In the water play paintings, Carol O’Malia captures the joy that children experience as they play for hours “not worried about getting anywhere anytime soon”. In capturing this imagery, O’Malia says “I take hundreds of photographs of "play" both above and below the water. On the canvas, I take the figure out of its specific environment and place it into a more simplified space. Then I let the paint fly. The figures are all in motion yet the paintings are very still.” In many of these paintings, the figure is painted very realistically and the background is painted in a loose, almost impressionistic style. By giving the environment and background a secondary role, O’Malia can truly focus on delivering the emotion of “joy of play”.
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