I’ve been working on my foliage painting and just had to capture the beauty I get swept up in when I am painting with fluid pigment and water. It’s mesmerizing! Enjoy this one minute moment of meditative bliss and have a wonderful weekend.
Over the last couple of years I’ve been working on a specific area of my paintings and it’s been a longer journey than I would have thought. I can trace my artistic growth through a range of stages, bookmarked by paintings that signified a breakthrough for me. From my very first “I can be an artist!” watercolour to just last week, I can pinpoint where I was at any given time in my career by what I was painting at the time.
These last two years have been about landscape painting in a big way. I have said before that painting flowers feels like “coming home.” It’s comfortable, expressive, and almost effortless to shape petals, leaves and sunshine into a floral that is clearly an “Angela Fehr.” Landscapes, however, are a lot less predictable. I have struggled with the desire to create landscapes that have a distinctive Angela style and are expressive without being exacting. It is not easy to find the balance between realism and self-expression, and I think it is this awareness of how much I have to learn that has helped me be a sympathetic watercolour teacher. We are all on the same journey!
With that said, it feels like recently I’ve started to find my feet in painting landscapes a little more confidently. The paintings you see today are all scenes from the same trip to Red Deer Falls in the northern Rocky Mountains southwest of Tumbler Ridge, BC. We had a wonderful offroad adventure there back in June. The first painting is a little less assured, and yet there are hints of emerging style in the shapes of the trees and the brushstrokes suggesting the rockface. The wet-in-wet background distant trees on the mountainside make me especially happy, though there are parts of this painting I would love to do over.
This is a demonstration I did in a watercolour class and, as I explained to my students, these postcard size studies are a great way to learn. In fact, the two dozen I did in spring likely contributed a great deal to my landscape education! Painting small forces you to simplify your subject, as well as freeing you to fail. It doesn’t feel so bad when a small painting doesn’t turn out as a big one, so you can take a few more risks. I actually did two studies of the same photo in less than an hour.
Fast forward to last week. I created two paintings from the same scene and am delighted by both. The scene above is the waterfall again, and you can see that I am learning, discarding the stuff that didn’t work in previous paintings and keeping elements that did. The trees are the same shapes. The rocks are simplified and the drybrush details have been moved to the bottom of the page. Dissecting the painting isn’t nearly as fun as enjoying the finished product, but I want to share how painting the same subject over and over is really a great way to learn.
This last painting is my favourite yet. The river is the same one in the waterfall, just further downstream. What I love about this painting is how effortless, how confident it appears, and yet you and I know now how much time, focus and study went into this painting. I couldn’t have painted this two years ago, or even two months ago. This is what I love about painting. It keeps getting better with age and experience, becoming more me. I thought it would be easier to sell art after painting for years and creating many, many paintings, but as more of myself goes into each painting, it might just be getting more difficult. Maybe that’s why the best artists price their work so highly!
Paintings shown are available for purchase. Email me to request a consultation.
This month’s “Painting of the Month” is also on video! I painted “Single Peony” as a demonstration in fluid, one layer watercolour painting and I just love its simple elegant beauty.
You can order 9″ x 12″ prints of “Single Peony” until August 20th for $39 USD plus shipping. After August 20, 2015, prints will no longer be available.
If you are interested in purchasing the original painting, it is available as well. Please contact me for a purchase consultation.
July’s painting of the month is my gorgeous “Spray of Wild Roses”. I just love wild roses’ sweet fragrance and gentle pink colour. In painting this I felt a part of all summer, like I was standing, planted, with the wind in my leaves and wafting my beauty on the air. Sometimes even my paintbrush feels guided by the breezes of June.
As my Painting of the Month, I’ve made “Spray of Wild Roses” available briefly as giclee prints. You can order an 8″ x 10″ or 10″ x12″ print on paper, or fill a room with colour with a 24″ x 30″ print on canvas, but you must order by July 15th. After that the painting will no longer be available as a reproduction.
You can order your prints here, or purchase the original painting. If you are considering purchasing one of my original paintings, please contact me for a consultation. Buying art is very personal, and I want to give you every assurance that your painting will be the right fit for you, assist you with choosing framing if you wish, and answer any questions you might have.
