Pearlie Taylor was Born “Pearlie May Watkins” in Vance, Mississippi and raised in Chicago. As a child, she would sell drawings to her 3rd grade classmates for five cents apiece. During the mid-80s while juggling a position in Sears Catalog Advertising department, a husband and five children, she took night classes at The American Academy of Art. Her goal was just to see if there was anything to all the dabbling and drawing, she had been doing for most of her life. The American Academy of Art opened a whole new wonderful world into art for her and thus her formal art studies began. She used every free moment to learn and practice. She worked in graphite, watercolor, oils, charcoal, and pastels, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that she picked up acrylics and that became her medium of choice because of its flexibility.
Pearlie’s late husband was a jazz musician so consequently, jazz was playing in the house every day. It wasn’t until she started painting in acrylics that her work became more fluid and ultimately each painting became less figurative and more experimental as her ideas were being influenced by jazz, she began improvising to the sound of the music.
The urge to paint intensified after the death of her husband, maybe it was because he always encouraged her to take more time to paint or it could have been because it made her think about her own mortality, or maybe she just had to know where she stood as an artist in the real world.
She made a very tough decision to give herself the time and space needed to move forward in her changed life. She sold the UPS Store franchised they owned, the three-story home and practically all the furnishings and moved to a spacious condo and thus began life anew as an artist.
She begins with her canvases on the floor usually working two or more paintings at once. Her process is wet and very organic. It can begin and end with just a few wide strokes using a mop, broom or a wide brush, or it can take several days of Dabbing, smearing, dripping, splashing paint onto the canvas. She feels that her work is best when she in not in her head but painting with a sense of fear and uncertainty about the outcome. She has learned to trust the process and be guided by instinct.