About Angela Fehr

I'm a 37-year-old professional watercolour artist living in northern British Columbia, a painter and creative loving the beauty found in everyday moments.

7 Steps for Watercolor Painting Success: Webinar Announcement

The webinar filled up in 7 hours!! You can register for the second session which will be taking place April 17th, 5:00pm PST.

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8415089519313907458

palette for web page

I’m excited and nervous to announce my very first webinar, on Apr 16, 2015 at 5:00 PM PST. I’ll be telling the story of my watercolor journey, sharing seven steps to improving your watercolor paintings and taking questions from the webinar guests. I hope you’ll join me, and even if you can’t make it at the time, you’ll sign up so you can listen to the broadcast after the session wraps up. 

Register now!

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8098249850542893314

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

How to Make A Plein Air Travel Watercolor Painting Kit

I love living in the country. Last night my daughters got out of bed to tell us to check out the northern lights (so I guess when they should be sleeping they are trying to escape out the window?). As soon as my foot hit the front porch the coyotes started howling less than a hundred yards away. We watched the dancing glow of aurora borealis and marveled. Even though we see the northern lights several times a year (and this winter has been especially vibrant), every time it’s a new show and always beautiful and mysterious.

Maybe I won’t be moving to any of the places we visited on our trip after all.

While I am still trying to get my bearings after getting home (so much to DO!), I was able to wrap up and post a new video to Youtube. This one shares how I put together a watercolor travel kit that fit in my suitcase for our vacation. While I never did try painting in the car, I was able to enjoy a couple of plein air painting sessions and lots of poolside painting after a day of sightseeing. Enjoy!

 

Painting On Vacation

I really enjoyed every opportunity I had to paint while on vacation. Most of the time, this took place beside a hotel pool after a day of sightseeing and activities, but I was able to paint on location in San Simeon, California, and at Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Today I thought I’d share a few of the sketches and paintings I completed while travelling.

oleander | Angela Fehr watercolours

First up is this 5″ x 7″ watercolour of the pretty flowers beside our favourite pool in Lake Havasu City. I didn’t know what kind of flowers they were until one of my watercolour students saw the painting on my Facebook page and said they looked like oleanders. I googled it, and they are. They sure don’t grow here in northern British Columbia! “Pink Oleander” is available for sale in my etsy shop.

palms | Angela Fehr watercolours

Same pool, different viewpoint. We lived near coconut palms in Papua New Guinea when I was growing up, and were well trained to never sit under a coconut tree for fear of getting hit by a falling coconut. I didn’t see any coconut palms on this trip, just these more decorative varieties.

san simeon sketch 5x7 | Angela Fehr watercolours

I had forgotten until my husband pointed it out that we had staying in San Simeon, California, before. We drove through California when we were first married, I think in 2001. It’s such a quiet little village and the beach is peaceful. I even surprised a little seal on my morning walk along the beach.

san simeon sketch large | Angela Fehr watercolours

We came back and walked along the beach at sunset, which inspired this painting. This is my favourite painting from the trip, even with that little drip along the edge, an artistic touch courtesy of the California wind.

san simeon sunset | Angela Fehr watercolours

Earlier in our trip (I’m not exactly sharing these in order), we drove through Sedona, Arizona. A sick child and tight schedule meant we didn’t have time to explore off the highway, but we stopped a couple of times so I could snap photos of what is arguably the most beautiful place in Arizona.

sedona cliffside | Angela Fehr watercolours

Even though these studies are flawed and awkward, they will help me interpret my reference photos when I am working in the studio and trying to remember the feeling and realities of visiting these beautiful places in the United States.

sedona viewpoint | Angela Fehr watercolours

Landscapes by my Online Watercolor Workshop Students

It’s been a while since I shared any student work on this page. I now have six online watercolor courses available and with every painting posted in the student gallery the information available in each course increases as my students and I discuss how to make our paintings stronger. 90% of painting is problem solving; figuring out how to translate what we see onto paper, and then how to correct when we make mistakes. I can promise you, not one of my paintings is completely free of error, and I’ve learned to see that problem solving as enjoyable, not fearful.

My landscape course launched in January, and it’s my best course to date. So much information on a huge topic. In the course I demonstrate a number of different types of scenes in watercolor, including this simple meadow landscape (which is also the view from the end of my driveway). Here’s a version painted by Joyce, who is a great student because she is willing to paint the same scene over and over again. Such a great way to learn as every time we paint a subject we gain confidence and learn to “see” it better.

