I had a rare opportunity to travel to Arizona for a watercolor workshop from a famous Chinese artist, and visit my sister Emily in Gilbert at the same time. I convinced her to take the workshop with me, so we could paint alongside each other like we did when we were younger.
This is a sister with so much natural talent for watercolor, and an innate freedom and freshness in her work. But she rarely takes the time to create. About 20 years ago, I had a client in Santa Cruz commission 24 watercolors to illustrate their fragrance line. I knew there was no way I could complete all 24 by their deadline, so I enlisted the help of my sister, and hired her to create several of the paintings. To this day, you cannot tell which are hers and which are mine. Our styles are that similar.
I was driving to her house, anticipating this gift of time with my sister, painting together. The radio, wifi and cell service had drifted out long ago, and I was alone with my thoughts when I reached this section of highway. I was so stunned by the beauty...the layers of mesas fading into the distance, the red rocks of the middle ground, and the vibrant foliage in the foreground, I pulled off to the side of the road to take a picture. I finally painted it last fall, using a favorite palette comprised mainly of Daniel Smith's Primatek mineral pigments, plus a few rich transparents for glazing. This is the result. I love the authenticity of both color and texture these mineral pigments bring to a landscape.
Last month "Arizona Highway" was juried into the Utah Watercolor Society Fall Show which opens tomorrow (October 6) at the Bountiful Davis Art Center. Come see the original (plus two larger pieces) this weekend.
Utah Watercolor Society Fall Show
October 6 -November 17, 2017
Bountiful Davis Art Center
90 N Main St. Bountiful, UT 84010
Opening reception: Oct. 6, 7:00 pm
I am an artist and art instructor working in water media. Just knowing I can watch colors run together makes it worth getting out of bed every morning! Helping students capture the same excitement is equally rewarding.