Crocus painting titled Inaugurating Spring by Angela Fehr

Inaugurating Spring, 16.5″ x 17″ watercolor painting by Angela Fehr

I’m happy to have completed a painting today. Painting this crocus had an interesting tension – painting loosely but deliberately, creating texture with wet-in-wet layers and also with drybrush. I kept my Spring 2008 issue of Watercolor magazine open to the article on Charles Reid, needing his work as a reminder to me to stay loose and not get fixated on trying to achieve photorealism.

I did find myself enjoying the process of watercolor painting in my crocus painting, more so than I do when I’m aiming for realism and painting time-consuming details. Painting in watercolor can be such a sensory experience, and I love the idea that my paintings could express that. I think that’s what I love about Charles Reid’s work – his watercolors are so obviously watercolor, and because his brushstrokes and color pools are so visible, he is actually engaging the viewer in the act of creation. Doesn’t it seem like this achieves more than would an accurate rendering of the subject matter? Leaving those pencil lines, splashes of paint, and wild blended washes is going beyond the scene being painted and telling a story about the artist and the medium they use.

Now I’m not looking to become a plagiarist of any one person’s style. My goal is to continue to develop my own, and I don’t think that’s a process that ever really ends. Realizing that I can include my sensory love of watercolor in my work is a new revelation to me, and seeking to incorporate this into my paintings will be an added objective to future works of art.