Watercolor has always been my first love when it comes to art.
It is impulsive and strategic at the exact same moment. The juxtaposition of wet and dry areas on the paper provides the first challenge. It is about control or lack thereof… leaving white space… painting in the negative… keeping it loose or buttoned up and tight… The glazing of transparent color over color to see a painting emerge and start to glow is very satisfying. I have worked in a variety of mediums, but watercolor continues to be my constant… my playful companion on a quiet afternoon.
I appreciate the child-like innocence of color, movement, and subject matter. Simplicity in subject matter is key for me. I enjoy strong color combinations with pattern and design, a simple subject with an imagined back story. I am inspired by the longing for a simpler time… but with polka dots and a stripe or two… In the early years, I took workshops in Taos, Santa Fe, Houston, and Fort Worth. I was the only one in class with a polka dot landscape. I like to keep it interesting.
For years, I taught seasonal watercolor workshops where we painted the springtime Texas wildflowers, autumn and holiday card designs. At that point, my home base gallery was a unique space, a Floral Design and Art gallery on the town square. My large scale florals complimented a very talented artist and floral designer and we worked well together selling flowers, both on paper and fresh! When the gallery moved to New Mexico, my sunflowers went along and sold very well. Thus, I still paint large florals on occasion. The “Ladies Who Lunch” watercolors were first inspired by the ladies who dined at a local tearoom in town and then attended the Opera House for theatre performances on a Sunday afternoon. I’ve painted these ladies ever since, usually with a cat on their head or a dog in their lap. In the past eight years, I’ve had a card line, “Brush & Twig” and worked on those designs and sold thousands of cards through shows, shops and my website. The pandemic cancelled art shows so we began to plan our retirement and the likely move from Texas to Western North Carolina.
During the pandemic, I began to tinker in my long time “found objects” stash and started to play with arranging these items in small vintage wood boxes. Always a fan of Joseph Cornell, I enjoyed the idea of interesting arrangements in boxes. I found the monochromatic nature of textures and the warmth of the wood a welcome diversion to my everyday colorful painting. With time and a bit of scouting, I may find myself making a box here and there as materials speak to me. There seems to be a wealth of found objects in this area, so who knows what will inspire the next assemblage!
Sharyn has been depicting Western North Carolina with her watercolors for over 40 years, and has no plans to slow down. Misty mountains, old barns, Queen Anne’s Lace, and waterfalls are just a few of her favorite subjects. She uses many different weights of watercolor paper, and never tires of trying new paints, brushes, and surfaces. Continue reading “Sharyn Fogel”
The play of light and shadow washing over a subject is what grabs my attention. I never know where a subject will take me.
Each medium has its own challenges and rewards; graphite is comfortable and relaxing, while watercolor keeps me on my toes finding the balance of planning steps ahead while keeping the painting fresh and spontaneous. It’s an incredibly rewarding process. Continue reading “Donna Huyett”