Watercolor Artist, December 2016 [24]

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10 Emerging Artists You Should Know

Get the Most From Reference Photos

6 Shortcuts to Color Harmony

Create Depth With This Surprising Technique

D E C E M B E R 2 016





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December 2016


47 features


22 Urban Romance

11 Creativity Workshop

Carole McDermott plays with color and brushwork in her scenes of Central Park.

Inject rhythm and vitality into your watercolors in six simple steps. BY KATHY COLLINS


16 Studio Staples

30 Down-Home Sublime Catherine P. O’Neill pours and lifts to paint scenes from the heartland.

Follow along as a new paper is put through its paces.




59 Watercolor Essentials

38 The Artful Traveler

Make color harmony easy with these six color triads.

A camera can be the most effective way to record subject matter on the road—if used properly. Here’s how.




47 Ones to Watch Top jurors and instructors introduce 10 breakout artists and reveal what makes their work so special.


Editor’s Note 2 Featured Artists 4 Making a Splash 6 Picture This 72

BY JESSICA CANTERBURY Watercolor Artist (ISSN 1941-5451) is published six times a year in February, April, June, August, October and December by F+W Media, Inc., 10151 Carver Road, Suite 200, Blue Ash OH 45242; tel: 513/531-2222. Single copies: $6.99. Subscription rates: one year $21.97. Canadian subscriptions add $12 per year postal surcharge. Foreign subscriptions add $18 per year postal charge, and remit in U.S. funds. Watercolor Artist will not be responsible for unsolicited manuscripts, photographs or artwork. Only submissions with a self-addressed, stamped envelope will be returned. Volume 23, No. 6. Periodicals postage paid at Blue Ash, OH and additional mailing offi ces. Postmaster: Send all address changes to Watercolor Artist, P.O. Box 421751, Palm Coast FL 32142-1751. F+W Media, Inc. Back issues are available at northlightshop.com or by calling 855/842-5267. GST R122594716. Canada Publications Mail Agreement No. 40025316. Canadian return address: 2835 Kew Drive, Windsor, ON N8T 3B7.

Watercolor Artist

| December 2016


editor’s note DECEMBER 2016

Editor-in-Chief Kelly Kane Art Director Wendy Dunning Managing Editor Jessica Canterbury Senior Editor Beth Williams ADVERTISING Vice President/General Manager Jamie Markle [email protected] Advertising Team Leader, Fine Art Mary McLane 970/290-6065; [email protected] Media Sales Specialist Carol Lake 385/414-1439; [email protected] Media Sales Coordinator Barb Prill 800/283-0963, ext. 13435; [email protected] F +W, A C O N T E N T + EC O M M E R C E C O M PA N Y Chief Executive Offi cer Thomas F.X. Beusse Chief Financial Offi cer James L. Ogle Chief Operating Offi cer Joe Seibert Chief Technology Offi cer Joe Romello Chief Content Strategist Steve Madden VP, Manufacturing & Logistics Phil Graham Newsstand Sales Scott T. Hill [email protected] EDITORIAL OFFICES 10151 Carver Road, Suite 200, Blue Ash, OH 45242 513/531-2222; [email protected] SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES P.O. Box 421751, Palm Coast FL 32142-1751 US/Canada: 800/811-9834 Foreign subscribers: 386/246-3371 watercolorartistmagazine.com Back issues are available. For pricing information or to order, call 855/842-5267, visit northlightshop.com/art-magazines/ watercolor-artist, or send check or money order to F+W Media Products, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990. Specify Watercolor Artist and the issue month and year.

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e’ve been introducing our picks for Ones to Watch for the past 15 years—and the thrill never gets old. When we launched this (now annual) feature, our idea was to showcase the artists we thought might be the next to win a big prize at a national show or break into a hot gallery—artists like you who are taking workshops, improving your craft, maybe even entering your i rst competitive shows. And to i nd those folks, we went straight to our friends on the frontlines—the exhibition jurors and instructors who spot the emerging talents long before they come to our attention. That i rst year’s crop of Ones to Watch included the likes of Ann Pember, Mark Mehaffey, Donna Zagotta and Ruth Armitage, all of whom have gone on to become internationally recognized artists and instructors in their own right. We asked them many of the same questions we asked this year’s group, including, “What was your most recent or signiicant creative breakthrough, the aha moment that has set your work on a new course or helped you express your artistic intention or aesthetic more clearly?” It will be exciting to see where the artists featured in this year’s “Ones to Watch” (page 47) are in 15 years. And what about you? Where will you be? Perhaps the details of your own creative breakthrough hold a clue. Head on over to Instagram and tag us @ArtistsNetwork to share your most important aha moment. (If you haven’t joined us on Instagram, you should. It’s the perfect opportunity to get behind-the-scenes action from your favorite i ne art community. Go to instagram.com/artistsnetwork and hit follow.) Here’s hoping the fruit of your latest light bulb moment lands you on next year’s Ones to Watch list!

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P R I VACY P R O M I S E Occasionally we make portions of our customer list available to other companies so they may contact you about products and services that may be of interest to you. If you prefer we withhold your name, simply send a note with the magazine name to: List Manager, F+W Media, Inc. 10151 Carver Road, Suite 200, Blue Ash, OH 45242. Printed in the USA Copyright © 2016 by F+W Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Watercolor Artist magazine is a registered trademark of F+W.



Please share your questions and comments by writing to Watercolor Artist, Letters, 10151 Carver Road, Suite 200, Blue Ash, OH 45242. Or email us at [email protected]

featured artists

Kathy Collins

Kristi Grussendorf

Nita Leland




Kathy Collins’ (page 11) watercolor and mixedmedia work has appeared in the Splash series (North Light Books) and numerous other publications, including 100 Artists of the Northwest (Schiffer, 2013). A signature member of the Northwest Watercolor Society and Women Painters of Washington, Collins teaches classes and workshops around the country.

Kristi Grussendorf (page 16) has focused on watercolor for the past 10 years, most recently on painting figures in the landscape. She holds signature status in the National Watercolor Society, Western Federation of Watercolor Societies, Wyoming Watercolor Society and Utah Watercolor Society, where she previously served as president.

“Beautiful color is no happy accident; color can be learned,” says Nita Leland (page 59), best-selling author of Exploring Color Workshop, 30th Anniversary Edition (North Light Books, 2016), The New Creative Artist, New Creative Collage Techniques and Confident Color (North Light Books). She’s also a popular workshop and DVD instructor.

Carole McDermott

Catherine P. O’Neill

John Salminen




Internationally recognized artist Carole McDermott (page 22) has a B.F.A. from the University of Denver and has studied at the Art Students League of New York for more than 30 years. She’s a signature member of the American Watercolor Society (AWS), a vice president of the AWS board and an elected member of the Allied Artists of America.

Catherine P. O’Neill (page 30) began painting more than 15 years ago, after taking a beginner watercolor class at her local art center. She paints a wide variety of subject matter, but her favorite images include Adirondack landscapes and scenes of her family life. She holds signature membership in several national watercolor societies.

John Salminen (page 38) has won more than 200 major awards in exhibitions, including the American Watercolor Society’s Gold Medal. He’s a frequent contributor to Watercolor Artist and the author of John Salminen—Master of the Urban Landscape: From Realism to Abstractions in Watercolor (North Light Books, 2016).




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making a


Moving Art On public transit in France, art (literally) takes you places.


P H OTO S : M A X I M E H U R I E Z ; C O U R T E S Y S N C F

ransportation leaders in Paris have turned commuting into an art form. Through Art in Transit, a collaboration that began in 2012 between France’s national rail network SNCF, Île-de-France transit authority STIF and the 3M Company, passengers ride surrounded by images of masterpieces and cultural landmarks that are adhered to rail cars on plastic ilm. Individuals on the C line, which runs from Paris to Versailles, for example, are transported in cars that evoke the Palace of Versailles, their ceilings adorned with gilded frames, their walls looking out to Paris train passengers are treated to images of Impressionist paintings (above left), Musée d’Orsay stained glass (above right) and the Palace of Versailles scenery (at left).



Watercolor News & Views BY J E S S IC A C A N T E R BU RY


“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” —Vincent van Gogh lush gardens. Another train, featuring Impressionist paintings and architectural features of the Musée d’Orsay, passes through the very Parisian landscapes that inspired Impressionists, such as Asnièressur-Seine, Argenteuil and Pontoise. Even more interesting is the fact that Musée d’Orsay irst operated as a train station. This year, along with the Museum and National Estate of Versailles and Musée d’Orsay, the organizations decided to reissue a lighter, brighter version of the Versailles plastic ilms and a new batch of Impressionist paintings on the J line (designed by Paris advertising agency Adkeys). According to SNCF, ive trains will get fresh images, which are virtually grafiti-resistant, in 2017. The beneits are obvious and abundant: Art is delivered to the masses; it promotes a positive mood for commuters; and the museums gain more exposure. Art in Transit conirms that we can move art, and that art can indeed move us.

omg: emojis go art history Emoji (n.) \ē-’mō-jē\: the smiley faces that originated on Japanese mobile phones in late 1990s, now available on most electronic applications used for communication. It’s hard to escape them; these tiny pictographs are so prevalent that Oxford Dictionaries named the “Face With Tears of Joy” its 2015 Word of the Year. And yet, sometimes only an emoji will do. This isn’t lost on self-professed “art history nerds” father-and-son gallerists Sam and Larry Cantor, of Cantor Fine Art in Los Angeles. The art history emojis, which at press time aren’t currently available but are in negotiation to be developed, were designed by Sam and launched on Instagram (@cantorfineart). He said they came to be after his father and he recognized similarities between the pre-existing emoji and fine art. “We noticed that some emoji are direct references to famous artwork [The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, The Scream],” says Sam. “We have pretty active followers on Instagram, so we asked our fans what other artist emoji they’d like to see.” Artists represented include Andy Warhol, Vincent van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Renée Magritte, Pablo Picasso, Marcel Duchamp, Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring and more—even Banksy. View them at instagram.com/cantorfineart.

Watercolor Artist

| December 2016


P H OTO C O U R T E S Y M U S EO C A S A E S T U D I O D I EG O R I V E R A Y F R I DA K A H LO , G U A N A J U ATO ; © 2 0 1 6 B A N C O D E M É X I C O D I EG O R I V E R A F R I DA K A H LO M U S E U M S T R U S T, M E X I C O , D . F. / A R T I S T S R I G H T S S O C I E T Y ( A R S ), N E W YO R K

m st-see show

Diego Rivera’s The Creation of Man (La creación del hombre) (1931; watercolor on paper, 91⁄8x123⁄16) was an illustration for Popol Vuh, the creation story of the Maya people.

Los Angeles The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and Mexico City’s Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes present a look at two powerful igures who made their mark on modern art while also being inluenced by their native ancient worlds: Picasso and Rivera: Conversations Across Time, on display December 4 through April 30 at LACMA. Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 18811973) and Diego Rivera (Mexican, 1886-1957) were contemporaries, competitors, ambitious and proliic 8


artists, and larger-than-life personalities. The 50 featured watercolors, etchings, other paintings and ancient objects of the artists’ native Mediterranean and Pre-Columbian worlds shed light on the formation of modernism both in Europe and Latin America, and examine how both artists engaged with their respective cultures. A comparison of their artistic paths reveals their similar training in national academies, their contributions to Cubism and their return to more classical styles.