Student Watercolor work | Angela Fehr watercolours

Kelly shared two versions of a coastal landscape. I live in a landlocked region of Canada, so painting the ocean was a bit of a stretch for me, but really every scene is a matter of learning to see value and as you can see by Kelly’s paintings, the more contrast we have in our paintings, the more impact our paintings will have, as in her painting on the right.

kelly

My students come from all over the world, and this is reflected in their choice of scenery. Birgitte is from Denmark, and I love being able to “travel” every time I see her paintings.

birgitte

Penny painted this reservoir in Wyoming and the red rocks remind me of my recent vacation in the southwest. I love the reflections in the water. My favourite part of watercolor is the blending of fluid colour, so I love seeing my students let color do its thing in their paintings, rather than trying to control it too much.

penny landscape

Viviane has a similar soft effect in her misty lake scene. Doesn’t it make you feel relaxed?

vivianne

Julianne shared this meadow painting that’s both peaceful and colorful. Her dark values make the lighter colors pop.

julieanna

My original painting course on Skillshare is at 1900 students. When I launched that class in 2013, I had no idea that I was moving into a new phase of my art business and that teaching online would become a big part of what I do. While I am now teaching in my own online school, the Skillshare course does continue, though it seems that the students in my other courses are more engaged in sharing their work and completing the courses. If you’re a member my Skillshare course I encourage you to check out my new school at http://learn.angelafehr.com and start by enrolling in my free course “The Joy of Watercolor”. I also have a Facebook group created just for my watercolour students to talk watercolor, called Angela Fehr Watercolor Workshop and you are welcome to join!

Adventuring: Beauty in the USA

I’m home from vacation and I can’t wait to tell/show you all of our adventures during our time in the United States! We flew to Las Vegas three weeks ago and rented a car and toured through Arizona, California, Utah and Nevada.

Three weeks is a long time to be gone, and while it’s nice to be home, we are already remembering with nostalgia our favourite parts of the journey. My children are 8, 10 and 12; perfect ages to travel and adventure with. They are game for anything and we hiked, swam and splashed in the ocean, went to car shows and shopping centres, stayed up late in our hotel room watching reality TV (the kids love a show called “Prospectors”), tried American candy and took hundreds of photos. I got to “flyboard” on Lake Havasu which is an amazing experience! Some of my favourite moments were spent poolside, painting scenes from our trip while the kids splashed.

A few towns made me want to move. Monterey, California; SUCH a beautiful place! We drove up the coast from Ventura to Monterey and California just seemed like such a place of excess with everything blooming and abundant. Not to mention that Monterey is a haven for artists; galleries, art events and some of the best artists in the world. I do sometimes feel very remote; tucked away in northern British Columbia, hundreds of miles from all the excitement. Thank goodness for the internet!

Monterey, California | Angela Fehr

We spent a few days in St. George, Utah. Another truly beautiful spot, majestic and peaceful. While we didn’t get to Zion National Park, we did make time to hike in Snow Canyon and Red Cliffs Conservation Area. Both beautiful spots and I took many, many photos. I just love the contrast of red cliffs and blue sky!

Red Cliffs Conservation Area, St. George, Utah | Angela Fehr

I’m looking forward to showing and telling you more as the days go by. Family vacations are few and far between for us; it is always hard to find the money for travel and I am so thankful that my art business has made this easier. It really does strengthen our family bond to be able to spend “fun time” together and I like that I can be less focused on the “work” of raising three children (homeschooling, chores, behaviour training, discipline) and throw the schedule away and just have fun. We have many places we want to visit before they all grow up and it becomes harder to do stuff all together. It will happen before we know it! I want you to know that every painting you buy or watercolour course you purchase not only helps me to build my art business, but it helps bless our family and I appreciate it more than I can say.

biking at Ventura, CA | Angela Fehr

Waterton Viewpoints & a Fundraiser Update

There’s a fresh smell in the air, and a lightness in my step. Spring has a way of lifting the burden of winter that you didn’t even realize was there. It’s like a skiff of new snow, beautiful and crystal-shimmered, successive snows thickening the drifts until the land groans under the weight. On Friday night we attended Stuart McLean’s “Vinyl Cafe” performance (he’s a Canadian storyteller and a family favourite) and he commented, “It must be beautiful here in Dawson Creek at Christmas.” The entire auditorium burst out laughing. We are so accustomed to people shuddering at the length of our winters, the deep cold and dreariness of dark winter days that the beauty of our winters is not something we expect people to equate with the north. I mean, it is beautiful; we just like to keep that part a secret!

We’re so close to spring, we can smell it, and I’m recalling last spring’s trip to Waterton National Park. What a stunning park, and so peaceful! We were there in mid May and the snow was almost completely gone and hints of green just starting to appear. I’ve been enjoying painting it in miniature, 5 x 7 inch landscapes that will be sent to my charity fundraiser donors. Can I just thank you all for giving?Together we raised $1,410 for Gospel for Asia and suffering women in Asia. Thank you!

"Red Rock Pathway" watercolor by Angela Fehr

“Along the Red Rock” watercolor on paper 5″ x 7″ 

These little 5″ x 7″ paintings are so fun to paint. I can make one in an hour, if you don’t count the drying time between the different elements. There is little risk in painting such a small painting and maybe that’s why they almost always turn out. Fresh & fun.

