subtle response quickly and even more importantly that she notices a lack of response immediately.

She cannot waste time with people who don't get it; there are bills to pay if she wants to continue creating in the medium she loves while living as an independent self sustaining artist.

True aesthetic response can be difficult to confirm because many people are taught that an aesthetic response shows something akin to good breeding, heightened understanding, intellectual prowess, upper tier social standing, and extreme financial security.

They have learned to do a good job of feigning a love of art.

The easy ones to disclude are the overly emotional, those forcefully claiming an enduring love of art, those raving about how what they see in Mary's work is uncommon comforting beauty.

The louder they proclaim, the less likely they are to take one home.

Sort of like: the more somebody talks about what is important about art, the less likely they are to be an actual artist.

On the other hand there's Victor.

Victor was one of the first that Mary saw exhibiting an extreme aesthetic response; he is otherwise rather quiet.

He often browses the Endico studio for hours, looking at everything without speaking, obviously happy to see all the paintings, but when he settles on one, the blush bursts through and cannot be hidden or overstated.

He also memorizes paintings, and if Mary ever has occasion to cut one down, he might recognize passages from a larger painting that he has seen months before.

His ability to recognize and remember complex art is very much like Mary's ability to paint the Botanical Rain plein air from memory.

Not surprisingly, Victor is also a house painter (the sort of worker bee that exemplifies all artists), and he once painted the external walls of what is now the studio museum room in exchange for a painting that he "could not live without".

He began collecting Endico watercolors in 1985, so not all of his purchases are in the image database, but you can click here to view most of: Victor's collection.

Victor is part of the large group of Endico collectors for whom the purchase of a favored painting is not a minor affair but a sizeable investment that really proves they care about their watercolors.

Mary has a long standing layaway plan in which she sometimes allows a collector to take the painting home and pay it off over time.

The plan is interest free.

Once she handed somebody a $900.00 painting to take home to Texas (far away), and they paid it off over the next two and a half years without fail.

Mary has never been burned.

Either she is a great judge of character, or people who buy her paintings are not the sort of people who can steal.

I believe it is a combination of both.

Maybe it is just a matter of her evolved indomitable artistic will keeping trouble at bay.

Endico watercolors are not all prettiness and light; some are shockingly brutal, but the human aesthetic responds to all types of stimulus.

So to each their own, and the blush can rear its reddened head in unexpected situations ... unexpected, that is, unless one thoroughly understands the underlying humanistic rules of the stimulus and response.

Mary was trained to recognize and cherish the fundamental design elements that trigger aesthetic response, and she has refined her skill to affix a solid record of those essential human archetypes through painting, but without people who are inherently sensitive to innate compositional generics, and who have at least an unstudied aesthetic response to basic semiotic, Mary could never have had a lifetime success as an artist.

Fortunately, (though some have it, and some don't) a pronounced aesthetic response is a widespread essential of the human condition.

Furthermore, though nonartists often like to think that it is magic, triggering aesthetic response through the creation of art is really nothing at all like magic, or vague hocus pocus.

The logical fundamentals can be studied, and not only merely studied, but really most sincerely studied.

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