Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Year in Review -- 2009

The Slide feature has been discontinued as of March 2012.

Today marks a milestone for this blog -- one year of shining a spotlight on watercolor through the diverse works of 29 fabulous artists. I am indebted to Robin Purcell for encouraging me to create this blog. I had no idea when I started this where it would take me, and I've enjoyed the year more than I ever imagined -- meeting new artists and sharing an amazing variety of paintings with an ever-increasing audience. Thanks to everyone for supporting this effort and especially to the artists who so generously shared their work and helped to spread the word.

Please enjoy the slide review -- one painting for each of the 29 artists showcased on the blog this past year. To see the original post, click on an artist's name in the Index Links at the bottom of the sidebar or go directly to a blog or website by clicking on a link under Featured Artists - 2009.

And please join me in 2010 for more wonderful watercolors. I have a great lineup started and am very excited about the upcoming features!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

David Coffin

Spring Rivergold, 2006, 12" x 16"
watercolor and gouache on acrylic-primed paper

David Coffin's art is inspired primarily by his life-long love of pictures, of art history, and of craft and popular-culture traditions and only secondarily by the look of the "World Out There." While he is intoxicated by the beauty of the world, it is the potential of handmade images for giving us unique experiences that keeps him interested in painting. In his words, "I've always been most entranced by paintings built on things that only skilled, imaginative hands can do -- things like invoke non-physical realities, combine ideas and objects that don't meet in Real Life, assemble evocative new patterns, color harmonies and textures, and most of all, generate new feelings in purely visual ways -- that's the enduring mystery of pictures to me. I want to be a part of the exploration of that potential, and if I ever give another person a moment of delight or delicious pause because of something I discovered and brought into existence while painting, it's worth it."

Spring River, 2005, 15" x 22"
watercolor and gouache on acrylic-primed paper

David was a painting major in the late 1960s, but it was only after college that he discovered watercolor to be the perfect medium for his tastes and instincts. He was a transparent watercolor purist for many years and was dedicated to representational imagery in the service of conceptual compositions -- basically a painter with the mind of a collagist, more intrigued with what he might assemble than with what he could find in real life. His work won awards in the Chicago art-fair world in the 1970s and was included in national shows including the National Watercolor Society annual shows; he had a painting published in one of Maxine Masterfield's books and was invited to be artist-in-residence at a community in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Spring Riverblue, 2006, 30" x 22"
watercolor and gouache on acrylic-primed paper

Eventually, the need to look for another passion for a living led him to spend several decades as a writer and editor of Threads Magazine, a well-known national publication for fiber arts. Then, in 2000, a powerful dream changed everything. He awoke from his dream of touring a painter's studio and, suddenly filled with an exhilirating enthusiasm for painting again, began to plan his escape from the magazine world. He also decided to let go of all the "purist" restrictions he'd accepted in the past, to allow every possible material, inspiration and impulse, and to let preparation and play merge completely, welcoming abstraction, improvisation and expressive gestures into his work.

Mates, c. 1970, 16" x 12"

Iris Time #3 (part of a triptych), c. 1970, 12" x 9"

Please visit
David's blog and be sure to link from there to see his daily paintings on Eyes & Skies.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Linda Hancock

Light Track #4, 22" x 30"

Linda Hancock's work in painting and drawing focuses on light and shadow, positive and negative space. She is drawn to the forms that Circumstance provides -- a bike leaning against a wall with a low sun throwing shadows on the wall, a fence or bench that has its shadow pooling on the ground, an interesting architectural detail with its shadow on a textured surface. Living in Wisconsin, with its many-layered seasons and strong light at all times of year, provides unlimited opportunities for composition. Linda observes, "I paint 'in studio' using photographic references taken while traveling and while on 'time outs' from the studio, when the confines of being indoors and the constant insistence of commissioned work begin to undermine my creativity. A fresh look at common sights reignites my excitement for painting and gives me a jumpstart." Linda's fulltime work as a lettering artist and the years of training in the use of letterforms -- which are really just codified arrangements of positive and negative space -- inform her painting and drawing, and the precision that is required of a lettering artist is visible in the attention to detail in her paintings.

Madison Bike #1, 22" x 30"

Florence Bike, 22" x 30"

Linda has been a working artist for over 30 years, with an emphasis in watercolor painting and drawing. Having built her business as a lettering artist, she decided a few years ago to “finally take some time” to get back to her interest in painting, and she chose watercolor as the challenge to be pursued. An essentially self-taught watercolorist, her emphasis is on still life, with a continuing desire to explore light and shadow. Her paintings have been selected for exhibition in juried shows, most recently winning Best of Show in the ArtKudos exhibition for 2009. Although her undergraduate degree is in English Literature, Linda began studying letterforms at The Colorado College in 1968 and she continues to maintain a fulltime commercial lettering and calligraphy studio in Madison, Wisconsin. She has exhibited in Madison, Minneapolis, MN, Chicago, IL, New York City and London, UK. Her calligraphic work has been selected for the permanent collection of the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison and the Newberry Library in Chicago and has been showcased in many of the juried annual exhibitions in the international publication Letter Arts Review.

Light Track #3, 22" x 30"

Light Track #1, 22" x 30"

Please visit Linda's website to see more of her work.