The Traffic Cone Series

The Traffic Cone Series 2013
Watercolor on paper

The Traffic Cone Series is an homage to these little orange buddies I see scattered throughout the daily landscape. I find their shape, form and colors somehow comforting and humorous, grounding and ever-present.

Painting them allowed me the pleasure of really looking, to spend time staring at an object and describing with paint what I see. Both the looking and the time painting are anchors as solid as these sturdy, flexible cones, grounding a person in this world.

I am interested in the form and the surface. It’s a luxury to describe a luminous body and its surface texture with paint. I get excited when a flick of paint gains meaning through our optical-cerebral connection; a touch of ochre becomes a discarded cigarette butt stuck in a crack of cement.

I also got to spend time with a color palette I love and see reflected all around me: the warm and cool grays of San Francisco’s streets and skies, the bits of color injected by our human lives, smashed red gum, splattered blue paint, chalky-white markings, and the lovely, humble orange cone, with its character and life experience written all over its bright little body.

Thanks for looking with me,
Sam McWilliams

September 3, 2013
Mermaids Tattoo
San Francisco

© Sam McWilliams 2024