Watercolor Artist4 min letti
Imagined Landscapes
As a young art student, I often heard the phrase, “Mother nature is the best teacher.” The implication from instructors was that an aspiring painter could hope to do no more than to honor and reflect—as honestly as possible—the world that we see arou
Watercolor Artist1 min letti
Artist’s Toolkit
Baron is a fan of Arches 300-lb. cold-pressed watercolor paper, which she mounts on Gatorfoam board. “I love this paper because it can hold a lot of paint and water with less buckle,” she says. The heavy thickness travels well and can handle the abra
Watercolor Artist1 min letti
Dream Catching
Keep a sketchbook near your bed and, upon waking, do a quick thumbnail sketch (or series of sketches) of whatever you can remember of your dreams. Try to keep the drawing as abstract as possible—capture shapes, shadow, light and mood—the essence of t
Watercolor Artist8 min letti
Zen And The Art Of Birds
For Swedish artist Karl Martens, becoming an artist was an offshoot of a personal quest. “I actually have a hard time calling myself an artist,” he says. “What I do is a way to train myself to let go of control through the use of meditation, with pai
Watercolor Artist2 min letti
What Is Your Favorite Painting Spot To Return To Again And Again?
Subject matter that’s close to home appeals to me on both a visual and an emotional level. Having lived on a peninsula since childhood, the water—from the ocean to the bay—is in my blood, so I especially enjoy executing water-themed paintings. Witho
Watercolor Artist1 min letti
Meet the Artist
Karl Martens was born in 1956 in San Francisco to Swedish parents and grew up in Drottningholm, outside Stockholm. At the age of 16, he moved to Switzerland and, from there, to Canada, where he earned a B.A. in fine arts from Ontario College of Art &
Watercolor Artist3 min letti
Working the Room
I’ve spent a good part of my career painting the beautiful architectural detail of the outside of buildings, but I must admit that painting and drawing interiors has always brought me particular pleasure. The variety of elements inside the four walls
Watercolor Artist1 min letti
Paint a Golden Eagle
Martens subscribes to a traditional Chinese theory of the power of the first brushstroke. He believes that the first stroke must be highly energized and that this energy will carry through to the rest of the painting. Here, the first stroke establish
Watercolor Artist1 min letti
From Sketch to Studio
An on-site sketch helped me establish the composition and design of this interior scene, but it did much more than that. It gave me time to breathe in the atmosphere and set memories that would play out as I created the in-studio version of The Antiq
Watercolor Artist1 min letti
Juror Tips
“I look for the ‘Three Cs’—composition, color and content. Those are foremost in my mind when I judge a painting. Of the three, as I say to my classes, ‘composition is king.’” KATHLEEN CONOVER “When submitting a painting into a juried show, choose
Watercolor Artist2 min letti
The Inside Story
SURFACE: half sheet of Saunders Waterford 140-lb. rough watercolor paper BRUSHES: Tintoretto or Da Vinci rounds PAINTS: M. Graham watercolors: • sepia• neutral tint• permanent orange• cadmium yellow light• yellow ochre• raw sienna With my on-site s
Watercolor Artist1 min lettiNature
Beyond Birds
Recently the artist has ventured beyond images of birds to take on other creatures. “It’s a whole different challenge,” he says. “In one way it’s more difficult because I have to study them more.” Lack of familiarity is not the only difficulty. “If y
Watercolor Artist3 min letti
Small Wonders
My painting process always starts small. My preliminary pencil sketches allow me to work out design problems ahead of time. It’s an extremely important step. I won’t even pick up a paintbrush until I’ve done a value sketch. It’s how I develop a compo
Watercolor Artist5 min letti
The Best of 2020 (in Watercolor)
“In 2017, I received a Morehead State University internal research grant to work with an ethnic group for a series of artwork. I visited the southern part of Tibet for 10 days and took more than 100 photos of the people and landscapes while I was the
Watercolor Artist1 min letti
Editor’s Note
The year 2020, as many have already noted, has not been typical. Among the many pandemic-related disappointments was the sudden avalanche of cancellations and postponements of art events that had been long in the planning. From major museum exhibitio
Watercolor Artist1 min letti
Whiskey painters Of America
A whiskey painting is a miniature watercolor painting created by a bonafide, lifetime signature member of the Whiskey Painters of America (WPA). Formed in the 1950s, the WPA is a unique and exclusive painting society with only 150 members worldwide.
