Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Paul Jackson

Neon Rain

Paul Jackson's passion for dramatic light and shadow is the inspiration that drives him to paint. Although he choses subjects for their aesthetic beauty, it is the quality of light and the way a subject reacts to it that makes that subject exciting for him. He works in transparent watercolor because he finds it ideally suited to capturing the veils of light and luminous atmosphere for which his paintings are known. Each painting is a carefully orchestrated symphony intended to awaken the eye and offer a warmth to ignite the soul.

Because there is little margin for mistakes in watercolor, his paintings are rigorously planned through a series of sketches and drawings before he puts any paint to paper. Using thin washes, he optically mixes the paint on the paper, generally progressing in a light-to-dark approach but often reversing that process for muted patterns and details. On occasion, he enhances the painting with colored pencil or other mediums to achieve special effects, but for the most part, he enjoys challenging the limitations of watercolor and takes great delight in achieving the impossible with only basic materials.


Crosstown Traffic

Paul began painting in college at Mississippi State University. He received an MFA from the University of Missouri in 1992 and since then, his artwork has received top honors in national and international competitions and has graced the covers of dozens of magazines and books. His work has been featured on the cover of The Artist's Magazine four times in recent years, and in American Artist, Watercolor Magic, Watercolor Artist, and Watercolor, as well as in numerous well-known newpapers and in the broadcast media. Paul is also the author of Painting Spectacular Light Effects in Watercolor (North Light Books) and a well-known instructor, giving workshops around the world.

Hide and Seek

Paul was honored with signature membership in the American Watercolor Society at the age of 30 and is also a signature member of the National Watercolor Society. He won the Grand Prize in the “Paint Your Way to Paris ” competition and has been featured as one of the Master Painters of the World in International Artist magazine. In 2008, he was the featured speaker at the International Watercolor Masters Invitational in Lushan, China during the Olympic Games and in 2009, he served as an invited juror for the AWS annual international exhibition.

Enchanted Forest

Please go to Paul's blog to get the latest news and link from there to his website to see more of his paintings.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sarah Bent

Gerbera Glory, 17" x 23"

Fortunate to live in sunny Hong Kong, Sarah Bent uses that light as her inspiration -- photographing her subjects as the sunlight plays across them. She begins each of her paintings by taking a series of photographs intended to capture the abstract images that underpin all of her watercolors. At the same time, she is looking forward to the creative process that will turn these photos into paintings. To achieve the depth of color that she wants, she applies multiple layers of transparent paint to her paper, allowing the colors to flow and mix on the paper. By juxtaposing intense darks against bright, light areas, she produces dramatic, vibrant paintings of tropical flowers and flower-filled crystal vases, as well as more humble fruits and vegetables.

Lilybud II, 17" x 23"

Ornamental Cabbages, 17" x 23"

Originally from England, Sarah has been living in Hong Kong for over 30 years. Although she always wanted to paint, she put her dreams on hold while working and raising three children. When they were grown, her thoughts turned to painting again and she set about teaching herself and experimenting with different media. After initially working in acrylic and pastel, she discovered watercolor and has never looked back. She began painting portraits of pets and people and continues to paint portraits by commission. In 2007, she joined the Hong Kong group, Artists Abroad, and began focussing on still-lifes -- featuring flowers or fruit with crystal, china and glass -- and botanical-themed paintings inspired by the wonderful tropical flora of Asia.

Agave, 17" x 23"

Sarah exhibits annually in Hong Kong with Artists Abroad and is a Full Member of the Australian Guild of Realist Artists. She became a juried member of the International Guild of Realism in 2009 and her work was shown in their annual juried exhibition in Palm Desert, CA in February, 2010. She has also been honored as a finalist in the Society for All Artists (UK) 2008 "Artist of the Year" competition and with an Honorable Mention in
Watercolor Artist magazine's 2009 Watermedia Showcase (appearing in the February 2010 issue of the magazine).

Please Don't Make Me Cry II, 17" x 23"

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