The exhibition reveals how their artistic efforts were affected by the forms, myths and structures of the arts of antiquity. The show moves to the Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes from May 31 to September 10, 2017. Accompanying the exhibition is a book by the same name, edited by two of the curators, Michael Govan, director and CEO of LACMA, and Diana Magalon, director of the program for Art of the Ancient Americas at LACMA (DelMonico Books, 2016). lacma.org



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Cut It Out Create shimmering rhythm and energy with a combination of watercolor and collage.


ry this: Paint a landscape featuring a rain-drenched sky that’s contrasted with dark evergreen mountains and relecting waters. Once the paint dries, grab a pair of scissors and cut the painting into strips. Wait! What? Cut up a perfectly good painting? Yes. Cut the watercolor into vertical strips of various widths and glue them onto a second watercolor painting. This isn’t a gimmick; it’s the way I’ve been working for the past two years. I live in Washington state and have enjoyed painting its scenery since I launched my watercolor career in the 1980s. Over time, though, I began to feel that my work was repetitive and needed a fresh infusion of energy. Initially, using my Northwest scenes as a departure point, I started to abstract elements of these works for a less representational look. Next, I tried painting more expressively to create nonobjective work without any speciic goal in mind. I then began adding collage to my repertoire, especially sketches from life drawing sessions (see the December 2014 issue of Watercolor Artist). I tore the drawings from sketchpads and pasted them onto abstract backgrounds, using this mixed-media approach to create dramatic high contrast.

I chose two Seattle cityscapes for reinvention in Parallel Construction (watercolor on paper, 30x22). Both watercolors had some pleasing features, as well as a few unsatisfactory areas, such as a flawed figure or car. Collaging the paintings together created a new work that showcased the best of both.

Slicing and Dicing Later I wondered what would happen if instead of sketches, I cut up some

Watercolor Artist

| December 2016




w r

old watercolor paintings, so I turned to a stack of saved artwork that I’d categorized as “too good to throw out, but not good enough for framing.” I began clipping these paintings

into long vertical strips of various widths, ranging from ½ to 2 inches, rearranging the pieces and then gluing the strips onto other watercolor paintings.

Two paintings from my “abstracted” series seemed to lack energy, but when I intermixed elements from both, the process produced a dynamic and totally new entity: Quantum Entanglement (watercolor on paper, 11x14). The resulting abstract watercolor collage had a lively, jittery quality, which to me evoked the realm of quantum mechanics where particles are said to zip around in constant activity, even existing in two places simultaneously.

try this at home Create your own watercolor/collage by repurposing a pair of watercolor paintings. Send a JPEG (with a resolution of 72 dpi) of your finished painting to [email protected] with “Creativity Workshop” in the subject line. The “editor’s choice” will receive a subscription (or renewal) to Watercolor Artist. The entry deadline is December 15. Catch up on the Creativity Workshop activities you’ve missed at artistsnetwork.com/articles/inspiration-creativity/ creativity-workshop.



While working with this technique, I discovered that slicing and dicing actually enlivened a painting. Some genres—my Northwest seascapes, city scenes and abstract paintings— seemed to work best, but all had the same outcome. I was impressed by how much the inished watercolor collage was revitalized by the process, while still retaining some aspects of the original paintings. Why would cutting up a watercolor inject it with more vibrancy? I pondered this and came up with several reasons. First, the vertical slices produce a type of visual syncopation, to use a musical analogy. The process delivers “dropped beats” as well as changes in phrasing with a different emphasis than the original painting. Some shapes that were prominent in the original may not be stressed in the new work, while other forms may be lost entirely or changed after being cut into pieces. The new watercolor collage upsets the old tempo and creates a new rhythmic tension, an unexpected counterpoint to the cadence of the original painting. Second, the increased number of edges means more variety of shapes. I found that narrow slices of the painting create more excitement. The wider the slice of paper, the quieter that part of the painting will be. Again, using a musical metaphor, the thin ribbons of paper pasted close together are like a fast, highfrequency beat, whereas the larger pieces provide a resting place for the eye. Unexpected lost edges promote increased low through the work. Third, each strip of watercolor paper has a tiny thickness or caliper, measured in thousandths of an inch.

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watercolor meets collage Follow these simple steps to bring vibrant new life to two tired, failed or neglected watercolor paintings. Step 1: Choose two watercolor paintings in the same genre. I’ve selected two landscapes (1A, 1B) that are quite similar. Step 2: Use a pencil and ruler to mark vertical lines on one of the paintings, varying the width between the lines from ½ to 1 inch. Step 3: Cut along the lines carefully to form long strips. Arrange the strips atop the second (base) watercolor painting until you find a pleasing composition. Erase any visible pencil marks.



Step 4: Apply paste (Yes! brand works well) onto the back of the first strip of paper and place it onto the left side of the base painting, pressing down firmly using a roller or brayer. Step 5: Repeat the process across the paper until all the strips have been glued and rolled. (Tip: Wipe away any paste that spreads out from underneath the paper strips.)


When a ribbon of paper is pasted on top of a second painting, the white side of the strip is visible. Viewed obliquely, the small caliper of the strip of paper appears as a slim white line relecting a glimmer of 14


light. When the collage is completed, all the narrow white borders of the strips of paper appear to combine and glisten with relected light. Seen as a whole, the painting shimmers with dappled light effects.


Fourth, cutting and then mixing up the pieces changes the original form and creates an abstracted version of the paintings. The loss of some shapes and the formation of new ones produce unpredictable

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Final step: Place the watercolor collage face down on clean paper and weight it with books or other heavy materials until the collage is completely dry and flattened, as in Blue Rhythm (watercolor and collage on paper, 24x18).


ArtistsNetwork University.com results. Rapid alternating patterns of varying color produce an exciting visual array, like light lickering through trees. New shapes appear, yet the work retains some resemblance to the original paintings.

Overall, the slicing process forms a type of visual emergent system, creating a new entity with dynamic rhythm, vitality and an abstracted déjà vu-like quality—a surprise factor that keeps me coming back.

Watercolor Artist

| December 2016


today and see how you might take your art to the next level!

studio staples B Y K R I S T I G RU S S E N D O R F

Grading Paper A watercolor instructor puts a new surface to the test.

Dry Dock (watercolor on paper, 15x22) required a variety of techniques: painting wet-into-wet, achieving bold color and neutral grays, and creating hard and soft edges. The 140-lb. coldpressed L’Aquarelle Canson Héritage paper allowed for all of them.




’m pretty particular about my paper; I always tell my students that it’s the last place to skimp. I don’t have a speciic formula for my paintings, so I need a surface that can handle anything I throw at it and respond the way I want. When I thought about testing the new L’Aquarelle Canson Héritage paper, I began looking for subject matter that would require a multitude of different techniques. I found a itting subject in Dry Dock (above; see the demo on pages 20 and

21), which required some areas of saturated pure color as well as neutral gray mixes. I knew I wanted to paint the background wet-into-wet to get soft, blended edges, but I also wanted some hard, controlled edges in the foreground. On some parts, I wanted to get the right color and value in the irst shot, and in other areas I wanted to see how the color would build with layers. I wondered how the surface would respond to these demands and others. How would colors gradate on the paper? Would I be able to get the

STATEMENT OF OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT AND CIRCULATION (required by Act of August 12, 1970: Section 3685, Title 39, United States Code). 1. Watercolor Artist 2. (ISSN: 1941-5451) 3. Filing date: 10/1/16. 4. Issue frequency: Bi-monthly. 5. Number of issues published annually: 6. 6. The annual subscription price is $21.97. 7. Complete mailing address of known office of publication: F+W Media, Inc., 10151 Carver Rd., Suite #200, Blue Ash, OH 45242. Contact person: Kolin Rankin. Telephone: 305-441-7155 ext. 225 8. Complete mailing address of headquarters or general business office of publisher: F+W Media, Inc., 10151 Carver Rd., Suite #200, Blue Ash, OH 45242. 9. Full names and complete mailing addresses of publisher, editor, and managing editor. Publisher, Jamie Markle, 10151 Carver Rd., Suite #200, Blue Ash, OH 45242, Editor, Kelly Kane, 10151 Carver Rd., Suite #200, Blue Ash, OH 45242 , Managing Editor, Jessica Canterbury, 10151 Carver Rd., Suite #200, Blue Ash, OH 45242. 10. 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Average number of copies each issue during preceding 12 months: 41,716. Actual number of copies of single issue published nearest to filing date: 39,224. D. Percent Paid (Both Print & Electronic Copies) (16b divided by 16c x 100). Average number of copies each issue during preceding 12 months: 98.5%. Actual number of copies of single issue published nearest to filing date: 98.4%. I certify that 50% of all distributed copies (electronic and print) are paid above nominal price: Yes. Report circulation on PS Form 3526-X worksheet 17. Publication of statement of ownership will be printed in the December 2016 issue of the publication. 18. Signature and title of editor, publisher, business manager, or owner: Jamie Markle, Publisher. I certify that all information furnished on this form is true and complete. I understand that anyone who furnishes false or misleading information on this form or who omits material or information requested on the form may be subject to criminal sanction and civil actions.


In the image above, I wanted to see how the color would gradate as I brought a bead slowly down the paper. I tried isoindolinone yellow deep to cobalt blue on the left, then carmine to cobalt on the right. In the top right image, you’ll see how I was able to achieve a super-saturated application in a single stroke, a sparkling effect with drybrush and a rich stroke using a bead of paint. The image at right shows my paper “play.” I began by wetting half of the paper with water, then experimented with edge quality, blooms, charging, drybrush and calligraphy.

granulation of paint I ind so exciting? Could I maintain the freshness with additional brushstrokes? Could I soften edges easily while the paint was still wet? And would I be able to go back and soften edges after the paint had dried? I was excited to paint on this 100-percent cotton mould-made paper and discover its possibilities. 18


Trying Out Techniques I immediately noticed how similar both sides of the paper looked and felt, and was pleased to discover that both accepted paint without any perceived differences. The paper’s surface seems almost woven as opposed to the “pitted” surface of other papers. According to Canson, the paper has a “new generation of

sizing without gelatin,” which might explain the softer feel. The paper also has deckles on the horizontal edges and it rips easily. I ran into an issue painting Dry Dock when I overworked the face of the white-bearded igure. (It’s something I try not to do, but we’ve all been there, right?) It got to the point where I needed to use

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putting paint to paper Step 1: After some initial play, I taped a half sheet of 140-lb. cold-pressed L’Aquarelle Canson Héritage paper to Gator Board, drew my composition, and used both masking fluid and tape to protect my white areas. Step 2: I tend to paint with a lot of water, and my initial wet-into-wet wash buckled the paper. While the wash was still damp, I scraped in a few white masts with my brush handle. Step 3: After the wash dried, I added saturated color on some of the larger shapes. The cobalt blue on the left vertical is one layer, while the bottom of the boat is charged with multiple colors, which granulated nicely. Step 4: I added my foreground wash and a complementary glaze over the closest figure. I achieved some interesting granulation in the foreground color by

masking tape and a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to get rid of an entire area and start over. Unfortunately, when I removed the tape, it pulled away some of the paper’s surface and paint in the background mountains area. This did, however, provide another opportunity for me to 20


4 mixing my isoindolinone yellow deep with Daniel Smith hematite genuine mineral pigment. Step 5: I established the shadow shapes with my own cool gray mix of cobalt blue, isoindolinone yellow and

further test the paper. Although the surface was gone, the paper still accepted the paint, and I reached an adequate solution. I was apprehensive about trying the drybrush technique on the paper because of something I read in the product’s literature that claims

“homogenous” color—consistent and harmonious without “white spots.” I appreciate the value of a sparkling drybrush stroke, and I was relieved to ind that, depending on the amount of liquid and the manner in which I applied the paint, I could achieve different strokes on this

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5 carmine, and then removed both the masking fluid and tape without any issues. Final Step (on page 16): I added detail to the figures, shadow shapes and the white areas that were masked.

paper (see my drybrush swatch on page 18). I was able to get beautiful saturated color and had no problems with edge quality. If you, too, use a variety of watercolor techniques, you might want to give it a try for yourself: Find L’Aquarelle Canson Héritage paper at your favorite art retailer and learn more at canson.com.

