If I had been creative as a young person, I don’t have a strong recollection.
I was into my mid 50’s when I first sought out lessons so I could use watercolor in my Middle School classroom. I asked a mother of a student, who is a former Art Teacher, to teach me the basics of watercolor. I never considered acrylic or oil, for no particular reason.
I like very simple ideas that can become simple 5×7 paintings and can be completed in a short while.
I particularly like my #4 Cotman brush. I depend on my scrubber brush often and I realize the importance of good paper (140# Arches cold press).
Good lighting is important to me when I paint.
An element of art that I enjoy most is sharing the experience with another watercolorist. It’s a pleasure to paint with or even just discuss painting with someone who is just as enthusiastic as I am. The unpredictability of watercolor is also a big attraction for me. There’s excitement in waiting for the painting to dry to see how it will really look.
I know my work is finished when I have created enough contrast in values.
I particularly like an early morning painting I did of a golf hole on Willow Run GC. I painted it from a photo taken by our oldest son. It was a photo of an early morning sunrise with a hazy sky.
To overcome creative blocks, it helps to stop and come away from the piece. It also helps to ask an outsider for suggestions. I recommend trying extreme things with a painting that is not satisfactory. Sometimes you will be surprised with a very nice result.
- Jeanne Ammon, Mary Buckmiller and Barbara Sparks are artists I so admire. They are exceptional in the way their promote art for the general good. They are unselfish in their encouragement and their sharing of good techniques. I had the honor of knowing the late Marian Henjum also when we student taught together in 1968. I took her classes and repeated the classes. I told her I would ‘keep taking them until I got it right.’ There are several more artists in the GPWS that I admire greatly.