Watercolor Lessons – What Inspires You?

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What is it about a painting that inspires you to take up your brush, or urges you to seek out watercolor lessons? Do you feel a rush of excitement when you open the latest issue of your favorite artist’ magazine. Does a shaft of light falling across a still-life fire your imagination? Have you ever wandered through a gallery and found a piece of art that ‘touches’ you so much that you feel ’emotion’?

Now that’s the magical ingredient – the ‘je ne sais quoi’. It’s that ‘something’ that we need to capture and exaggerate. We are all different – and of course our tastes change as we grow and become more aware. But when a piece of work or even a collection of work captivates us – it’s then that we can analyze what it is about that work that makes it ‘speak’ to us.

To me, painting is all about making a vision become real. An artist has the ability to take a piece of paper and pigment and create the illusion of substance. It is no wonder watercolor painting is addictive! It’s about seeing something evolve as the gentle transitions create a presence. Not just the form, but also the spirit of the subject.

Have you noticed how much influence light has on a subject? It is a magical ingredient. Any paintings (in any medium) that appeal to me are by artists who knew/know how to use light in such a way that it sets the mood and creates atmosphere.

I remember how, just at the beginning of my venturing into watercolor, I searched to find an artist who painted the subjects that ‘moved’ me. It was at that time I questioned what it was that I was looking for and wanted to create and I realized I needed to see past the ‘visual’ and capture a ‘feeling’.

Ah yes – atmosphere, light, and mood – that is what I most want to capture. I want viewers of my work to ‘feel’ what I felt when I first saw my subject. So I set about teaching myself how to capture all of these things – in watercolor.

Watercolor is a challenging medium, but what a pleasure it is to master! I loved this medium from the very start. The way its translucent qualities allow light to filter through the layers of pigment captivated me. Just as if it were layers of stained glass -one on top of the other -each affecting the final hue. I was truly hooked!

Developing my own style and methods through trial and error – I wanted more than just realism – most of all I wanted viewers of my work to feel the ‘presence’ of my subject.



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