Watercolor Artist

| December 2016


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Carole McDermott paints love letters to her beloved Central Park using soft colors and a gauzy focus. BY J O H N A . PA R KS


arole McDermott uses the suggestive powers of watercolor—its ability to veil, drip and low—to summon a sense of romance and joy in her paintings of New York City’s Central Park. She combines precise draftsmanship and accurate perspectives with open brushwork and adventurous paint handling to create works that describe speciic places, but which remain suggestive and even a little mysterious. The palette is primarily natural, but the artist has a ine sense of when to push and saturate a hue and when to relax into more subtle passages. Her work often projects a sense



of haze, as though sunshine is chasing away the remnants of a mist. In this watery light, the world seems fresh, beguiling and full of promise.

Inspiration Meets Composition The obvious intensity of feeling that McDermott brings to her subject is born of a deep knowledge of the park. “I’m a volunteer tour guide for Central Park Conservancy,” she says. “I spend quite a lot of time in the park and am awed by the genius and brilliance of its designers. I use the representational qualities of my watercolors to re-experience the radiant

The Dairy (watercolor on paper, 40x30), now the visitor center for Central Park, originally was used to dispense fresh milk to families back in the 1800s. McDermott framed the entrance with trees for a softened effect. The artist created areas of shadow and sunlight alternating down the pathway, greatly increasing the sense of depth in Literary Walk, Autumn (at left; watercolor on paper, 30x40). On previous pages: The strokes and drips in Bethesda Terrace (watercolor on paper, 30x40) remind the viewer of the watery nature of the medium, reinforcing the sense that the painting is as much an object itself as a representation of its subject matter.

landscapes and bring the poetry of the pastoral scenes of Central Park to life.” The artist can quote chapter and verse on the number of bridges, the subjects of the 51 statues and the meaning of the streetlights’ coding numbers. But most of all, McDermott is simply in love with Central Park as a place. “I think it’s so dynamic, so big and so romantic,” she says. “It’s somewhere you go alone to be with other people. And yet, everyone inds something particular about it for themselves. There’s nowhere else that I’ve been that has so much for so many.”

McDermott’s understanding of the park and her familiarity with its features allows her to make ine choices of views and compositions. For all the openness in her paintings, her approach is highly organized, and every work begins with a photograph. “I always take my own photos,” says the artist, “and I compose and plan my photos to be paintings.” Having chosen her image, the artist begins by thinking about it tonally. “I look for the darkest dark and the lightest light,” she says. Understanding where the lights will be is important, because watercolor requires that they be preserved.

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| December 2016


Her comfort with mixing techniques was reinforced when she took a workshop with Wayne Thiebaud (American, 1920- ). “He showed the class a painting of his that had a bit of everything in it—watercolor, charcoal, oil and gouache. The lesson was, if it works, it works.” McDermott’s own openness to unorthodox techniques is evident in the dynamic way in which she uses drips and spatters to create an extra sense of depth and atmosphere. This approach is inluenced by her studies with Paul Ching-Bor at the Art Students League in New York. But while Ching-Bor embraces a spectacular approach to paint delivery, McDermott uses her extra marks in a more delicate, sparing way to create air and light in a suggestive, understated manner.

The sunlight bursting into Conservatory Garden (watercolor on paper, 40x30) from the front right casts powerful contrasts in the foreground and rich, atmospheric shadows in the distance.

The Marriage of Nature and Architecture Because McDermott doesn’t use any masking techniques in her work, she makes a note of which locations to keep white and then begins to work directly on the painting surface. “I don’t make plein air sketches, partly because the size of my watercolor paper [30x40 inches] is too large for working outside effectively,” she says. “So instead, I stand at an easel in my studio with my paper upright.”

Making a Relationship Work McDermott begins by drawing the image in pencil, being careful to establish the correct perspective. Then the fun begins. “Color is the easy part for me,” she says. “I’m a pretty messy painter. I like to get the darks massed in. Sometimes I do them too dark, but I can make adjustments as I go. I use a sprayer, so I can lift out areas with a paper towel or rag, or I can lighten with glazes.” She’ll sometimes use a razor blade to chip out an area that she wants to return to white, or she’ll strengthen the white with opaque gouache. “I’m not a purist,” she says. “I’m not afraid of mixing media; sometimes I’ll even use gouache in a glaze.” 26


Understatement also characterizes the inal state of McDermott’s pieces, in which some areas are highly deined while others are merely hinted. “Some paintings can simply show you too much,” says the artist. “There’s a danger that it can become boring for the viewer. Every painting should have some mystery, because it can prod you to think and discover.” The results of this approach can be seen in Bethesda Terrace (on pages 22 and 23), a view across the lake to the famous Bethesda Fountain. The composition places the terrace toward the bottom of the painting, so that a large portion is comprised of tree masses, skyscraper tops and a watery sky. The crispness and clarity of the structures in the foreground are in contrast to the loosely suggestive brushwork of the background. Several vertical drips cut through the composition, evidence of the relaxed low and conidence of the painter. As with all her paintings, the subject is one that involves McDermott deeply. “The Bethesda Fountain was originally the only statue that the designers, [Frederick Law] Olmstead and [Calvert] Vaux, commissioned for the park,” she

says. “They didn’t want it to be like European parks with statues commemorating kings and generals, so here the subject is Love embodied as an angel. Usually, in the 19th century, angels were represented as men, but this one is a woman. The sculptor was also a woman.” For McDermott then, the Bethesda Fountain represents the democratic spirit and the generosity of the Central Park designers. A somewhat more intimate scene is portrayed in Conservatory Garden (opposite), a vertical view through a pathway that’s enclosed by a loose trellis structure. In the distance, a large modern building looms in a haze of grays and indigos. In this image, the light is transformative. It blazes in from the front right, throwing long shadows toward the viewer and silhouetting a pair of igures walking away from us. Stark contrast in the foreground gives way to extremely subtle color in the middle distance, where trees fall softly away against a blue sky. The composition holds us in the enclosure of the pathway, inviting us to enjoy a peaceful backwater in the face of the looming city beyond. In doing so, it puts its inger on one of the central functions of a city park. Drip Rock Arch (above) explores one of the more fascinating architectural features of the park: its bridges and roadways. “There are 33 bridges in Central Park, and each of them is different,” says the artist. “The original plans submitted by Vaux show roadways and paths going over and under one another. It was the

Drip Rock Arch (watercolor on paper, 30x40) features carefully limned details of the bridge structure, which are pitched against open handling in the background. The deep reds of the brick bridge are contrasted with a splash of pink blossom on the right. McDermott based the painting on a photo (at left.)

artist’s toolkit Paper: 300-lb. Arches 30x40-inch cold-pressed Paint: Gamblin (tubes only) and Winsor & Newton Brushes: 2- to 4-inch hake, 2-inch house paint and old bristle brushes of various sizes Misc.: Winsor & Newton gouache and a razor blade

Watercolor Artist

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Placing the statue at the edge of the plateau in Pilgrim Statue, Spring (watercolor on paper, 30x40) creates a dramatic counterpoint to the steep slope of the hill. The brilliant haze of pink blossoms serve as a foil to the grays of the statue and the landscape beyond.

irst document on which the word ‘subway’ was used.” Here a pathway goes under the road, and the artist shows the way in which the earth at its base has been landscaped and planted to pleasing effect. The shadow under the bridge is heavily contrasted, while the buildings in the deep background disappear into a hazy sky. Human architecture and nature seem to be in balance; order and chaos are in harmony. Harmony is also evident in McDermott’s paintings of Literary Walk, a Central Park landmark featuring a broad walkway dotted with three statues of composers and writers. But perhaps the most spectacular aspect of the walk is the canopy of trees that stretches out into the

Traipse through Central Park via Carole McDermott’s charming landscapes at artistsnetwork.com/medium/ watercolor/carole-mcdermott-central-park-watercolors. 28


surrounding grassland. This is the largest stand of American elm trees in the United States. In Literary Walk, Autumn (on pages 24 and 25), McDermott shares the moment when the greens are just giving way to orange. She presents it with the sun blazing down through the foliage, shifting the hues to a brilliant degree of saturation. Areas of shadow and sunlight alternate down the pathway, increasing the sense of depth. In contrast, Pilgrim Statue, Spring (above) captures that season’s full-blown beauty of pink-budded trees and burgeoning grass.

A Feeling of Wonder Although a highly accomplished watercolorist, McDermott didn’t take up the medium until she was in her 40s, when she bought a Charles Reid book on the subject. Her husband then sent her to one of Reid’s two-week workshops in California, and she was hooked.

an affair to remember

Watercolor serves as a powerful tool in the artist’s quest for expression. “Nature is my theme, and, like nature, watercolor is organic,” McDermott says. “I appreciate the personal signature of watercolor. The low, the rhythm of the water, the splash and the drip are a unique personal vision. “I have no message in my paintings other than to communicate a feeling or a sensation,” the artist says. “I paint to know we’re not alone. The more raw I am on canvas or paper, the more the viewer can relate with his or her feelings and share the wonder.” JOHN A. PARKS (johnaparks.com) is a profes-

sional artist, a teacher at the School of Visual Arts in New York and the author of the book, Universal Principles of Art: 100 Key Concepts for Understanding, Analyzing and Practicing Art (Rockport Publishers, 2014).

McDermott’s personal approach to watercolor stems from her long experience as an artist, having been raised by a family that encouraged her talents. “My father was an engineer and a fine painter,” she says. “He brought my older brother and me to drawing classes when I was in third grade. We lived in a small town in Pennsylvania, but we had a great library. Art books and painting have always made me happy and given me peace.” The artist went on to study art at the University of Denver in the late 1960s. “Many of the instructors were Russian masters,” she recalls. “They were immigrants, new to this country and thrilled to be in America. As students, we were required to draw from the model every morning. In the afternoons, we painted in oil but always abstractly.” McDermott observes this division of enterprise to this day, working abstractly in oil and representationally in watercolor. It’s not surprising that her list of admired artists includes both abstract and realist masters. “I love Franz Kline’s paintings,” she says. “I live half the year in New York City, and the urban, strong structural brushstrokes and black-and-white contrast of the city dynamic totally speak to me.” She also professes an admiration for Jackson Pollock, Pierre Bonnard, Mark Rothko, John Singer Sargent, Nicolai Fechin and Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida. Living influences include Stuart Shils, Eric Aho, Bruce Dorfman and her Art Students League of New York teacher, Paul Ching-Bor.

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SUBLIME Catherine P. O’Neill taps into shared experiences and emotions in her paintings of the American heartland. BY M I C H A E L G O R M LE Y


ike most kids come a sunny summer morning, Catherine P. O’Neill couldn’t wait to get out of the house and join her friends for a reprise of yesterday’s make-believe adventure. On rainy days, however, as her friends sulked in boredom, O’Neill was equally happy sitting amongst the piles of art books her parents collected. “I especially loved the book on Andrew Wyeth,” she says. “I adored his work. I still do. Back then I’m not sure what I was responding to—certainly the realism and romantic settings. As I matured as an artist and began to focus solely on watercolor, I grew to appreciate his skilled handling of the medium. I wanted to emulate him.”

In our busy lives, we rush about in great haste and often overlook the everyday beauty around us—a learned trait young children have yet to suffer. Paintings like Captivated (watercolor on paper, 18x19) help us to see and bid us to take pause.