It’s a beautiful Canada Day and I’m pretty proud to be Canadian. I’m so thankful for my country; for the freedoms we enjoy, the diversity of its inhabitants and the vast beauty of our landscape. My husband is self-employed and rarely takes the holidays off, so I have a quiet day planned. I love my home and rarely complain about having to stay home instead of get out (unless I’m tired of making meals). Today I’ll help the kids put a tent in the backyard, make a frozen dessert and maybe before I even get to those things, rush to the studio to check on a painting I started last night. I always love coming back to see what’s happened between the last juicy brushstroke and the “morning after.”
I’ve also been busy recording my new courses! I started with a thought to update my “Basic Techniques” course, followed by creating “Loose & Fluid Watercolour II” and “Watercolour Sketches” but in beginning the new Loose course, I got excited about the idea of recording a new Florals course instead of the Sketches course, or maybe in addition to! Wouldn’t it be great to have three new courses by fall?
Here’s a peek at something you can see right now:
This apple is demonstrated in my in-the-process-of-revision “Basic Techniques” course. It’s $20 US for a limited time; I will be increasing the price when the update is complete as I am adding a ton of new information and demonstrations.
Also new today is this one-layer peony demonstration. This is a painting you can make in about five minutes, and it’s so much fun!
You can watch the speedy version on my Youtube channel, or the full video with instructions in my “Joy of Watercolour” free online course. I add to this course periodically, sharing ways to experiment and explore watercolour, grow your skills and have fun in the process.
Every painting holds a new colour experience, and I’m so excited about what I’m learning as I record what I already know. I grow my watercolour skills every time I paint, and every time I teach. It’s one of the things that makes me excited about becoming an old lady; imagining how much better a painter I’ll be in 20, 30, 40 years!
So if your future looks a little dull and lifeless, grab a paintbrush and a tube of quinacridone magenta. You might just fall in love with colour!
One reason I love painting florals is that you can go from this:
and it’s so much fun! I get to be in charge when I paint, and let the colours run the way I want, creating shapes that suggest beautiful flowers without painting every detail. I love dropping in beautiful colours like cobalt teal, green gold and opera pink, letting them flow & mingle for maximum impact and gorgeous juiciness.
I love sharing what I’ve learned about using the loose & fluid properties of watercolour in my online courses. My “Loose & Fluid” watercolour course is a great introduction to “playing” with free & easy painting and “Colour-Drenched Florals” is a great followup to really explain my processes in painting flowers in watercolour. If creating dynamic florals is something you’ve always wanted to do, check out these classes today! They are more than worth the money and there’s a 30 day money back guarantee if you disagree.
Sign up here: Angela Fehr Watercolour Classes
Here’s a few details to help you decide:
1. The classes are self paced so you can watch them anytime, and you get lifetime access so you can watch them as many times as you want to.
2. Loose & Fluid I is just $20 USD, while Colour-Drenched Florals is $99. But you can buy all five of my paid courses for $150 for the best value of all.
3. By posting your work in the Student Gallery (there’s one in each course), you can receive feedback, guidance & critiques from me as well as from the other students in the course. There’s already a ton of great information in the galleries as I share insight on how to improve students’ paintings.
Here’s a few more of my beautiful floral watercolour paintings. These inspire me to make more lovely paintings every day, and I hope they inspire you too! Many of these are available for purchase by clicking here.
It’s wild rose season, and the air is full of their fragrance. I almost feel silly painting wild roses; they are so ubiquitous and symbolic of our region that I feel like they’ve been done to death. But when you’re inspired, you have to go with it, and I realized recently that I really only have completed two wild rose paintings. So I pulled out a sheet of watercolour paper and channeled my inner rose.
I have studied roses extensively for many years and so I didn’t use a reference photo, I just started painting, studying the roses at the roadside during my morning run. The benefit from studying roses live in person is that you can see the context; their environment, their scent, the bugs and the feel of the sun and wind. It makes for a more well-rounded painting, capturing more of the “essence” of the painting subject.
Painting loosely means I also get to use the best characteristics of watercolour to my advantage. I love playing with granulating colours – that’s how I get the texture of granules of different colours side by side. These colours are mixed with a wet brush, and then as they dry, they separate. It’s stunning and always unique.
I’ve been teasing you with detail shots, because there are so many beautiful details in this painting, you have to see it to appreciate it. Here’s a look at the full painting:
“Spray of Wild Roses” measures 14″ x 18″ (36 x 56 cm) and is available for purchase here.
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!