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Water is a common theme in a collection of more than 40 watercolor paintings and collages by area artist Jan Noden. The paintings depict scenes from Noden's pond at her home in Shallersville, and can be seen through July 22 in Noden's new solo exhibit at the North Water Street Gallery in downtown Kent. An opening reception will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturday and will feature wine and music by her son Eric Noden, an internationally touring blues musician based in Chicago.
"I do like water because the pond is really big," Noden said. "It has water lilies. 'Frog' came from that.' That one is a combination piece. Water color is the medium I started with and now I combine a lot of different things."
Photography, birch bark, cloth and netting is interwoven in her paintings and collages and ink and acrylic add vibrancy to her work.
"I didn't start doing this until later in life," the 75-year-old painter said. "I had a degree, but I didn't get my art degree until I was 52. I found that exciting to be surrounded by that many young people and then I started learning different things. I never would have gone through photography and printing classes."
A painting of pink sky line over water is from her "Arch series," in which a piece was purchased by the Burton D Morgan Foundation in Hudson and a couple in Kent, she said.There's also paintings on display that have never been shown to the public before.
"There's an older water color that I've always liked, but I never put in a frame," she said. "I thought it's time to release some of these."
She experimented with sand paper to create her painting "Herb Farm" and "Beaver Farm" is another scene from the pond.
"You get different grades of sand paper," Noden said. "This was the roughest sand paper you can get. I did coat it so that took away some of the grit. This has inks in it in addition to water color."
"Paintings and Collages" is Noden's second solo show at the North Water Street Gallery. Her first was titled "Reconfigurations" in 2007. She also has pieces currently on display in the Ohio Collage Show at Summit Artspace and in juried exhibitions across the country.
"This is really special when you get to put up a lot of your own things because its just a really different feeling," Noden said. "I'm just really happy to be here. It's a real privilege to be able to have your own things in a gallery like this. It's really exciting when i get them all together. It's so interesting because a lot of times you're working on a separate piece and you don't see the wholeness sometimes or the colors you're choosing."