Watercolor Artist

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Given the wide range of tones and chromatic effects she’s able to achieve, O’Neill’s palette is surprisingly limited. Her technique is a lesson in economy; simplified masses and the juxtapositions of warm against cool and light against dark are sufficient to impart a feeling of the natural world, as in Paul’s Porch (watercolor on paper, 20x24).


Tapping the Past Most of America would agree with O’Neill’s aesthetic instincts. Wyeth’s paintings possess a formal beauty underpinned by a dynamic pictorial abstraction. With an ampliied use of light and shadow, he created icons—subjects symbolic of emotive charges that remain cultural reference points. His painting Christina’s World competes as one of America’s most popular and widely reproduced works of art. Wyeth, along with Grant Wood—whose American Gothic rivals Christina’s World in popularity—are O’Neill’s artistic forebearers. With other painters, including John Steuart Curry and Norman Rockwell, these artists were part of a movement known as the American Regionalist School. Arising during the height of the Great Depression and comprising paintings, murals, lithographs and illustrations, the


movement soothed a troubled nation with reassuring and nostalgic imagery of honest labor, family life, rural hamlets and small town America. Widely popular until the end of World War II, Regionalism’s traditional style, conservative subject matter and overt nationalism evoked an American heartland narrative that upheld core democratic principles upon which the country was founded. Though its principal artists worked primarily in the Midwest and South, Regionalism spread throughout the country during the 1930s with local artists celebrating the unique aspects of their beloved cities and towns. Speciic to watercolor, California painters active in the 1930s through the ’50s, such as Millard Sheets, Dong Kingman and Emil Kosa Jr., similarly appealed to a broad audience with local subject matter depicted in a realist style.

To engage the viewer, O’Neill often leaves her narratives open-ended. In Aunt Marion (watercolor on paper, 20x28), the central figure appears perplexed or dismayed at something or someone outside of the picture frame—and leads the viewer to imagine what the disturbance might be.

While encompassing a wide range of stylistic differences, Regionalism has remained a relatively conservative and traditional movement, in keeping with “downhome” populist sensibilities. Art aiming to evoke a sense of identity and belonging, a distinctly anti-modernist stance, purposely offers imagery that’s comfortingly familiar, recuperative and, in the best instances, redemptive. We can see this populist intent with O’Neill’s stolid and plainly dressed farm matron in Aunt Marion (above), the ly isherman in action in Wade a Minute (on page 36), and the hushed father-and-son moment in Paul’s Porch (opposite). All are latter-day saints, reincarnations of the honest, hard-working folks depicted by Regionalist artists in 1930s Depression-Era America.

artist’s toolkit Paints: Winsor & Newton, Holbein and Daniel Smith: French ultramarine, quinacridone gold, new gamboge, permanent alizarin crimson, burnt sienna, Winsor blue, Antwerp blue, Holbein shadow green, brown madder, Winsor yellow Paper: Arches 140- or 300-lb. cold-pressed Brushes: synthetic or synthetic/sable combination ½- to 3-inch flats and a variety of rounds; Isabey sable rounds; Cheap Joe’s Fritch scrubbers; riggers for details Misc.: Guerrilla Watercolorboard (both half- and full-sheet sizes) on which to stretch 140-lb. paper; Gator Board on which to tape and staple 300-lb. paper without stretching it; John Pike palette; frisket paper; liquid mask, including Pebeo and Schmincke Aqua Masking Fluid; a gray scale and value finder to check darks; Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to lift paint; spray bottle to wet paper for glazing and to create texture in a wet wash

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pouring and lifting for mist My brothers were trying out their new Hornbeck canoes early one summer morning. I loved the way the sun shone through the mist and lit up the interior of one of the boats, inspiring me to capture the moment in a painting. Step 1: To start, I stretched a sheet of Arches 140-lb. cold-pressed paper on Guerrilla Watercolorboard. I then covered the bottom third of the paper with frisket film and sealed it with masking fluid. I wet the top section of the paper and poured quinacradone gold, new gamboge, burnt sienna and French ultramarine blue onto the surface, letting the colors mingle on the paper. I lifted some mist with a sponge along the bottom edge, then let this layer dry.



Step 2: I applied masking fluid to save areas where I wanted to suggest foliage and tree branches. When that was dry, I rewet the paper and again poured quinacridone gold, new gamboge and burnt sienna, lifting mist at the bottom edge like before. I let the paper dry. Step 3: On the horizon line, I applied more masking for foliage and my brother’s shirt. When the masking was dry, I poured a layer of Antwerp blue and French ultramarine blue. Mist was again lifted with a sponge along the bottom edge. I let this dry, then removed the masking. Step 4: I rewet the paper and poured another layer of burnt

sienna, Antwerp blue and French ultramarine blue, spraying the paint with water to encourage it to flow and tipping the board to pour off excess. I then started to lift a few tree trunk shapes. Step 5: I removed most of the frisket film from the bottom section of the painting, leaving only a narrow strip of film sealed with masking fluid covering the paper in the center. I painted a wash of quinacridone gold below the strip and let this dry. Step 6: I rewet the bottom third of the paper, added burnt sienna to the left side, French ultramarine to the right and misted with a spray bottle to encourage the paints to merge. (The dark mark on the





bottom right is where I dropped my paintbrush. Oops.) I let it dry. Step 7: I rewet and poured one more layer of French ultramarine over the bottom. Step 8: I removed the masking from the center strip, softened the edges with a scrubber brush and lifted out paint with a sponge to give a sense of mist over the bottom section. I then started to paint in the lightest value of the boat. Final Step: I finished by painting my brother and his boat directly, followed by the water around the boat. I further scrubbed out along the shoreline to suggest rising mist. —Catherine P. O’Neill

The Hornbeck (watercolor on paper, 19x27)

Watercolor Artist

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Believably situating a figure in a landscape is an underestimated skill—and most artists get it wrong. In a picture, as in real life, the eye naturally gravitates to the human figure as the major point of interest. In Wade A Minute (watercolor on paper, 18x25), O’Neill casts the landscape elements in a supporting role, allowing the figure to visually dominate the scene—as it would in life.


Discovering the Artist Within Painting igures in watercolor and doing it well didn’t come easily for O’Neill. She notes, “I practice a lot of perseverance, and my skills and conidence have grown. That said, setting aside time to paint is my biggest challenge. “I’m a medical doctor practicing internal medicine at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine. Because I treat patients, as well as teach residents and medical students, I can go for considerable stretches of time without painting at all. Even when I have time, I struggle to overcome inertia to actually begin a painting. I think about how I’ll approach a subject for some time before I actually start. Once I do begin, I’m much more apt to continue; however, I almost always ind myself struggling to continue at some point during each painting when it doesn’t look like I envisioned—the ugly stage. I have to push myself to keep going, to get past the block.” O’Neill’s discovery of her artistic side was unplanned; about 18 years ago her child’s babysitter was offering a beginning watercolor class and extended an invitation to O’Neill. “Right away I was taken in by the immediacy of the medium,” the artist recalls. “I loved how it was applied and how quickly it dried. It cleaned up


easily and was quite portable. But I especially loved the effects that could be achieved using paint and water—smooth washes, spatters, drips, mingled colors, glowing light, drybrush techniques and so on.” Though her initial motivation was to paint well enough eventually to create paintings for gifts, O’Neill soon entered juried competitions and began showing her work to galleries. She continues to learn through reading books, attending demonstrations and studying works at exhibitions. Staying connected to her fellow artists has proven beneicial as well. O’Neill adds, “I’ve joined many watercolor groups, but I’m most involved with my local organization— the Niagara Frontier Watercolor Society. We have monthly demonstrations and shows twice a year; it’s a great group of supportive, talented artists. I’ve also enjoyed meeting many contemporary watercolorists at national exhibitions.”

Light Effects Though he was classiied a realist, Wyeth didn’t think of himself as such. Rather, he considered himself an abstractionist. He wrote, “My people, my objects breathe in a different way: There’s another core—an excitement that’s dei nitely

O’Neill’s tableaus quote the American artist Edward Hopper; the pictorial narratives are both familiar and vague at the same time. In paintings like Men in Back (watercolor on paper, 20x21), the open-endedness can inspire a certain voyeurism. We can remain aloof and venture to guess what’s happening or, going one step further, insert ourselves into the storyline.

abstract. My God, when you really begin to peer into something, a simple object, and realize the profound meaning of that thing—if you have an emotion about it, there’s no end.” In looking at Wyeth’s work through the lens of contemporary realism and the latter’s obsession with photo-like verisimilitude, one wouldn’t argue otherwise. Indeed, one might classify O’Neill in the same abstractionist vein, as evinced by her reductionist and dynamic compositions heightened by a dramatic use of light and shadow. To express the lickering effects of natural light, O’Neill composes with a wide value range. As in nature, the forms in her work appear to dissolve as they turn from the light into shadow. She says, “I often start with the background, or my darkest values, masking off lighter areas. I work with very wet paper and lots of paint, and when the lights are protected, I feel free to splash color on, tipping the board to mix it and pouring off excess paint. The most dificult part about this is getting the initial value dark enough. It often appears very dark in relation to the white paper, but less so as the painting progresses. Sometimes shadows seem dark enough initially, but too light as the

painting progresses. I then have to re-mask the light area and darken the shadows to get the right value. I also love to lift out shapes after the darks have been applied. I use sponges and brushes for soft edges, stencils, tape and scrubbers or a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser for hard edges. I also keep notes about my paintings as I work on them; I write down the colors used and the process in steps, so I can refer back to these notes to remind myself how I achieved a certain effect or color.”

Art for the People In our current fractious nation, where commonalities are increasingly displaced by shrill polarities, O’Neill’s work, and the populist aspirations it advances, may indeed inspire a reimagining of libertine fellowship based on a shared appreciation and earnest engagement with our country’s founding principles. MICHAEL GORMLEY is a painter and writer based

in New York City.

Explore more of Catherine P. O’Neill’s down-home scenes at artistsnetwork.com/medium/watercolor/ catherine-oneill-watercolor-figures. Watercolor Artist

| December 2016


Artful THE

TRAVELER Ditch the guidebook and grab your camera. A world of inspiration awaits you just off the beaten path. BY J O H N S A LM I N E N


hen I irst started painting, my sketchbook went everywhere with me. As I grew more enamored with urban scenes and my paintings began to incorporate more detail and complexity, however, it became impossible to capture all the details I needed in on-site drawings; I had to rely more heavily on my camera. Following the viewinder in search of potential paintings has led me on an amazing journey— from the crowded alleys of Naples to remote mountain villages in China. When my wife, Kathy, and I step out of our hotel in the morning in a foreign city, we have no idea where we’ll go or what we’ll see, and this lack of agenda has led to surprising discoveries, chance encounters and painting subjects that I never could have planned. Wander along with me as I share the stories behind the paintings from a few of our most recent adventures.

For Carrousel de Paris (watercolor on paper, 24½x26), the ironic juxtaposition of the festive ornate carousel and the quiet aloneness of the figures were intriguing to me. 38


Inspired by a local Wind and Rain Bridge nestled in a fog-shrouded valley, I painted Bridge (opposite; watercolor on paper, 20x15) en plein air. I chose this subject for two reasons: It’s a wonderful example of the melding of function and beauty so typical of life in the ethnic minority culture, and it presented me with the challenge of capturing the soft mist. As I worked, a little girl from the village joined me.

