There are milestones in every artistic journey, and a big one for me was achieving Signature status in the Northwest Watercolor Society (NWWS). I feel very blessed to have reached this goal in such a short time – the first show I entered was in 2010.
What is Signature Membership, and why was that status in this organization so important to me? Signature status allows me to add “NWWS” after my name on my website, business cards, paintings and marketing materials. It’s a signal to buyers, gallery owners and other artists that my work has been recognized by some of the top artists in the country. As I begin to teach and offer demos, it lets interested attendees know that I have been painting at a high level for a number of years.
To receive Signature Membership, an NWWS member must be accepted into two International Open Exhibitions, or two Waterworks (members only) and one Open. The NWWS has very high standards for jurors, and most have multiple Signature memberships of their own in regional and national organizations.
The NWWS has been recognized by The Artists Magazine as one of the ten most prominent regional watercolor societies in North America. While most members reside in Washington, Oregon and California, the organization has recently begun to accept membership from international artists. Shows typically receive hundreds of entries, so to be one of the 60-75 paintings accepted is quite an accomplishment.
The title, show, year and the juror for qualifying shows are:
Illumination* | Waterworks 2011 | John Salminen, NWS, AWS.DF
Flight | 75th International Open 2015 | Judy Morris, AWS, NWS, NWWS
A Taste Of Spring | Waterworks 2016 | Fealing Lin, NWS, WW, SDWS
*Illumination received the President’s Merit Award
Want to achieve predictable results in watercolor? Believe it or not, it is possible! Join me for a free demo from 12:00 – 1:30 PM on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at the Bellevue location of Daniel Smith Artist Materials.
I’ll be showing exercises that can jump-start your mastery of the colors you already use, and how to integrate new colors into your palette. We’ll talk about how certain pigments are “shy” and others are more gregarious (yes, colors have personality!)
Other topics I’ll touch on are painting with intention, embracing where you’re at on your watercolor journey, and how take intimidation out of the 10,000 hour rule. Bring your questions, and a friend – I look forward to seeing you!
2/12/17 – Thank you so much to everyone that came out for the demo – it was a full house! One of the exercises I showed was getting to know a brand-new color, in this case, Payne’s Blue Grey.
First step is to do a simple square of water, dropping the color into one corner and dragging it out into the water. The goal is to see how the color settles out as it dries – some color will leave a subtle “aftertaste” of one of the pigments that make up the color. Next up was two-color blends, then a three-color blend. Click the thumbnail to see a larger image…
If every artist has their kryptonite, trees are mine. I can find the shape, shadow and expression of horses, people, buildings and skies, but trees have been much harder to grasp. Maybe it’s the chaotic distribution of overlapping shapes and intertwined branches that confuses my eye, or an inability to describe the random holes the sky cuts into a tree. In fact, when painting trees, I often forget to leave “space for the birds to fly through.” (I wish I knew which artist originally gave that advice!)
This has been an issue for years – I’ve had the Drawing Trees book by William F. Powell, part of the Walter Foster “How to Draw and Paint” series, since it was published in 1997. So this year, I’m going to focus on drawing and painting trees. From the individual details of bark, needles or leaves, cones and seeds to the shape of the different species, my goal is to understand the anatomy of the tree. (Much like I’ve studied horses in the past.)
While I’ve managed a few successful landscapes recently that included trees, it has felt like a lucky break rather than a true mastery of the shape and form of wooded spaces. A few of the studies I’ve completed from Drawing Trees are included. (The watercolor was completed on New Year’s Day while staying at Lincoln City, OR.)