Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Year in Review -- 2010

The Slide feature has been discontinued as of March 2012.

It's hard to believe that another year has passed! This week marks the second annniversary of this blog -- a personal journey of discovery for me as I met new artists and, happily, an increasingly popular resource for other watercolorists. There are now over 850 subscribers, a number I couldn't begin to imagine when I started. My thanks to all the artists who so graciously shared their work and helped to promote the blog.

Once again, I'm presenting a slide revue of the year's artists -- 25 in all. To view a profile, click on the artist's name in the Index Links at the bottom of the sidebar. Or go directly to an artist's website by clicking on his/her name in Featured Artists - 2010. And to see a recap of last year's artists, you can view the slide show for 2009 here.

After two years of following the format I devised at the start, I am ready to try some new things. I'm not quite sure what direction I'm going to take this, but I want more flexibility in the coming year -- both to keep my own creative juices flowing and to sustain your interest in the features. So I hope you'll continue the journey with me and enjoy the ride!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bill Hook

Low Tide – Staithes, 13" x 10"

After four decades as a successful and respected architect and nationally recognized architectural illustrator, Bill Hook is on the threshold of a whole new world of artistic expression. Breaking away from the exacting constraints of the commercial world, he is just beginning to experience the challenges and rewards of plein air work. A turning point came in 2007, when he received a fellowship to live and paint for two months in the tiny hilltown of Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy. In two months, he produced over 60 drawings and paintings. He returned to Civita in May, 2010 and then continued on to the small English fishing village of Staithes, where he enjoyed the changing weather and light of the Yorkshire coast. Although his work is informed and influenced by his architectural background, he now feels free to break away from realistically recording a scene and to focus more on the quality of light and the feeling of a place and time.

Church Street – Staithes, 13" x 10"

White House I, 10" x 6"

Bill was juried into the NWWS Annual Open Exhibition in 2009, and into the Richeson 75 Landscapes Show in both 2009 and 2010. In September, 2010, he participated in his first major plein air event -- the 5th Annual US Open in Coupeville, WA -- and had two pieces selected for the show. He received an Honorable Mention for one of those paintings and it also sold at the live auction. Bill continues to pursue both plein air and studio work. He currently has six pieces hanging in a collective show at The Artique Underground Gallery in Frederick MD.

Coupeville, 13" x 10"

Civita, 13" x 10"

Please go to Bill's website to see more of his work.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Deb Ward

Blue Pitcher and Pears on Lace, 16" x 20"
fluid acrylic

It was the luminosity of watercolor that first drew Deb Ward to the medium. She got a late start on a painting career when she left the 9 to 5 work world in 1996 and fulfilled a long-held dream of learning to paint in watercolor. In 2004, she began teaching watercolor classes and, over the following years, she broadened her painting horizons by teaching herself to paint with fluid acrylics and casein. She now works in all three media.

Tulip Shadows, 21" x 28"

Deb observes, "I love color and strive for striking, sunlit images.... My work rarely involves an actual figure, but often implies the human element." She often paints in series -- working from her own photo references to explore similar subjects or ideas in a realistic manner. Although she is always on the lookout for subjects when she's out and about, Deb has an ongoing series of simple still lifes incorporating glass and ceramic objects that belonged to her mother, as well as quilts and tablecloths made by her grandmother. She paints in her home studio and also enjoys a weekly painting date with friends.

Pink Peony, 21" x 29"
fluid acrylics

Wild Roses, 21" x 28"

Deb is active in a number of local art groups in southeastern Indiana and the Cincinnati area; she is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Cincinnati Art Club in addition to being the Chairperson for ViewPoint, a national exhibition sponsored by the club. She teaches classes for several organizations in her area and also gives workshops on technique in her home studio. She has shown her work in local, regional, and national exhibitions and has received numerous awards. In October 2008, she wrote an article about casein painting "Cay-What?" for CreateBetterPaintings.com -- Online Magazine for Artists, and in 2010, her work was published in The Best of America -- Watermedia, Volume II (Kennedy Publishing).

Muncie's Pride, 14" x 20"

Go to Deb's blog to get the latest news from her studio.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Susanne Clark

Prickly Heat, 14" x 14"

Being a painter has transformed the way Susanne Clark views and interprets her surroundings -- nothing looks the same as it did 5 or 10 years ago. In her experience, the artist’s eye is an adaptive one, always changing its way of seeing and portraying the world, and she is moved to paint when light, shadow and color come together in a dynamic way that captures her imagination. She finds working with transparent watercolor is like solving a series of puzzles -- how to get a certain texture, what pigments to mix for an unusual color, whether to add water -- a process she enjoys.

