"Two characteristics of transparent watercolor that lend toward expressive work are:
1. Exploring the white of the paper. Any white you see in these paintings is the white of the paper shining through. That is, I paint around the white shapes with dark(er) washes to create the image (I.e. reductive, rather than additive painting as in oil or acrylic work). No opaque white paint, ever! At least one well-known juried competition has been known to shine UV light on submitted paintings to make sure everyone is "playing fair."
2. Liberal use of "happy accidents" which occur with little to no intention of the artist. For example bleedbacks or "oozzles" occur when wet paint flows into dry or semi-dry areas. This phenomenon can make for inspiring under-washes, particularly for floral or other organic work. That is to say, I may not have planned a bud, a leaf, or whatever in a particular area, but then I "see" it budding out of the wash, and just "have" to use it!
The exhibited paintings have the common theme of organic shapes (i.e. no architecture, although I do enjoy that as well) and recently (through a fabulous workshop by AZ artist, Ted Nuttall AWS,NWS) developed an interest in watercolor portraiture, two of which you see here. Do you spot the artist, herself (age 5)?
Watercolor work is often considered "so unforgiving," but I think not. Actually, I think watercolorists must pay people to spread that rumor-ha! My mentor, Alexandria artist Gwen Bragg (NWS), always says, (quoting someone else, I've forgotten who) that the definition of being a watercolorist is 'learning to love plan B'--or plan C, D or E...) but it is a lot of fun, as well as freeing."
-- Amanda Lee