LangDe, China I had just spent the morning with Kathy painting on location in the remote Miao Ethnic Minority village of LangDe in southwest China. It began to look like rain, and I decided to start one last plein air painting under the shelter of a covered Wind and Rain Bridge. As I set up my easel, a little girl approached, clearly intrigued but reluctant to come too close. Over time the girl slowly moved closer to Kathy until she was sitting beside her. The little girl shyly repeated

getting to know a place • Read fiction set in the location you wish to paint. The novels by Elena Ferrante or the short vignettes by Rob Schmitz will give you a deeper understanding of Naples or Shanghai than reading a guidebook. • Be respectful of local expectations and customs. In the United States, when people leave their homes they relinquish their rights of privacy. In France and several other countries, no such expectation exists. French citizens own their images and may object if you don’t obtain permission to photograph them. • Absorb the ambience and infuse your work with local character. Explore neighborhoods. Talk to people. In the words of G.K. Chesterton, “The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.”



the same phrase many times, looking intently into my wife’s eyes. Unable to understand, Kathy enlisted the translating help of Huang Hsiao Hui, a remarkable painter from Taiwan who was traveling with us. The little girl was saying, “I like to paint too.” That’s all Kathy needed to hear. Soon the girl was set up beside me with some quarter sheets of watercolor paper, sharing my brushes and palette. At one point I reached for my ½-inch square brush only to discover that nearly all of my brushes had been relocated to the little girl’s workplace. She painted one image after another, humming to herself as she concentrated on following my lead, carefully cleaning her brushes by swishing them in the water bucket and then licking them to remove the excess water, just as I did. After I borrowed some of my brushes back, I inished my painting just as she inished hers. When it was time to leave, I headed to the bus that would take me back to my hotel, and the little girl, proudly clutching her paintings, left the bridge and walked into the village. When she grows up and her horizons expand beyond her idyllic village in the hills, she’s going to become aware of global politics. I hope that when that happens she will remember that rainy afternoon on the wind bridge when she and an American visitor spent an hour happily painting together—two artist friends doing what they most love to do.

Naples, Italy Hiking along the harbor walk in Naples, Italy, Kathy and I turned inland and looked up to see a steep hillside stacked with interesting buildings and houses. At the base of a seemingly unending stone staircase winding up into the neighborhood of the Spanish Quarter, 42


a man sat astride his motor scooter with his father perched on the back. He noted my interest and took the time to explain the history of his neighborhood. We’ve maintained contact through Facebook, and I’m happy to say that, so far, he approves of my paintings of his home.

gathering photo reference • Photograph boldly. Don’t try to sneak pictures. If people see you secretly taking their photos, they could question your motives or take offense. It’s better to be forthright and sensitive to anyone who appears uncomfortable or objects. I often show the photo I’ve taken to the subject, explaining that I’m a painter and telling them what I particularly liked about the shot. In many years of taking pictures on the street, I’ve had remarkably few problems or objections by simply looking confident and professional. • Shoot early in the morning, late in the afternoon or early in the evening for dramatic lighting and strong diagonal passages of light and shadow. Early evening can be especially interesting because there’s still sufficient natural light. As street lights, neon signs and car lights begin to shine, they add a new dimension. • Vary your vantage point. Don’t always shoot at eye level. • Push the button! My years of experience with film photography trained me to wait for the perfect shot before I pushed the shutter button. With a digital camera, additional shots don’t cost anything, and a good approach is to shoot copiously, deciding later what works and what doesn’t. Often my best images are accidental in nature.

The subtle color gradations of the building facades drew me to the scene in Spanish Quarter (watercolor on paper, 25x36). Sienna and umber—created, appropriately enough, from Italian pigments—formed the color palette. I let the man on the scooter know why I was taking his picture, and he was gracious enough to share details about the area.

Watercolor Artist

| December 2016


I was drawn to this scene because it truly represented my experience in this small mountain village. I particularly liked the challenge presented by the ephemeral quality of the smoke-filled light and the fire itself—a new subject for me. I combined reference photos to arrange a pleasing composition in Village of 100 Families (opposite; watercolor on paper, 32x24½).

“Village of 100 Families,” China Central to each Dong Minority village is a drum tower, a huge temple-like structure that serves as a community gathering place. On this November day, the assembled village elders built a ire using wood shavings. As they sat around talking, laughing and warming their hands, I took a seat on the opposite side of the large open room, careful not to interfere. I took a couple of photos but wasn’t entirely happy with the composition that resulted from my vantage point. Luckily, I came away with enough information to reassemble the cast members in a more favorable arrangement. The camera is a wonderful traveling companion, leading me to places well beyond conventional tourist haunts. Images that excited and intrigued me on location provide inspiration back in the studio. Organizing and prioritizing the factual information recorded by my camera into cohesive paintings, I aim to share these unique sights with the world.

back in the studio • Keep a file of photographs for detail purposes. I often use figures to add interest and scale to my urban scenes. If I see an interesting person or group of people, I’ll snap a shot. I look for people coming and going, heading left or right, in all styles of dress, backlit or brightly lit from the front. I’m not looking for portraits but rather gesture and attitude. Figures from New York City have made guest appearances in my Paris scenes and vice versa. • Preview your shots initially as thumbnails. The small format causes strong compositions to assert themselves. • Transform your photo references into paintings with lives of their own. The goal isn’t to reproduce a photograph faithfully, but rather to use it as a starting point to create a painting that may be very different in atmosphere, lighting or subject matter from the initial image.

Tour the globe in John Salminen’s paintings inspired by his travels at artistsnetwork.com/medium/watercolor/ john-salminen-travel-painting. Watercolor Artist

| December 2016


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WATCH Meet the artists who have caught the attention of today’s top instructors and exhibition jurors throughout the year. INGRID E. ALBRECHT



hen you take painting seriously, it shows—simply look to the work on the following pages for proof of that. The artists chosen as our 2016 “Ones to Watch” obviously treasure their work, and the various ways in which they channel that passion are what make this annual feature so celebratory. Here our 10 rising stars share their thoughts about the impact for which they strive, the power of a single color, the emotional tax of being committed to a painting (for better or worse), embracing their weakness and—maybe most essentially—having a Plan B. As the art instructors and exhibition jurors who nominated them attest, their efforts merit our attention. All eyes on them.


Watercolor Artist

| December 2016


The View From 11 B (at left; watercolor on YUPO, 26x20) Clearance 12'5" (below; watercolor on YUPO, 26x20)


ALBRECHT [ Chicago, IL | ingridsartoriginals.com ] “I LOVE TO TRY NEW APPROACHES, NEW PIGMENTS, NEW WAYS of doing things and new surfaces. A

variety of texture is important to me, and using YUPO synthetic paper gives me many options to achieve this. In fact, the smoother the surface, the more texture that can be achieved. “I like drama in my works. I like for them to have an impact, and this takes planning. I add, subtract, lighten, darken, enlarge and minimize, to make the paintings say what I want them to say. Because of the characteristics of YUPO, I don’t draw on the paper. Instead, I adjust the shapes and values as I proceed with my layers.

“The challenge of The View From 11 B was to create believable perspective. I so wanted to put in all of the unique characteristics of those buildings but forced myself to minimize everything. I invented the train coming in from the left and the cars to help tell the story of a busy metro street seen from above. Clearance 12'5" required lots of adding and subtracting of shapes and values until I felt it worked. “I use many transparent colors, especially when layering on YUPO. I do use opaque paints, however, for colorful accents. If they stopped making Daniel Smith’s French ultramarine blue, I’d be very unhappy. It has a wonderful granulating property that works well in many washes and makes a great component to lovely grays.”

“Ingrid’s work allows the viewer to complete her visual story. Sometimes dark, always thoughtful—it’s the spaces between that make you think. Add engaging content with technical excellence, and you get work that brings you back again and again.” 48





JOHNSON [ Watkinsville, GA | kiejohnson.com ]

Strong captures the juxtaposition of the metal sculpture and the person viewing the artwork. In the Studio depicts the quiet concentration of the artist at work. Using the igure in a painting immediately makes the viewer relate to the image. The igure plays a signiicant role in telling a story.

“I’ve seen such growth in Kie’s work, and I like the quietness of her subject matter.” —LINDA BAKER

“The use of light in my paintings is a way for me to create a pathway for the viewer in and around the image. Using a strong light source was an intentional part of composing these images. “I often make several compositional and value studies before deciding on how to proceed. I then determine what color scheme will best depict the particular image. Values always trump color in my work.

“My painting techniques typically incorporate the masking and pouring process along with a good bit of direct painting. Creating luminous watercolors is one of my primary goals. I ind layering the paints creates the glow I’m after. I paint exclusively with transparent watercolors on cotton rag paper. “One day when some signiicant problems arose with a painting in process, I found myself chuckling. I was delighted to ind that I was no longer afraid of making a mistake and knew it would likely work out just ine (or if not, I’d learn something). At that moment, I knew that I could paint without fear and enjoy the journey.”

Watercolor Artist

Standing Strong (watercolor on paper, 20x16) In the Studio (at left; watercolor on paper, 20x15)

| December 2016




The Last Ride (below, right; watercolor on paper, 30x22) What Tangled Webs We Leave (watercolor on paper, 22x15)

and worn shrimper’s ropes and wooden pulleys in What Tangled Webs We Leave, and in The Last Ride, all the rust on the support beams of the Coney Island Cyclone. “I always paint using reference photos. When I’m ready to start a new painting, I look through my photos and choose one that seems to convey a story. I then project the image,

which becomes about two-thirds of my drawing. I edit my projected drawing, then I add in details to enhance the drawing. Next, I print a black-and-white copy of my reference photo to

“This is no-fear watercolor. Kathy’s work is very strong and colorful. Her enjoyment is visible.” —JEAN GRASTORF use for value comparison as well as an enlarged color photo to help me identify any additional details and colors. “Masking is an important part of my process. Blending and softening masked edges is crucial to creating a cohesive painting. Soft and hard edges, a balance of lights and darks, and a full range of values make a painting believable and invite the viewer into the story of the painting. “Every piece is like a short-term relationship. As in any relationship, there are highs and lows. There are times when the painting moves along according to the initial plan, and times when I’m thinking divorce! Usually, by sticking with it long enough, I’m happy with the end result.”



Conversation Starter (at left; watercolor on paper, 28x21) Brooklyn Bed (watercolor on paper, 21x28)

“CONVERSATION STARTER IS THE FIRST IN A SERIES WITH CHILDREN AT AN EASEL featuring famous works of art. Here, a girl has Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Mecca on her easel. Taken out of context, everyone just assumes her smile shows how happy she is with her work. I’ve had it in art shows in museums and no one says, ‘Wow, that little girl’s painting is worth $4.5 million!’ It raises questions about the intrinsic value of artwork. “The igure is our basis for proportion, elegance and relevance. It can convey innocence, lust, calm, joy, all with changes in pose and setting. We instantly relate to it. And, of course, it interacts well with light, which is often the real subject of the painting. The igure will always be fascinating to me, but my paintings are about light and color. “I use natural light as much as possible for my reference material. I want it to illuminate the subject, to show the translucency of skin as it hits it, to show myriad changes in color as it passes through, and is relected by, hair and cloth. “I generally have an idea of what I want to accomplish, both the technical aspects and the message I want to convey. I take many reference photos, and I sometimes do little sketches with altered values to bolster eye movement through the composition and emphasize the focal point.

DAN KNEPPER [ Jackson Center, OH | danknepperart.weebly.com ] “I’m not a typical watercolorist; I tend to map out details irst, the edges I don’t want to lose. If I mess up the eyes, for instance, there’s no point in continuing. You can suggest a foot, but the viewer is going to interact with the eyes. I then build up transparent layers, starting with bold colors—yellows, pinks, olive green and purple. I let layers dry completely before applying more paint. “There is a luid, precise I don’t mix on the palette; purer colors are created elegance to his work.” by light passing through —JAMES TOOGOOD layers. It’s the difference between mud and honey. “My biggest breakthrough probably came from a workshop with Jane Paul Angelhart. It was her palette and her layering of color that really got me started in my current direction. Another turning point was when artist Barbara Fiore told me, ‘While you’re waiting to get better before trying to get into galleries, lesser artists are taking your place.’ So then I tried, and got into three very good galleries.”

