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!
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”
Through my paintings I hope to convey the wonder and sense of joy that I find in humanity and in the natural world that surrounds us.I love the vivid colors of alcohol inks, a fluid medium that creates surprising and spontaneous textures and expressions.I also paint with acrylics, watercolors, gouache, pastels, and oils, selecting the materials that best convey the abstract or representational subjects that interest me.Pattern and repetition are sometimes enhanced in my mixed media pieces that incorporate printing techniques, painting, and collage elements.My goal is to engage the viewer in a visual dialogue that encourages and delights.
My paper mache pieces lean toward humor, whimsy and portraying our local animal neighbors.
I start with an armature of chicken wire, Styrofoam or cardboard boxes and tubes. Each piece is layered with newspaper, tissue paper and white glue. After several coats of paint and some attention to the face and eyes, they seem to take on a life of their own, and I’m ready to let them go. Continue reading “Marcia Brennan”