Pure Honey, 12" x 10"

P is for Pumpkin, 18" x 12"

Although she is self-taught, Susanne has taken workshops with Tom Francesconi, Karen Knutson, and Donna Jill Witty, expanding her skills in diverse ways through their workshops. She paints primarily from photos, but believes that good draftsmanship is of utmost importance, so she regularly practices sketching from life. Recent work with pastels has also been rewarding, but the sublime interaction of brush, paper, water, and pigment always draws her back to watercolor.

Don't Forget the Onions, 6" x 6"

Susanne began painting in the late 1990s and has been juried into national exhibitions with the Transparent Watercolor Society of America, the Northwest Watercolor Society, the Wyoming Watercolor Society, the Richeson 75, and the Maryland Federation of Art, as well as numerous exhibitions in the Chicago area. She is a signature member of the Illinois Watercolor Society, the Northwest Watercolor Society, and the Wyoming Watercolor Society. She is represented by the Old Courthouse Arts Center in Woodstock, IL.

Snooze, 11" x 15"

Go to Susanne's gallery page on the Illinois Watercolor Society website to see more of her work.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sarah Yeoman

Winter of the White Pines, 17" x 21"

"For me the poetry of color and the music of line are best expressed with watercolor because of its unpredictable nature and its transparent qualities."

Fueled by her love of both music and a wide range of visual arts including sculpture, Sarah Yeoman eventually found her strongest creative voice in watercolor. Nourished by the natural beauty of northern Delaware and of the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, she is attuned to the mood and spirit of the land. Rather than laying on paper an exact copy of the world she observes, she allows her paintings to develop organically -- revealing the presence of the artist in the process -- and, with each painting, she invites the viewer to enter the narrative and finish the story.

Falling Light, 22" x 30"

Crow Caucus, 22" x 30"

Teaching is an integral part of who Sarah is as an artist. She teaches weekly classes in her studio as well as workshops thoughout the Northeast, guiding and coaching her students to discover their own paths and unique visual expression. Her paintings have been juried into museum and gallery shows in Delaware and Pennsylvania, and her work is on display at Hardcastle Gallery in Centreville, DE and at Abanakee Studios in Indian Lake, NY. Sarah is on the board of the Philadelphia Watercolor Society and has recently been chosen as one of fifteen Master Artists from the state of Delaware.

Homer's Blues, 22" x 30"

Ocean, 20" x 30"

Please link to Sarah's website to see more of her work.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Debbie Cannatella

You've Got Mail, 20" x 22"

As much as Debbie Cannatella admires watercolor techniques that show soft abstractions and seem to flow with wild abandon, her natural style is to paint tight and detailed realistic works and to incorporate well-defined geometric shapes in her non-objective works. A 25-year career as a senior highway designer is evidenced in her love of geometry, linear movement, and linking pathways.

Old Salt, 32" x 26"

Debbie began painting in watercolors at the age of 15 and has developed her skills through reading, painting, participating in critique groups, and taking workshops with artists she admires. As a norm, she works in transparent watercolor, occasionally using acrylic in a transparent manner. She works from still-lifes, photos, and sketches; lately she has been incorporating more symbols and imagery in her work, weaving a story as she paints.

Shooting for the Stars, 32" x 26"

Aloha, 38" x 30"

Frequent moves required by her husband's career have taken Debbie from large, busy, gallery-filled cities to a small town where she spearheaded the development of an arts coalition and fine art gallery, and back to a major urban center. With each move, she finds the local watercolorists and builds her niche in the community. She has taught workshops and private classes and is active in numerous local arts organizations wherever she lives. A signature member of the Louisiana Watercolor Society, her work appears in Chris Unwin's book
Artistic Touch 4 (2010).

Grapes Durand, 32" x 26"

Please visit
Debbie's blog to learn more about her work and follow her profile link to her website.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Andy Evansen

Daybreak at Shem's Creek, 14" x 19"

Largely self-taught, Andy Evansen was drawn to watercolor after acquiring a Charles Reid book on figure painting when he was in high school. Interested primarily in the landscape, he has taken workshops from renowned artists such as Skip Lawrence, Eric Weigardt and Alvaro Castagnet. Andy observes, "They instilled in me the delicate balance between painting loosely yet convincingly through strong shapes and good design, and that is what I now pass on to my students. Any scene is a possible painting for me, provided the light and shapes attract my eye. The struggle to master a medium that is best when left to 'do its own thing' will, I'm sure, keep me humbled and excited for years to come."

Huddle Up, 10" x 14"

House on the Hill, 10" x 14"

Andy has been painting watercolors for almost 20 years and now paints and teaches around the world. He has made recent painting trips to China, Europe, Mexico, and Canada and will be teaching a workshop for the Southwestern Watercolor Society in Dallas in mid-October. His work has appeared in several magazines -- International Artist, Watercolor, and Watercolor Artist. In 2011, Andy will be a guest artist at the Plein Air Painters of America Exhibition and Sale in Stockton, California. His work can be seen at Segil FIne Art in Monrovia, California and at the Wilcock Gallery in Excelsior, Minnesota.