Watercolor Artist

| December 2016





Hopeful Future (below, right; acrylic on paper, 11x11) Remembering Friends (acrylic on paper, 11x11)

felt her presence when I painted this. I love the way the igure is looking to the new world ahead. Hopeful Future is the sequel. I often paint two pieces at once so that the colors will go together, and the timing seems to work out so I don’t have to stop and use the blowdryer. “I achieve textural effects by painting a wild-colored underpainting; I scrape the surface using a credit card to get unusual shapes and colors.

“Karen’s work relies on an inner creativity. While there may be recognizable subject matter, her work is really in the realm of personal expression. It has great design, wonderful use of pattern and that something extra that brings a smile to the viewer’s heart. Her work is engaging and complex.” —MARK MEHAFFEY 52


“The tiny, busy shapes are always a nice surprise. I let them direct me through the painting process. If I really like the little shapes in one area, I might make them the garment for my igure or a big area of my background. I wipe out the lights using rubbing alcohol, which leaves a residue on the surface of the paper. I then calm down areas by glazing. The wonderful thing about acrylics is that if they get too dark, I can add another layer that’s lighter in color—but I always either spray rubbing alcohol or water to expose the layer underneath. I love the drawing aspect of linework I’m able to achieve in the i nishing touches. I actually use a branch dipped in liquid black acrylic for this process. I like that it’s not perfect and that it skips over some areas of the paper’s surface as I paint the lines and that it globs up in other areas. “The tiny, busy shapes that are my signature used to be a challenge; I made too many of them. One of my teachers once asked me if I liked making little shapes, and I said that I must like them, because they keep appearing in my work. She told me to make that my strength by combining them so that they read as one big shape from a distance. It was great advice. I tell my students that whatever they think is their Achilles’ heel is probably the thing that’s most unique, and I urge them to make it their strongest feature.”

“John possesses a very high degree of technical skill, and he also exhibits the rare ability to prioritize

JOHN KEEPAX [ Coral Gables, FL | facebook.com/keepaxwatercolor ]

his paintings in such a way that his command of detail enhances rather than distracts.” —JOHN SALMINEN

“I WAS INSPIRED TO BEGIN PAINTING AGAIN AFTER ABOUT 20 YEARS when I saw some of Richard Parkes Bonington’s watercolor landscapes at The Wallace Collection in London. The expressive skies in his landscapes and coastal scenes, along with the architectural detail of his cityscapes, inspired me to start painting watercolor landscapes. I enjoy creating paintings that look realistic at irst glance but are obviously paintings once you stop and look at them. “I enjoy plein air painting, and my basic palette is set up with that in mind: cobalt blue, French ultramarine, cerulean, indanthrone blue, Hansa yellow medium, new gamboge, Naples yellow, permanent rose, perylene red, raw sienna, burnt sienna, raw umber, viridian green, undersea green, mineral violet and neutral tint. These 16 colors also form the basis of my studio palette. In the studio I have a few extra colors I’ll use if the painting warrants, but I try to stay away from heavily staining colors as I use some lifting techniques in my work. “I pre-plan the overall composition with a quick value sketch, where I determine the light source and how it moves through the composition. I save my whites when I apply the initial

washes of paint, either painting around them or masking off areas I need to save, using masking luid or tape. I draw as much detail as I feel I’ll need, so that I won’t get lost or hesitate while I’m painting. Then I use a mixture of direct painting and glazing techniques. I’ll add some spattering for texture when needed, and if I haven’t managed to save all my whites, I’ll use a little opaque white to get them back. “Deciding to take some workshops to help my painting has had the most dramatic effect on how I work. I’ve had many ‘aha’ moments during these workshops, learning new techniques, testing recommended materials and trying new equipment.”

Watercolor Artist

Birch Point State Park (above; watercolor on paper, 14x22) A Gothic Perspective (watercolor on paper, 16x22)

| December 2016


SIDRA KALUSZKA [ Christiansburg, VA | facebook.com/sidrak.art ] Summer’s Reflection (watercolor on paper, 25½x19) “MY PAINTING IS A VISUAL VOICE FOR THE STRONG

Two Kami (above, left; watercolor on paper, 9½x13½)

EMOTIONAL CONNECTION I feel with nature. I’m

not painting a straightforward representation of what I see, but rather an emotional expression through my use of vivid color, dramatic lighting and unconventional vantage points. “I do all of my color mixing on the paper. This technique requires a strong understanding of one’s own palette, and knowledge of how different colors will react, combine and layer with one another. My primary method of paint application is wet-into-wet, which allows my colors to freely interact and mingle with one another before they dry. “Wet-into-wet is also an ideal environment for spattering and salt effects, which are the building blocks for my textured, organic surfaces. Salt achieves its best marks this way; the water on the paper prevents the paint from

“Sidra’s composition choices are interesting and unusual. Most exciting is her salt effect; she builds up layers of texture through salt, which is very hard to do.” —Z.L. FENG



immediately locking down. As a result, the salt has a stronger effect on the movement of the paint. I also do layered salt effects. The irst layer always has the strongest marks, but the subsequent layer’s salt effects are still visible, especially when contrasting colors are used. Spatter leaves some of its nicest marks on wet or damp paper. The moisture gives the paint a freedom of movement that leaves beautiful organic and atmospheric marks. “I’m highly motivated by my love of light and the ways it interacts with everything it touches. I use light to deine space and volume, and also to set a dramatic tone. I want my viewers not only to see the light, but also to feel the warmth of the sun as if they themselves were in the image. I achieve this without the use of masking luid. I’ve found that preserving my whites forces me to consider my next steps carefully. “I further emphasize the dramatic lighting with my choice of unusual vantage points, often greatly magnifying natural elements so they appear to tower over the viewer. I don’t see my subject matter as lifeless objects, but rather as the living entities they are, with eternal power and grace.”


Typically, 80 percent of my painting time is spent on-site, painting small sketches of irst impressions. Doing these 5x8- to 7x9-inch sketches has helped my observation skills, as well as given me conidence to work out compositions and to personalize value and color schemes. I spend the remaining time in the studio working from these sketchbooks. “I use granulating paints that make it easy to soften edges and lift highlights with a damp brush, occasionally using masking luid for small highlights. In Silver Dawn, I used a hake brush in the sky while the paint was still wet to gradate from a near white to a soft gray. I typically use Quiller watercolors with a limited palette in cadmium orange and ultramarine blue. In Silver Dawn, I shifted to pyrrole orange and Richeson blue to get more of a steel gray. “In my studio, I draw a few thumbnail sketches to make sure I’m happy with the large shapes and their placement on the picture plane. I then decide if the painting will be

MIKE HENRY [ Port Huron, MI | bit.ly/mike-henry ] predominately warm or cool and select a color scheme. Next, I draw the main shapes on my watercolor paper, making note of the horizon line and any whites I want to reserve. Quite often this will be enough to get me going and the rest will be done with my brush. “I can identify with what was written about William Morris Hunt [American; 1824-1879]: ‘If Hunt had a weakness … it was the dificulty of inding a way to keep the spontaneity and freedom of irst inspiration at white heat, without losing the picture in working up to a inish.’ This, too, is my greatest challenge.”

“Mike was an Honor Marine and has been a UPS driver for many years with a wife and three daughters. He took up painting about 12 years ago to give him some creative time and relief from daily pressures. It has changed his life.” —STEPHEN QUILLER

Sarnia Harbor (watercolor on paper, 8x12) Silver Dawn (at left; watercolor on paper, 7x19)

Watercolor Artist

| December 2016


Rainbow of Tomorrow’s Dreams (acrylic on paper, 12x16) Blue Haze of Sunday (below; acrylic on paper, 14x6)

CASON RANKIN [ Asheville, NC | casonrankin.com ] “THESE PIECES ARE FROM A SERIES I CALL MY ‘SPIRIT PAINTINGS.’ When I painted the irst one, the image just emerged out of nowhere, so I continued the series and discovered many more spirits. They seem to come to me at random and make themselves known. “Cason achieves strong My favorite aspects of these compositions with great, paintings are the loose, drippy movements of the paint. simple shapes, a full “I want a lot of texture in my range of values and a work, because it gives the paint limited palette.” opportunities to go in different directions. Rough watercolor paper —JEAN GRASTORF coated with gesso helps achieve the textural effect. I generally use a dark color scheme. I start out with black gesso, whether I’m working on a canvas or a piece of watercolor paper. I limit my palette to six or seven colors for each piece, which keeps the painting from getting out of control. I also use a palette knife coated with a thin layer of paint to drag across the surface of the rough paper. “The best art advice I’ve received came from the late great artist Nicholas Simmons, who said, ‘If you want to make great art, you have to learn to love Plan B.’ ”

View paintings of previous years’ Ones to Watch at artistsnetwork.com/ medium/watercolor/wc-ones-to-watch. 56



HIGHTOWER-PATTERSON [ Leesville, SC | annehightower-patterson.com ]

“IN ANTIQUES, I WAS ATTRACTED TO THE PATTERNS AND COLOR COMBINATIONS IN THE CHINESE PORCELAINS, while in Miss Sarah II, my goal was to paint the subject matter with a minimum of pattern and color so that the light on her face and skin tones would be the stars.

“Anne shows true promise in her techniques and choice of subject matter. She includes much complexity, but simplifies it in her resolution.”


“In Antiques it was important for me to achieve the relected light on the porcelain while making certain the patterns remained clear and believable. In this case, I used masking luid to save the highlights, then painted the shadow patterns on the surfaces of the jars. On the inal pass, I painted the ornate patterns, paying close attention to the changing values within those patterns. “I use transparent or semi-transparent paints, and sometimes an opaque color at the end to provide accent. I love the quinacridone colors by Daniel Smith, but stand by the burnt sienna by Winsor & Newton because it’s transparent. My palette includes both warm and cool versions of red, yellow and blue. “For each painting, I make a detailed 5x7-inch value study in either pencil or marker, simplifying the design and combining areas into shapes that enhance the composition. Then I create at least one 9x12-inch color study. “I begin the larger painting with a detailed pencil drawing on my paper—with a hard pencil, between 2H to 6H. I prefer Arches 140-lb. cold-pressed, but occasionally I’ll select 300-lb. for larger washes. When my detailed drawing is inished, I use Pebeo liquid mask to preserve any whites. Only then do I begin to build up my glazes, working light to dark and large to small. I take my masking off and use a small, stiff brush to soften edges, lift out accent lines and lose areas that may be too strong. “It was after a friend convinced me to attend the Kanuga Watermedia workshops that I

began to understand more clearly that there were still many watercolor lessons to learn. This was a turning point for me. I became hungry to learn as much as I could from these instructors.”

Antiques (watercolor and casein on paper, 28x38½) Miss Sarah II (top; watercolor and casein on paper, 22x23½)

JESSICA CANTERBURY is managing editor of

Watercolor Artist.

Watercolor Artist

| December 2016


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Pleasing Palettes Delicate High-Key Palette

Bold Palette

Six harmonious color triads take the guesswork out of painting so you can focus on your subject.

C Traditional Palette

Old Masters’ Palette

Opaque Palette

Bright Earth Palette

olor problems in paintings usually stem from using too many colors or combining paints that don’t work well together. Compatible triads alleviate both issues. If three colors don’t give you the results you want, you can add another color that shares their transparency, intensity and tinting strength without introducing a sour note in the color harmony. You may even ind new combinations that work with the unused colors that clutter your paintbox. Explore six selected palettes and then create your own exciting triads.

