You may be somewhat familiar with the work of Corita Kent, also known as Sister Mary Corita Kent, who was an American Catholic nun, artist and educator. And like many artists, she also used her work to advocate for social justice—many of her pieces include messages of love and peace.

Bold & Bright

If you are familiar with her work, chances are what comes to mind is her bold, vibrant, and often typographic serigraphs that were created during the 1960s and 70s.

Graceful & Free

But did you know her catalog also includes a huge body of watercolor landscape studies? Her later work, made throughout the 80s, is mostly comprised of these beautiful pieces, and I had no idea. They are completely different from her other work and equally amazing. There is so much movement and life in each one, and I especially love her free and creative use of color.

The Corita Art Center maintains an incredible website that catalogs her work, life and story, so definitely head over there if you’re interested in learning more. The center itself is located in Los Angeles and open daily, so if you’re in the area you can check out some of these pieces in person. (I really wish I had known about the center when I was in town just a few months ago!)

Bonus fun fact: Until I started researching Corita’s work, I had no idea that she had been commissioned to create the famous Rainbow Swash mural in Boston. In 1971, then-Boston Gas president, Eli Goldston, commissioned the colorful painting to adorn a huge natural gas storage tank that is readily visible from the Southeast Expressway. It became the largest copyrighted artwork in the world.

The rainbow tank is something I drove by a million times as a kid growing up in the area, so it was really fun to discover that Corita is the artist behind a visual that is so engrained in my memory.

Image via Boston Magazine