I just want to say a huge Thank you to Diane for being our artist of the month.
Hello members of BWS and readers of The Waterfront,
I'm thrilled to be part of this wonderful blog. The work here is truly wonderful.
I started painting in oils, majoring in design at the University of Michigan. About 20 years ago I took up watercolor to try something new with easier clean up. I took a watercolor class at a local community college. I immediately was hooked. The instructor suggested I enter one of my pieces in a show at the Palm Springs Art Museum. My entry won a $100 award. I thought....this is fun! That was the beginning of my continued passion for watercolor and my enthusiasm for entering competitions. I think competitions give you a goal and an incentive to keep working. Rewards are nice too :-}
I paint almost everyday. The only way to improve is to keep working. It has been suggested that if you want to learn to paint...go paint a hundred paintings. One challenge I created for myself was to do a painting a day. For six months I completed a small painting every day and sold them on eBay. I quickly passed the 100 mark. This daily self-imposed assignment increased my productivity, improved my creativity and painting skills and opened up several opportunities for me that would not have happened. I highly recommend the daily challenge.
My watercolors begin with very detailed pencil drawings. I prefer to work on Arches 300# cold press which is strong enough to hold a lot of water without buckling. My preferred paints are Windsor & Newton. I always spend a great deal of time mixing paint to make sure I have the right colors and enough paint to complete each area. If it’s a very large area I will store the paint in an airtight container for use later as needed. For slight variations in shading I will mix on the palette as I go. I work on several pieces at a time, allowing time for washes to dry and to reflect on the next step toward completion.
I envision a painting in almost everything I see. Adding drama and mystery through the use of powerful lighting effects, reflected surfaces, exaggerated contrasts and unusual compositions, I strive to transform simple everyday life into un-ordinary, not-so-still life. I like to take an ordinary subject and enhance the perception of it, invite the viewer to take a closer look. If you look closer, you may discover something new about yourself.
I love the freshness of watercolor. I love the challenge. I love how the medium takes command. The artist starts the process, but the paint takes charge and leads the work to a sometimes unintended outcome. It’s always exhilarating.
My work is currently featured in the June/July issue of International Artist magazine and will also be in Splash 13 which comes out in August. You can read more about my style and technique there.