These six foolproof color triads enable you to achieve successful paintings without the hassle of color trial and error.

Watercolor Artist

| December 2016



l r


Delicate High-Key Palette Delicate tinting colors—aureolin, cobalt blue and rose madder genuine—make an exquisite high-key triad, limited in contrast and beautifully transparent. In watercolor, the colors are nonstaining, easily lifted and extremely useful as glazes. Although they’re

pure, bright colors, they all have relatively weak tinting strength. Flowers are delightful subjects for the delicate high-key palette, but there are other options, too. How about a misty river scene or a soft portrait? Light-i lled landscapes also are successful with these colors,

but you can’t make strong darks with them. Powerful darks would destroy the delicacy and subtlety of this palette. Used carefully and sparingly, burnt sienna is a good addition to the palette, because it enables you to increase your range of darks slightly.


Rose madder genuine

Cobalt blue


My granddaughter’s portrait, Dream On (watercolor on paper, 9x6), illustrates the harmony of the delicate high-key palette. I splashed in the spontaneous background and layered well-diluted colors to model her features and the shadows, then added details. Soft edges and delicate colors represent the innocence of childhood. 60


Bold Palette Transparent, high-intensity colors of great tinting strength such as Winsor lemon, phthalo blue (red shade) and pyrrole red make a versatile triad. This bold palette can range from dramatic, bold statements featuring rich, intense darks to sensitive, elegant images using delicate tints. The value range runs the gamut from the lightest light to the darkest dark. These dynamic colors generate energy, brilliance and sharp contrast in any subject, including cityscapes, landscapes, portraits and lowers. Non-objective or abstract compositions can be dazzling with this intense triad. The transparency of these colors makes them useful as glazes when well-diluted, but their staining property merits a word of caution: They can’t be lifted easily once they’re dry.

Winsor lemon

Pyrrole red

Phthalo blue (red shade)


Free Spirit (watercolor on paper, 14x20) features an intense palette of Winsor red (pyrrole red), Winsor lemon and Winsor blue (phthalo blue, red shade). It makes rich, low-intensity washes surrounding the glow of the last light of day as it reflects off snow. Does light ever look like this? Maybe not, but the colors express the time of day just as I imagine it. You can take liberties with color if you make your point.

Watercolor Artist

| December 2016



l r


Traditional Palette The traditional palette is a combination of high-intensity, transparent and opaque colors with intermediate to strong intensity strength. Its workhorse colors are found on almost every artist’s palette: new gamboge, French ultramarine and cadmium red. New gamboge lends some transparency to the mixtures, French ultramarine is semitransparent and cadmium red is very opaque. Many artists think of this palette as muddy, but it features a wide range of values. This is an ideal palette for natural subjects: the olive greens of trees and grasses; the subtle violets of shadows; beautiful browns; and earthy yellows. You can dilute mixtures for high-key paintings, but they lack the subtlety of a high-key palette. Even with its limitations, this is a very useful palette, particularly if you supplement the traditional triad with other colors, such as permanent alizarin crimson, to improve its transparency in mixtures.

Patricia Kister’s Just Organic (watercolor on paper, 11x15) emphasizes a full range of values from light to dark using the traditional palette. 62


New gamboge

Cadmium red

French ultramarine


Old Masters’ Palette The early masters were limited in their color choices and used colors much like the ones in this palette: raw sienna, Payne’s gray and burnt sienna. This palette of values and intermediate tinting strength yields low-intensity, semitransparent mixtures. It’s surprising how many artists fall in love with the Old

Masters’ palette when they try it. Its subtlety is sublimely moving and highly effective. Any genre works well in this palette, but the colors are particularly well-suited for portraits, autumn lorals and landscapes. With burnt sienna and Payne’s gray substituting for red and blue,

violet mixtures don’t exist. Instead, a good dark takes its place. The greens and oranges are low key and mysterious. This is the only time I recommend using Payne’s gray on your palette as a color in its own right and not as a quick ix for adding darks to a painting.

Raw sienna

Burnt sienna

Payne’s gray


The unity inherent in harmonious colors is evident in Carla O’Connor’s After Eight (watercolor and gouache on board, 30x22), which reflects the low-intensity color impression of the Old Masters’ palette. O’Connor’s colors set a pensive mood that whispers rather than shouts. This is clearly not the place for phthalo green, cadmium orange or other attention-grabbing colors.

Watercolor Artist

| December 2016



l r


Opaque Palette If you’re looking for unique expression, the opaque palette is a sure way to get it—but it’s tricky. The mixtures are subtle and distinctive. Colors for this wheel are yellow ochre, cerulean blue and Indian red. While cerulean blue seems a bit bright for a low-intensity palette, its density and opacity allow it to it

right in. Indian red has a stronger tinting strength than the other two colors, but they all seem to work well together. Extreme darks are impossible, but you can get dark enough to have effective value contrast. The limited color range of the mixtures makes it interesting. Work on a wet surface

Yellow ochre

Cerulean blue

Indian red


Cerulean blue granulates beautifully on watercolor paper, so I flowed this color onto damp paper with a 3-inch hake brush and rocked the paper gently so the paint would settle in Relics (watercolor on paper, 25x22). The opaque palette makes dusky violets and rich, earthy redoranges, and the low-intensity green mixtures harmonize with all the other colors. I used plenty of water with these colors to ensure that they wouldn’t turn thick and chalky. 64


with the colors, laying them in with a big brush, then leave them alone. If you try to move the colors around, you’ll make instant mud and disturb the granulating effects of the colors. Paint rocks, buildings and landscapes with this palette, and don’t bypass portraits and lowers as intriguing possibilities.

Quinacridone gold

Brown madder


BRIGHT EARTH COLOR WHEEL Pirouette (watercolor on board, 16x12) features the low-intensity colors of the bright earth palette. Strong tinting strength and the option for good light and dark contrasts are key to this color combination. Although you can mix other colors to make these neutrals, you’ll enjoy the convenience of having them together on your palette for lowintensity paintings.

Bright Earth Palette This is my personal favorite among the low-intensity triads. The bright earth palette has powerful tinting strength and is beautifully transparent. With this palette, you can achieve extremes of value from bright lights to rich, powerful darks. Using quinacridone gold, indigo and brown madder, you’re forfeiting violet, but if you need it, you can tweak the color in your painting by

including a brighter red or blue that will yield a violet mixture. Color mixtures of the bright earth palette are more transparent and somewhat brighter than those of the Old Masters’ palette, but still rather low in intensity. This palette results in distinctive portraits and abstract landscapes, but it’s effective for almost any subject matter.

Because brown madder and indigo are staining colors, you won’t be able to do much correcting with this bright earth palette. Excerpted with permission from Exploring Color Workshop, 30th Anniversary Edition by Nita Leland (North Light Books, 2016), available at northlightshop.com and wherever books are sold.

Watercolor Artist

| December 2016



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artworkshops.com Watercolor Artist

| December 2016


ar tist’s marketplace 1/9-1/13/17, Tucson. MISA Winter Workshop at Tanque Verde Ranch. Contact: [email protected] or www.madelineschool.com

1/10-1/12/17, Sacramento. WASH - Sacramento Fine Arts Center. Fearless Flowers. Contact: Susan Davis, 916/359-7691 [email protected]first.com 5/15-5/18/17, CWA California Watercolor Society. Contact: Wendy Oliver, [email protected]

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4/12-4/15/17, Phoenix. Contact: Sheila Belland, 520/350-2577 [email protected]

Quiller Gallery


Call For Entries

Andy Evansen, AWS, PAPA

D E A D L I N E : N OV E M B E R 15 , 2 016 Colorado, Grand Junction, 2017 Rockies West National, 25th Annual Exhibition, February 28 April 1, 2017. Juror: Iain Stewart. $1,000 Best of show, numerous other cash & merchandise awards. Email registration deadline, November 15, 2016. Download Prospecus: www.wcwsociety.org or send SASE to: WCWS, PO Box 3584, Grand Junction, CO 81502-3584

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New Orleans: Louisiana Watercolor Society 47th International Exhibit. May 6-20, 2017. Susan Webb Tregay, juror. $8,000 total prizes. 1st Place: $2,500. Prospectus: www.LouisianaWatercolorSociety.org

Art In The Mountains

D E A D L I N E : JA N UA RY 2 0 , 2 017 Watercolor Art Society-Houston 40th Annual Juried International Exhibition, March 14 - April 6, 2017. Houston, Texas. $6,000 total cash awards, $2,000 first prize. Juror & Instructor: Stephen Quiller. Workshop: March 13-17, 2017. 713/942-9966, [email protected] or www.watercolorhouston.org

Workshops ALABAMA Huntsville Museum of Art 11/7-11/11/16, Huntsville. Ted Nuttall, Watercolor Portraits – Painting the Figure from Photographs. 2/3-2/4/17, Huntsville. Jean Hess, Challenging Collage. 3/16-3/19/17, Huntsville. Kathy Durdin, Loosening Up & Seeing Color Everywhere: Watercolor Portraits. 3/23-3/25/17, Huntsville. Qiang Huang, Still Life Oil Painting. 4/3-4/7/17, Huntsville. Mel Stabin, Watercolor: Simple, Fast and Focused! 8/24-8/26/17, Huntsville. Michael Story, Understanding Skies & Reflections: Landscape Painting in Oil or Pastel. Contact: Laura E. Smith, Director of Education/ Museum Academy, 256/535-4350 x222 [email protected] or http://hsvmuseum.org/ museumacademy/master-artist-workshop

Bev Jozwiak, AWS, NWS Workshop Video on DVDs Start to Finish Paintings

3/25-3/27/17 and 3/29-3/31/17, San Francisco. Alvaro Castagnet, “The Pillars of Watercolor!”, plein air. Intermediate to Advanced Outdoor Painters. Seeking answers and understanding? This workshop will explain all aspects of successful painting using frequent demonstrations and detailed analysis. We will explore a range of subject including composition and design, effectively using light and dark values, color mixing, edges, brush stroke techniques and much more. 7/11-7/13/17, Laguna Beach. Mary Whyte, “Still Life, Portrait and Figure”, watercolor - studio. All levels welcome. Explore the wonders of watercolor with an inspirational three-day workshop in Laguna Beach California. Mary will cover the fundamentals of getting a likeness, planning dynamic compositions, mixing clean colors, achieving value balance and creating paintings with emotion. Her daily demonstrations from life and one-on-one assistance will guide you to making your best paintings ever. 9/11-9/15/17, Monterey. David Taylor, Staying Afloat in Watercolor. Contact: Tracy Culbertson, 503/930-4572 [email protected] or www.artinthemountains.com

Tom Lynch 12/6-12/9/16, Palos Verdes. Contact: 630/851-2652 [email protected] or www.TomLynch.com

6/3-6/9/17, Creede. Experimental Water Media. 4 UR Ranch, PO Box 340, Creede, CO 81130. Contact: Robin Christensen 719/658-2202 or Fax 719/658-2308 [email protected] or www.4urranch.com 8/16-8/26/17, Creede. Intensive Color & Water Media. Quiller Gallery, PO Box 160, Creede, CO 81130. Contact: Marta Quiller, 719/658-2741 [email protected]

F LO R I DA Art School Renaissance, Sarasota 10/28/16, Hodges Soileau Demo. 11/4/16, Vlad Yeliseyev Demo. 11/7-11/9-11/11/16, Vladisalv Yeliseyev, Watercolor Workshop Studio/Plein Air. 11/16-11/18/16, Hodges Soileau, Remaining Open to Painting Possibilities. Oil. Studio. November 2016 - May 2017, Various classes in drawing and painting. 1/30-2/1/17, Lian Quan Zhen, Watercolor and Chinese Painting. 2/6-2/8/17, Bill Farnsworth, Plein Air to Studio. Oil. 2/11-2/13/17, Charlie Hunter, Composition in Plein Air Water based Oil. 3/15-3/17/17, Mark Boedges, Painting Landscape Plein Air. 3/24-3/26/17, Vladislav Yeliseyev, Plein Air Watercolor workshop. For more classes and workshops visit www.yeliseyevstudio.com Contact Marina: 941/330-6865, [email protected]

