by: Lauren LaRocca

Philadelphia artist Brook Overline surrounds herself with toys and fun, random objects, the subject matter for her watercolor pieces -- but we’re not talking still lifes. 

Marbles become an orbit of planets, and pick-up sticks are transformed into snakes in Overline’s world.  Are they marbles?  Are they planets?  Are they both or neither?  The viewer’s observation may depend on the scale in which the pieces are viewed.

The marbles in "Ka Boom" represents the Big Bang, while "Spinner Jacks" are a type of fireworks. 

It’s not necessarily the toys -- or paper dolls -- that speak to Overline but the element of their shapes and the graphic quality they provide her with.  "If I don’t have it, I build it," she said.  The artist, who loves tools of all sorts, has also done blueprints for buildings, which may have started her inclination to use grids in her art.  "The grid has, since the beginning, seeped its way into the pieces," she said. "The grid became such an important element.  It created a space of itself." In recent works, Overline’s grids have taken on new meaning and life, sometimes shown as broken pieces, falling off the page. 

Though her paintings do not have the thickness of acrylic or oil paints, Overline builds several layers of watercolor, so that objects unrelated to one another collide on the same plane.  She creates her own palette and described her excitement, when she "hits the right color," to that of a child opening a box of 84 crayons.  "I’m still in the developing process," she said. "I’m still gaining momentum." 

Arts & Entertainment, The Frederick News-Post, April 17, 2008 


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