I paint in watercolors standing or sitting at an easel set to vertical. I usually use use 140 pound cold pressed watercolor paper clipped to a backing. My palette is pretty simple: a warm and cool yellow, red, blue and green, sometimes burnt sienna but usually no blacks or brown. I use opposite colors to create neutrals.
I have my color scheme in mind before anything else. I love playing with color combinations . It is like chords in music. First I wet the whole paper with lots of clear water with a big brush and start playing with diluted colors separately allowing the hues to overlap, drip and splatter. ( I insisted on leaving my art room with a painted subfloor so I would not be inhibited by dripping and splashing when "into" my process). This wet on wet technique creates an underpainting that sometimes resembles airbrush because the colors softly change. This phase is almost always beautiful because it is clean and fresh!
The key to working in thin layers or glazes is letting each layer dry before adding another. I love building diaphanous layers with multiple images in some pieces.
I do not usually have a preconceived plan. (I had to work that way as a commercial artist.) I allow images to form and one thing leads to another. This is where I often sense spiritual direction. There is always a back and forth between design knowledge and inspiration.
After I think a piece is done, I keep it around for a while. If there is nothing that bothers me after seeing it for several days and I still like looking at it, I consider it finished.
A few pieces that exhibit my multiple layered technique are "Goddess of Winter", "Many Moons Ago" and "Inspired"
My desire going forward is to create art that is mysterious, poetic and inspiring.
My Painting Process
There are No Mistakes
(the story of my hand-painted mats)
I am not the first person to paint on a mat, but for me it began with an accidental smudge on a 32" x 40" matted full sheet original watercolor. I wanted to finish the piece, but this was the last big mat that I had so I decided to just "make it work". I did some diversionary swaths of color which were extensions of the nearby colors in the picture and one swath demanded another, of course. When finished, I loved the feel of the extra energy created by going beyond the boundaries. This has become a signature part of my work.
I hope you will enjoy this value added feature and love that the piece you choose will be a little different from anyone else's. You can watch me painting mats in the videos below - enjoy!
Starting a Painting
Not Quite Finished
Goddess of Winter