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"Shock and Awe"
Watercolor, 10½ inches x 14½ inches
By Judson Pealer

A chaplain at DHMC for the past two years and an Episcopal priest in Vermont for 20 years, Jud Pealer has an affinity for art that dates back to his childhood. He was in elementary school when he discovered the "wonderful zone of creative concentration" he could enter with pencil and paper in hand. Later, in college, he "gradually became enthralled" with watercolors and now works primarily in that medium—as does his wife, who is also an artist. "Having a life partner with the same interest is motivating and inspiring," he says. He believes his experiences as a chaplain affect his art, too, "particularly on an emotional level." His work is sometimes representational—he enjoys painting flowers—but he also "love[s] the ambiguity of . . . abstract forms." Often, he will begin a painting "without a firm idea" and then will "later discover figures emerging or objects appearing." The work above, he says, "came from an emotional level over the war in Iraq. . . . Texture was the key. It reminded me of the beginning of the war, with much dusk, sand, and smoke. The red lines are reminders that in [modern] technological war, the lives of real people are brutally affected."

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