Mom's (Ann's) November blog post about her connections to other artists and their influence on her artwork got me thinking about the artists who have influenced me. It took me a while to get around to writing about it here. Lately I've been squeezing in whatever tiny art projects I can into my life. Tiny watercolor paintings mostly on art cards have been a good way to do that. I even got a cute itty bitty Winsor & Newton travel watercolor set to try to make it easy to pull out some painting supplies. The supplies are also small enough to fit up high on the bookcase out of reach of toddler Tyler (who is almost three)!
I dabbled in watercolor painting throughout grade school, but I didn't really get a solid grounding in it until college. My professor for Watercolor Painting and Color Design courses was Wendell Arneson at Saint Olaf College. I didn't realize until taking his watercolor course what a difference a good paint brush can make. Try painting a thin straight line with one of those cheap paint brushes most kids use and then switch to a professional watercolor brush. Frustration be gone!
I really enjoyed both courses. We learned some really cool things about color design such as how to make one color look like it is too different colors. One of my favorite things that I learned from Wendell was that if you add a little bit of an "ugly" color to your painting, it can really make your painting "zing!" (I'm still working on that one.)
My favorite watercolor technique was creating a puddle of water and then dropping in the colors. I have been using this technique with my mini watercolors a lot. It's just fun to watch the colors swirl together. It can be hard to be patient for one section to dry to be able to continue with the painting. I can work on multiple little paintings at once to keep myself entertained. I've been pondering the idea of doing a really huge painting this way. I'm not exactly sure I can figure out the logistics of doing that before I can get a regular studio space again.
The painting below was from painting over some old watercolor exercises. I've chopped up all my random bits of watercolor paper and old exercises. Tyler and I have been painting on them. Since most of Tyler's paintings are mostly random washes of color, I'm planning to add more to those one of these days, too.
Mother & daughter, Ann Lee & Sonja Lee-Austin share their joys and struggles in their art and lives.