I am primarily a watercolor painter, and though I sometimes work in mixed media, I especially enjoy the interplay of water and pigments on paper.
I began watercolor painting as a means to depict some of the imaginary journeys I experienced during a workshop on guided imagery. I could see very well, in my imagination, the scenes of those inner journeys, and I wanted to bring them to life and remember them in pictures. In those days, I just used an inexpensive watercolor set that my toddler used; little did I know what watercolor as a medium could be! A few years later, I took a watercolor class by a local artist. On the first day, as I watched her create magical effects using professional-quality paints and paper, I was hooked.
I adore that watercolor is a cocreative medium in which the artist is just one of the participants: the others are the paint, water, paper, air, gravity, and other materials that can be added to influence the outcome. I especially love the surprises that the medium offers, though it also brings unique challenges. I feel that watercolor is like life: there is much to enjoy and to learn, even after years. And a touch of courage is very helpful!
A few years ago I found in my parents’ attic a handful of drawings from my early childhood. Even then, at age six, I empathized with animals, and they were the main subjects of my art. In one picture, I had drawn a scene of sad-faced creatures gathered in their burned-down forest, asking us to “Prevent forest fires!” Today, the natural world and its creatures remain the most compelling inspiration for my art. I’m easily awestruck by such things as the textures and colors of a wide landscape, or the details of a plant or animal (or rock!), or the ephemeral orchestra of visual delights at sunset or of fog rolling in over the coast. Creating art that is inspired by such things feels like an act of gratitude for the wonders of nature.