Watercolor Artist1 min letti
Look Up!
American artist Carrie Waller (carriewallerfineart.com) has been living in Japan for more than six years. When a priest invited her to visit the Hamura Temple during a celebration, Waller captured the memory later in a small watercolor. “As we entere
Watercolor Artist1 min letti
Watercolor Artist
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Anne Hevener SENIOR DESIGNER Brian Roeth SENIOR EDITOR Holly Davis MANAGING EDITOR Christina Richards ADVERTISING CONSULTANT Mary McLane Northeastern, Western U.S. & International; 970/290-6065mmclane@goldenpeakmedia.com ADVERTISING C
Watercolor Artist6 min letti
Creatures GREAT AND SMALL
Peggy Macnamara was gathering reference material for painting when I called her for an interview last August. “I’ve been catching spiders because it’s their time,” she told me, and then explained that she collects them in plastic zipper bags, keeping
Watercolor Artist1 min letti
New + Notable
This artful set of 10 watercolor pencils will set the tone for your time at the easel, with graphic prints. They can be used wet or dry. CHRONICLEBOOKS.COM This eco-friendly printed wallpaper mural would look lovely positioned over an easel or work
Watercolor Artist1 min letti
Art Strips
“In graduate school I was taken with Chinese art,” Macnamara says. “The vertical and horizontal storytelling format always intrigued me. They felt like early graphic novels.” She chose a vertical presentation for Artstrip and Artstrip 2 (both waterco
Watercolor Artist1 min letti
NWWS Broadens Guidelines
After a year of challenge and adjustment, change is something to which we’re all learning to adapt—and watercolor societies are no different. The Northwest Watercolor Society (NWWS) announced in July of 2020 that for its 80th annual show, it would ac
Watercolor Artist1 min letti
Artist’s Toolkit
Lanaquarelle watercolor paper: “I use hot-pressed paper because the water slides around on it,” says Macnamara. She also points out that making corrections—scrubbing away what she doesn’t like—is easier on the heavy-weight paper. • yellow ochre• lemo
Watercolor Artist1 min letti
Raggin’ On: The Art of Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson’s House and Journals
After her death in 2015, artist Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson’s estate was bequeathed to the Columbus Museum of Art (CMA). In the first major exhibition of her art since that time, “Raggin’ On: The Art of Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson’s House and Journal
Watercolor Artist1 min letti
Making Changes
“The ability to make changes,” Macnamara says, “changes everything. If I get an urge to try something, I don’t freak out thinking I won’t be able to change my mind.” When she needs to remove something she has painted, she either lifts color with a we
Watercolor Artist1 min letti
What’s Online
Artist Peggy Macnamara (see page 32) sets the record straight by addressing common misconceptions and falsehoods about watercolor. artistsnetwork.com/go/watercolor-myths Thomas Schaller’s (see page 14) watercolor paintings alone are enough to stir e
Watercolor Artist1 min letti
Meet the Artist
Peggy Macnamara, born and raised on Chicago’s North Side, holds a B.A. in art history from Manhattanville College, in Purchase, N.Y., and an M.A. in the same field from the University of Chicago, but she worked as a legal aide before making art her c
Watercolor Artist1 min letti
Sagnik Biswas
Formally trained as an architect, Sagnik Biswas (paintpaperbrush.com) of Mumbai, India taught himself how to use watercolors before he ever went to school. His first watercolors—a Camlin set—was a gift from his father in 1976, purchased at a market i
Watercolor Artist6 min lettiVisual Arts
Grand VISTAS
“I LOVE THE OUTDOORS,”  says Rhode Island artist Cindy Baron. “I love finding the places that hardly anybody sees but me.” This sentiment carries through to her landscape paintings, which let us glimpse what seem to be new continents, ones that she s
Watercolor Artist2 min letti
“Silken Banners To The Sun”
The Isles of Shoals are nine rockbound projections rising from the Atlantic Ocean, 10 miles off the coast of Portsmouth, N.H. Once a fishing port, the islands were all but abandoned after the Revolutionary War, so it was something of a gamble when, i
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