 "Waterton's Wake" watercolor on paper 5x7 inches by Angela Fehr

“Waterton’s Wake” watercolor on paper 5″ x 7″

Rockface at Waterton watercolor by Angela Fehr http://angelafehr.com

“Rockface at Waterton” watercolor on paper 5″ x 7″

"Waterton Viewpoint" watercolor by Angela Fehr

“Waterton Overlook” watercolor on paper 5″ x 7″

Red Hot Colour: Playing with Fluid Watercolor

I have been having so much fun playing with colour lately. With a small painting (this one is 5″ x 7″), I can be adventurous with color and let daring combinations happen, like red & turquoise and a new fun colour in my palette, Phthalo Yellow Green from Daniel Smith.

Carnivale, original watercolor painting by Angela Fehr

Painting from my imagination is so liberating. It almost feels like cheating to just drop in colours that please me, play with shapes and lines and dots. This 5″ x 7″ is available on my new “Watercolour Sketchbook” etsy shop. The Etsy shop will be where I list studies, sketches or colour exercises that are smaller or more affordably priced than the larger pieces on my gallery page. I’m happy to be able to present options for art collectors of all budgets. (Note: I will be closing the Etsy shop while we are on vacation for three weeks this month, so if you wish to make a purchase, please do so by March 9th).

Five Fun Florals in Watercolor

Paintings are happening!

I’m realizing that my work goes a little bit in spurts. Working on several paintings at once means that I usually have several great beginnings, but getting from there to the completed painting can be a little bit of a slog.

So it’s been fun for me to work on these small 5″ x 7″ paintings that will be gifted to my charity fundraiser $50 donors. They have been so generous that I have quite a list of paintings to send out!

"Blues" watercolor by Angela Fehr

 Many of the donors have requested a floral theme. So much for the “wisdom” that says artists shouldn’t paint florals! (I have actually heard this, and I think it’s ridiculous. Paint whatever you darn well want, is what I live by.)

"Lilac Sisters" watercolor by Angela Fehr

(two lilac themed paintings)

Painting floral themes is very liberating for me because I love exploring shape and colour and flowers are very forgiving. Not every artist feels this way. I had one artist tell me “Landscapes are harder than florals” and I was in agreement, and then another artist overheard her and responded that for her it was the opposite. So we all have our own natural bent, and that’s okay.

"Orchids 2" watercolor by Angela Fehr

I love growing orchids and have at least 8 different orchid plants in my home. They are easy to care for and the blooms last for ages, brightening a bleak winter’s day.

 "Reds" watercolor by Angela Fehr

This one was just a fun exploration of colour. The flowers are pretty little posies, more design elements than based on actual blooms. Artists can do that, you know! Invent a flower? Why not?

These blossoms don’t wither, and they brighten the day. My donors are getting a $100 painting free for their donation of $50 and you can too by donating here! This opportunity ends March 8, 2015.

Ten Reasons to Feel Great at 38

I turned thirty-eight on the weekend and I have to say that for the artist, aging doesn’t have to be a threatening concept. After all, for the artist, one’s art can only get better with age and experience. My paintings are the sum of my experiences in life and my skill with my chosen medium, so the passing of time is a good thing!

A few more reasons turning 38 is just fine:

  1. Mind-blowing fundraiser. My “Hope for Women” birthday campaign has raised over $1300 for women in Asia and with just a few days left, I think we might just triple my original goal of $500. Thank you!
  2. Fabulous cake. I try to make the fanciest cake I can think of for my birthday as an excuse to really indulge, and this year’s triple chocolate mousse cake was seriously over the top! So good.
  3. Health. This year I’ve seen a few nagging things pop up (just ask me about my bunions, I dare you!) but overall I’m so thankful to be healthy and strong. No one should ever take this for granted.
  4. People. The longer I live, the more amazing people I get to meet. I’ve got an incredible family (more on that later) and I love encountering new and interesting people, making friends and seeing relationships evolve and mature.
  5. Experiences. Getting older means more opportunities to experience new things. This year that means travel, but some years it’s just little things. Trying a new food, learning a new skill, hearing a new song or reading a special book.
  6. Perspective. Age and maturity have helped me to realize that 1. I can’t always trust my emotions and 2. I will survive whatever difficulty I am enduring. My children are 8, 10 and 12, and when they are going through a frustrating time, there is no convincing them that they will get through it and it’s not as big a deal as it seems. I am encouraged when I remember how past troubles have shaped me into a stronger person and I can trust God to help me with whatever is next.
  7. Family. For many years my parents lived on the other side of the world. I am so thankful they live nearby now and we can share so many memories.
  8. Family. My husband and I have been married for seventeen years and I can’t take for granted the joy of sharing life with a best friend and partner who is so worthy of my respect. I look forward to growing old with this guy. And my kids; as they get older I look forward more and more to all the experiences we will share and enjoy who they are becoming.
  9. My painting career. I love that I can do what I love AND view it as a career that is growing and moving ahead. It can be a frustrating, slow-moving journey, but it is always richly rewarding and exciting to imagine what lies ahead and what doors art will open to me, as it has already.
  10. I’m not 40 yet! Okay, this is silly, because I resolved long ago to embrace whatever age I’ve attained as a sign I’m still alive. And that’s a good thing!

Happy birthday to me!