As far back as I can remember, I have gravitated towards art. As a kid I would sit on the floor in front of the coffee table, drawing the animals in National Geographic, plus any and all horse photos I could find! I pursued my interest in art throughout high school, and was named the Arts Council of Snohomish County’s Student Artist of the Year.
Over the next 20 years, while working full time in automotive and then graphic design, I experimented with many mediums, including colored pencil, pastel, ink wash, scratchboard and graphite. In 2006 I had the opportunity to study watercolor, a long-time interest. I’ve always loved the incandescent quality of watercolor paintings, so I jumped at the chance to take an Intro to Watercolor class. I’ve since studied with Tom Schaller, Don Andrews, Judi Betts, Donna Zagotta and Kay Barnes, concentrating on picking up their techniques and advice while working to build my own style.
I tend to focus on portraits, although my subjects are more likely to be animals or objects than people. As with most artists, the play of light and shadow fascinates me, especially the way light plays on a form, and the shape-within-a-shape created by shadows.
For someone as detail-oriented as I am, watercolor is a great medium because I can’t control every aspect. My paintings are very layered, with big, wet washes of color on the bottom that force me to abandon the “local” color from my source photo. As the subject develops, I like to create texture and depth with a variety of dry-brush techniques.
One question I get asked a lot is: why do I sign my paintings “Ré?” Growing up, my mom always called me Ré (pronounced “ray”) and I got used to signing things that way. When I started painting, it just felt natural!
My artist statement talks about my motivation as an artist.