The Sampan, 7" x 10"

Fishing From Shore, 10" x 14"

Please jump to Andy's website to see more of his work.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Solveig Rimstad

Apple Blossom, 13" x 19"

Encouraged by her practical father, Solveig Rimstad entered the work world as soon as she finished high school, putting aside dreams of attending art school. But she continued to draw and sketch and after a period of illness in mid-life forced her to quit her job, she began to paint seriously in watercolor. She credits her good friend Aud Rye, a wonderful artist in her own right, with pushing her in the right direction, and she also took workshops in Norway with Americans Carol Carter -- whose work has always been exceptional to her -- and Rose Edin -- from whom she learned a lot of color theory. For a long time, in addition to classes, Solveig painted 12 hours a day to improve her skills. She works in transparent watercolor, usually layering on 6-8 washes, and she blends her paints on the surface of the paper to create vibrant color.

Trumpet Flower, 16" x 10"

Coconuts, 30" x 22"

Solveig continues to take workshops for technical development and also teaches in her home studio as well as traveling to give weekend workshops. She has had a number of exhibitions, both locally and in other places, including an exhibit at the Norwegian Seaman's Church in Los Angeles in 2002. Her work has been published in the Norwegian art magazines
Kunst for Alle and Decor and has been included in two other books. Her paintings are held in private and public collections; she is currently showing work at Gallery 104 at Sandane, in the west part of Norway.

In 2009, Solveig and her friend Aud published a beautiful book of their floral paintings titled
Blomster -- Naturens eget festfyrverkeri which translates to "Flowers -- Nature's own Fireworks."

Luke, 11" x 14"

Mother, 16" x 13"

Please visit
Solveig's website to see more of her paintings and to get information on ordering her book.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

John Maslen

9-11 Preamble, 20" x 28"

John Maslen's artistic works occupy three distinct niches -- architect, watercolorist, and children's book illustrator. John attended Rhode Island School of Design, and worked as an architect for many years, receiving an American Institute of Architects Honor Award. Then, hired on by his wife in the mid-1970s to help with her books for young readers, he served as illustrator, publisher, and marketing person as they created the very well-regarded Bob Books -- designed to teach reading to young children. As the popularity of the books soared, they joined forces with the Scholastic, Inc. publishing group in 1993. John continues to be involved with Bob Books, now serving as co-manager with his daughter Lynn.

By the Dawn's Early Light, 20" x 28"

Mask I, 20" x 28"

Throughout his long careers in architecture and book illustration, John continued to paint and exhibit his watercolors, winning awards at every level during the past 30 years and earning signature status in the National Watercolor Society (in 2000) and Master Status in the Transparent Watercolor Society of America in (2009).

Marinal III, 20" x 28"

Because most of John's work is not available online, and because he is one of the few people I have encountered who works in transparent watercolor to create mostly non-objective paintings, I've decided to present more than the usual number of pieces on the blog this week. I hope you enjoy this overview of his work.

Marinal V, 20" x 28"

Marinal VI, 20" x 28"

Fish IV, 20" x 28"

Suspense I, 20" x 28"

Suspense III, 20" x 28"

Field Storm, 20" x 28"

French Harbor, 20" x 28"

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Kathleen Ballard

Pond Lilies, 9" x 12"

Kathleen Ballard strives to depict the serene and elegant side of nature, whether focusing on a beautiful flower, a garden landscape or a water surface. She chooses themes that emphasize light-struck objects, vibrant color, and plentiful detail. Many of her paintings are inspired by visits to botanical gardens near her home -- The Huntington Library, the Descanso Gardens, and the Los Angeles Arboretum. Primarily a studio painter, she works from her reference photos to create her drawings and then develops her paintings with layers of color to create depth and form.

Cactus Pears, 15" x 28"

Rose Garden, 16" x 22"

Although she has been drawing and painting since she was a child, Kathleen began her journey with watercolor when she attended her first class at Otis Parsons; she has been passionate about the medium ever since and has taken many workshops over the years. She worked as a signwriter for many years -- most of those in the motion picture industry -- leaving her position at Paramount Pictures in 2005 to make art full time. She is an affiliate of several watercolor societies, from local to national, and has been exhibiting her work and winning awards for a number of years; she received her signature in the National Watercolor Society in 2009. Kathleen's work was featured in the April 2010 issue of Watercolor Artist magazine.

Roses for Trish, 7" x 10"

Yellow Blooms, 11" x 18"

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