Artist Statement Submitted 2016Debra Wuliger, an expressive figurative painter, goes into communities to discover its people and to reflect the community back to itself through portraits. Her current body of work, ‘Capturing Caldwell’ was completed between June 2015 and February 2016. This series of watercolor portraits grew out of her work collecting both oral stories and photographic images of the people in Caldwell County, North Carolina. Debra asked people to share a memory of something that happened to them in Caldwell County. She then painted some of their portraits, capturing in color and brushwork their emotional depth. Their stories can be read at: www.caldwellstories.com.
A third of Caldwell County is in the Appalachian Mountains. While hiking near Wilson Creek, NC, Debra chose the color palette after observing the greens, browns and ocher of the stones in the bottom of a mountain stream. This palette ties the series together into a unified whole.