I’ve been invited by Leslie Redhead to participate in an artists’ blog hop. This is a way for artists to find other artists with blogs that they may otherwise never have seen.  I will introduce you to Leslie, answer four specific questions about my work and then introduce you to three artists whose blogs I follow and whose work I admire.

I’m always delighted to find watercolour artists who share my beautiful province, British Columbia, and Leslie Redhead is not only a skilled watercolour artist but a dedicated teacher. I would love to take one of her workshops one day and see watercolour through her eyes.

"Changing Skies" by Leslie Redhead

“Changing Skies” by Leslie Redhead

Leslie was born in Murray, UT and was raised in Maryland where she was exposed to all the wonderful art that the museums of Washington, DC had to offer. Her degree is in Zoology because she planned on doing scientific illustration. However, after a move to Boston and the birth of two children, she began painting and teaching more in watercolor. Eight years ago her family moved to Canada which is where Leslie’s husband is from.Leslie’s paintings are in private and corporate collections worldwide. She recently graduated with a Master of Education in Art from the University of Victoria and has signatures with Northwest Watercolor Society (NWWS), Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour (CSPWC), and the Federation of Canadian Artists (AFCA). Leslie continues to teach and conducts workshops inCanada, the U.S., and Spain. Her work is featured in Splash 10: Passionate Brushstrokes from the Splash: Best of Watercolor series, Leslie Redhead: the life of an artist, and Making It! Case Studies of Successful Canadian Artists.

Leslie currently resides in Vancouver, BC with her husband, two children, and dog. She is represented by Madrona Gallery in Victoria, BC. More of Leslie’s work can be seen at www.leslieredhead.com and leslieredheadart.blogspot.com

Questions for me:

1)  What am I working on?

I wish I had more time to paint right now! I homeschool my three children so the first weeks of school are always busy and home-centred, focused on getting acquainted with a change in routine. When I do get time to paint I am working on several paintings of northern British Columbia (Muncho Lake), which we visited Labour Day weekend for the first time.

2)  How does my work differ from others of its genre?

This is a tough one! I think all artists are striving to carve a unique niche in their medium/subject/genre and I have found that the paintings that most resonate with viewers are the ones that are the most truly “me.” So I am constantly trying to paint more authentically, asking myself “What am I trying to say?” as well as learning to listen to and trust my inner voice. I think this kind of authenticity happens best when an artist is technically confident, so another side of painting from the heart is honing one’s skills and being willing to learn.

3) Why do I create what I do?

Something inside of me always wants to “do” something in response to the beauty I see around me. Painting is my outlet for that urge. I love the fluidity of watercolour and the movement of brush across paper, juicy colours flowing and mixing.

4) How does my creative process work?

This is something I’ve become more aware of in the last year or two, when I realized that I paint best by “painting out” my subject; painting it over and over again in a series of “sketches” as a means of learning, composing and stepping toward a confident, finished painting. I love that I can give myself permission to explore my subject in this way, instead of feeling disappointed when a painting idea doesn’t turn out on the first try. I also believe in taking time away from a painting to allow the mind to dream, imagine and explore the subject, so as to come back to the easel with the mental work done, and a host of ideas ready to spill out in the brush.

Inspiring Artists: 

Cady Driver: A fellow mum, homeschooler and watercolour artist, Cady is an inspiration. Her realistic watercolours are full of light. She recently started a fundraising artistic venture as well, “Birds for Babies”. I love her generous heart! Here’s a bit more about her:

Awarding winning Raleigh artist and children’s book illustrator, Cady Driver, loves to paint complex subjects with luminous, bright colors.  Self-taught, her work reflects the vast range of subjects that capture her attention. Cady especially enjoys painting children and animals and her pen and ink line of artwork benefits orphan/adoption causes (Birds For Babies) .  Cady resides in Raleigh, NC with her husband and home schools her three kids.
Her website is www.ArtByCady.com.
Watercolour by Cady Driver
Watercolour by Cady Driver

Sharon Lynn Williams:

I took a course with Sharon Lynn Williams last year and came away with a whole new appreciation for colour. Sharon paints in oils, acrylics and watercolour, lives “next door” to me in Alberta and I’m always inspired by her diversity of subject and medium.

M.E. (Mike) Bailey: 

You’ve probably already heard of Mike Bailey. I love his blog because he writes so well about the constant learning process of being a painter. He’s an experienced instructor and I always learn something from his blog posts. And he’s a renowned watercolor painter as well, and it’s easy to see why.

Hope you enjoyed this little “hop”. I would love to hear about artists who inspire you – feel free to leave a comment!