Jaimie Cordero 2/6-2/9/17, Maitland. Layering Color for Translucent Light & Shadow. 4-Day Watercolor Workshop. Central Florida Watercolor Society. Contact: Richard Lewis, 386/960-7333 [email protected]

Birgit O’Connor 11/14-11/18/16, Calistoga. Floral Abstractions. Contact: Birgit O’Connor, 415/868-0105 [email protected]


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ar tist’s marketplace For questions regarding class contents, contact Jaimie at: 786/303-5293 or email: [email protected]

Tom Lynch 1/23-1/27/17, Bonita Springs. 2/6-2/9/17, The Villages. 2/16-2/18/17, Palm Beach. Contact: 630/851-2652 [email protected] or www.TomLynch.com

Tony van Hasselt, A.W.S. 3/20-3/24/17, Victorian Fernandina. Plein air watercolor fun on sunny Amelia Island. Stately homes with moss-draped oaks plus a harbor, boats and rickety docks. Demonstrations, lots of individual painting time and assistance. Contact: www.vanhasseltworkshops.com

Vladislav Yeliseyev, NWS 2/20-2/22/17, Key Largo. Watercolor Workshop. 3/2-3/4/17, Cape Coral. Art League Watercolor Workshop. Contact: 239/772-5657, www.capecoralartleague.org 3/31-4/2/17, Miami. Watercolor Society Watercolor Workshop. Studio. www.miamiwatercolor.org 11/13-11/15/17, Ft. Myers. Beach Art Association. Contact: 952/210-6888, www.fortmyersbeachart.com November 2016 - May 2017, Sarasota. Watercolor classes and workshops. www.yeliseyevstudio.com Contact: 941/330-6865, [email protected]

GEORGIA Tom Lynch 3/7-3/10/17, Albany. Contact: 630/851-2652 [email protected] or www.TomLynch.com

ILLINOIS Transparent Watercolor Society of America 6/5-6/9/17, Chicagoland/Kenosha. Jean Pederson, “Luscious Wet Portraiture”. 6/5-6/9/17, Chicagoland/Kenosha. Bruce Handford, “Light and Shadow in Rural/Cityscape”. 6/12-6/16/17, Chicagoland/Kenosha. Jean Pederson, “Wet Glazing Stills and Florals”.

6/12-6/16/17, Chicagoland/Kenosha. Bruce Handford, “Bold and Fresh Water/Landscape”. Contact: Vickie, 262/484-1261 [email protected] or www.watercolors.org

LO U I S I A N A Art In the Mountains 3/6-3/8/17, New Orleans. Mary Whyte, The Best of Watercolor, studio. Join Mary Whyte for an extraordinary workshop in watercolor in New Orleans, LA. Paint still life and clothed models. Mary will demonstrate and guide you through the techniques of planning your compositions, drawing, mixing color and creating great backgrounds. She will show you how to work with the model, avoid mistakes and give personal critiques and great tips for marketing your work. Contact: Tracy Culbertson, 503/930-4572 [email protected] or www.artinthemountains.com

landscape at hand with regards to color, composition, and paint handling. The afternoons will be spent painting on your own with plenty of individual guidance from Marjorie. Orrs Island is 30 minutes by car from Portland, Maine airport. 8/27-8/31/17, Stonington. Watercolor Plein Air. This magical coastal landscape is an inspiring place to paint and sets the stage for you to have a wonderful artistic experience with an accomplished artist who loves to teach. This workshop is geared towards all levels and will focus on how color and paint handling can be used to create your own interpretation of the specifics of the landscape. Daily demonstrations, ample time for painting, individual guidance and critiques are included. Stonington, Maine is 90 minutes by car from Bangor, Maine airport. Contact: www.marjorieglick.com


Tom Lynch

Andy Evansen, AWS, PAPA

5/3-5/6/17, Metairie. (New Orleans). Contact: 630/851-2652 [email protected] or www.TomLynch.com


1/26-1/29/17, Boston. New England Watercolor Society. Contact: [email protected] or www.EvansenArtStudio.com

Marjorie Glick


6/11-6/16/17, Stonington. Watercolor Plein Air: Color and Light. This magical coastal landscape is an artists’ paradise! Stretch your perception of how you see, think about, and paint the landscape by learning new ways of interpreting it with color and composition. Express your ideas using watercolor’s elusive qualities of spontaneity and transparency. Expand what you know through individual mentoring. Daily demonstrations, ample time for painting, individual guidance and critiques are included. Stonington, Maine is 90 minutes by car from Bangor, Maine airport. 7/9-7/13/17, Orrs Island. Watercolor Plein air all levels. Orrs Island is a wonderful place to paint because of its varied scenery of quiet coves, rugged coastline, and quintessential New England buildings. Our lodgings have spectacular views from the large porch of sunset and water. Each morning begins with a demonstration that addresses the specifics of the

Chris Unwin Watercolor Workshop Weekly on Wednesdays. West Bloomfield, MI 48322 Spring 2017, Soon Warren. Contact: Chris Unwin, 248/624-4902 [email protected] or www.ChrisUnwin.net

M I N N E S O TA Andy Evansen, AWS, PAPA 10/10-10/13/16, Hastings. Evansen Art Studio. Contact: [email protected] or www.EvansenArtStudio.com

N E VA DA Birgit O’Connor 8/15-8/18/17, Reno. Fearless Florals. August 19 Demonstration 1-3 pm. Contact: Tricia Leonard, [email protected]

Watercolor Artist

| December 2016


ar tist ’s marketplace NEW MEXICO


Birgit O’Connor

4/23-4/27/17, Hendersonville. Don Andrews, Carol Frye, Stephanie Goldman, Ken Goldman, Paul Jackson, Karen Knutson, Sandy Maudlin, Joseph Melancon, Michael Reardon, Jeanne Rosier Smith, Jo Toye, and Lian Quan Zhen. Contact: Robbie Laird, 530/259-2100 www.KanugaWatermediaWorkshops.com

7/17-7/21/17, Cloudcroft. Cloudcroft Art Workshops. Contact: Linda Shiplett, 915/490-5071 [email protected] or [email protected]

N E W YO R K Hudson River Valley Art Workshops 3/19-3/25/17, Lisa Pressman. 3/26-4/1/17, Susan Ogilvie. 5/7-5/13/17, Jane Davies. 5/17-5/21/17, Barbara Nechis. 5/21-5/27/17, Patti Mollica. 6/4-6/10/17, Robert Burridge. 6/18-6/24/17, Liz Kenyon. 6/25-7/1/17, Paul Leveille. 7/5-7/9/17, Paul George. 7/9-7/15/17, Tony van Hasselt. 7/16-7/22/17, Gerald Brommer. 7/23-7/29/17, David Daniels. 8/2-8/6/17, Alvaro Castagnet. 8/6-8/12/17, Kim English. 9/3-9/9/17, Self-Directed Retreat. 9/10-9/16/17, Ann Lindsay. 9/17-9/23/17, David Taylor. 9/24-9/30/17, Leah Lopez. 10/1-10/7/17, Skip Lawrence. 10/8-10/14/17, John MacDonald. 10/15-10/21/17, Fran Skiles. Contact: 888/665-0044 [email protected] or www.artworkshops.com

Tom Lynch 11/10-11/13/16, Raleigh. Contact: 630/851-2652 [email protected] or www.TomLynch.com

Nancy Couick Studios, Charlotte 2/9-2/11/17, Charlotte. Ryan Fox. 3/2-3/5/17, Charlotte. Kim Johnson. 4/5-4/8/17, Charlotte. Peggi Habets. 8/11-8/13/17, Charlotte. Alexis Lavine. Contact: www.nancycouick.com

Birgit O’Connor 6/12-6/16/17, Boone. Cheap Joe’s. Contact: Edwina, 800/227-2788 ext. 1123 [email protected]

OHIO Vladislav Yeliseyev 10/17-10/19/16, Dayton. Watercolor Workshop. Western Ohio Watercolor Society. Contact: [email protected] or www.westernohiowatercolorsociety.org



Art In The Mountains

John C. Campbell Folk School

7/31-8/4/17, Bend. Richard McKinley, Pastels, Plein Air. 8/7-8/11/17, Bend. Herman Pekel, “The Importance of Tone”, oil - plein air and studio. Come join a week of exploring the beauty of color in oils. Designed for all levels of experience in oils, this is an exciting and informative workshop helping you to train your eye in the discipline of observation. There will be demonstrations each day based on the solid fundamental approach championed by the impressionists and realists. We will explore landscapes, streetscapes and waterscapes. 8/14-8/18/17, Bend. Herman Pekel, “Be Brave and Have Fun”, watercolor - plein air and studio. Unearth fresh and honest art inside yourself and learn to

10/23-10/28/16, Marcy Chapman, A Hands-On Exploration of Three Japanese Art Forms. $564. 10/30-11/5/16, Sally B. Pearson, A Path to Better Watercolors. $630. 11/6-11/12/16, Redenta Soprano, Botanical Drawing – Shaker Seed Packs. $630. 12/4-12/10/16, Jane Voorhees, Small-Scale Watercolor for Beginners. $630. 1/4-1/7/17, Alan R. Young, Painting in Dry-Brush Watercolor (Long Wkd) $424. 1/15-1/21/17, Gay Bryant, Watercolor I, $630. Contact: John C. Campbell Folk School Brasstown, NC 800-FOLK-SCH or www.folkschool.org

capture it with paint. Herman will teach you to find originality in your own work. Get started with new ideas in a way that is fun and fast. You will learn about color mixing, glazes, composition, drying time, thickness and edges to create an impressionist painting you never thought possible with watercolor. Expect to be challenged to be brave, and to have fun! 8/21-8/25/17, Bend. Fabio Cembranelli, “Intuitive Painting, Transcending the Subject!”, watercolor, studio. Learn to take advantage of transparent watercolor to create loose, intuitive, free and spontaneous effects in your paintings. Join Fabio Cembranelli and explore wet-on-wet techniques, practicing how to paint with no preliminary drawing. You will learn how to take advantage of your own mistakes and capture the essentials of each subject. 8/28-9/1/17, Bend. Jane Davies, “100 Drawings, Paintings, and Explorations”, acrylic, studio. How do you make good art? How do you make art that is truly yours? My view is that there are no tricks, gimmicks, or shortcuts to this elusive goal: it just takes a lot of art making to cultivate your inner awareness of who you are as an artist. Fortunately, making a lot of art is fun, if you can let go of the expectations and negative voices (that inner critic!) that get in your way. In this workshop we will focus on quantity – making a lot of pieces from a given starting point. Contact: Tracy Culbertson, 503/930-4572 [email protected] or www.artinthemountains.com

P E N N SY LVA N I A Marjorie Glick 9/11-9/15/17, Hummelston. Pennsylvania Watercolor Society. Dynamic Color For Watercolorists. Stretch your perception of how you see, think about, and interpret color while you learn to use color in fresh new ways. You’ll work on subjects of your choosing and will re-imagine them using watercolors elusive qualities of spontanaeity and transparency. My teaching style is relaxed, comprehensive, and eclectic with an emphasis on creative color use. In depth study of color mixing, wet into wet, layering, light and shadow. Contact: PWS Work Shops, [email protected]

the Transparent Watercolor Society of America