Welcome to Women in Watercolor’s blog newsletter, Women in Watercolor Working Together!
Each month we will feature one of our amazing members, introduce you to a few more and share advice from top artists!
Monthly Featured Member
Women in Watercolor would like to introduce our first Monthly Feautured Member, Buffy Kaufman. If you do not know Buffy or her work yet, you are in for a treat!
All About Buffy
My name is Buffy Kaufman and I was born and raised in Southern California. I was always drawn to nature and expressed myself artistically from an early age. Creativity and its ties to natural materials are interwoven into my practice. Watercolor seemed to answer the call, bringing together water, natural pigments, and textured papers to paint on. I am an instructor at The Fallbrook School of the Arts and The Green Art House, a signature member of the Louisiana Watercolor Society, and a brand ambassador for Daniel Smith Watercolors. My core belief is that art is better shared, so I recycle my studies back into the local art community by teaching in person and can now reach the international community through online classes.
Her Tips for Beginners
Learning takes time. By studying many books, workshops, classes, and instructors, you will grow your artistic vocabulary. You will gain insight and inspiration. Then you can begin to tailor your education to a specific style or subject. I recommend starting with Tony Couch’s book. “Watercolor, you can do it!
Let it be and let it dry. To achieve fresh watercolor, lay your color on and leave it to dry. It is the constant fussing and meddling within sections that causes overworked traffic jams. Try not to get stuck in any one place, but move with the flow.
Practice. We are not learning watercolor by painting prize-worthy paintings. We are learning watercolor by painting. Train your mind to practice watercolor, remembering that practice makes progress.
About Buffy’s Art
My current artistic pursuit is a spontaneous and satisfying painting method called watercolor pouring. I try to incorporate this into many of my paintings. I love to pour watercolor; the cascades of color create illusions and light effects. The colors create effortless blends as they stain the fibers of the paper. These blends, blooms, and back runs add texture and mystery. The sediment that settles into the hills and valleys of the paper gives it grit, and the color separations that happen when you pair certain granulating colors are magical.
I often photograph my subjects on location. Normally I paint from these photographs in the studio, but in 2023 I felt confident enough to take my easel outdoors. I am falling in love with painting en plein air; it is so spontaneous and a way to test all that I’ve learned.
I draw my images by hand. This can be considered limiting; my paintings are only as good as my drafting. My belief is that by drawing, I am communicating with my subject in a way that gives me a deeper understanding. As my draftsmanship improves, so will my paintings. Sometimes, for an in-person demo, I will trace due to time constraints, but I will often accompany it with a rough draft that was hand drawn and painted all at once to use as a design reference.
Buffy’s Materials of Choice
Saunders Waterford or Arches Cold or Rough Press Paper, #140
KingArt Equinox Series: Quill, Oval Shader, Round, and Liner Brushes
KingArt Radiant Series: Angle Shader Brushes
Silver Brush: 4″ Hake short-handle brush
Daniel Smith Watercolor
See more about Buffy Kaufman and follow her on Social Media!
You can learn more about Buffy’s upcoming in-person and online classes at http://www.watercolorpour.com under the workshops section.
She also has a member-only online monthly workshop through YouTube. To learn more about this membership and/or join, click here: https://www.youtube.com/c/WatercolorPour/join
Her YouTube channel also has over 150 free videos, including tutorials, watercolor product reviews, and relaxing watercolor videos. https://www.youtube.com/watercolorpour
Don’t miss out on everything coming up!
You do not want to miss our FIRST Annual Members Only Exhibition!
This will be a non-juried online only members show.
MORE INFO COMING SOON
Join the MAILING LIST at the bottom to get updates!
Entry opens November 1, 2023
Tips From the Top
Advice from incredibly talented watercolor artists.
What has or hasn’t worked for you in your career as far as entering competitions and shows both online and in person?
The first advice I would give is get a thick skin.
I’ve had paintings that won awards in national and international shows then the same painting gets rejected by a different juror in another show.
I studied years ago with Everett Raymond Kinstler and he said in his studio, on the mantle, is the gold medal from AWS. Next to it is the rejection slip from the year before for the same painting. I never forgot that.
A long-ago artist friend said if you believe in a painting submit it to 5 shows. If it is not accepted, find an artist you admire and trust and ask for an honest critique.
Sometime our eyes need a fresh way to see and we are biased in our own judgement. I had a painting I totally struggled with. I hated it. I brought it to my critique group who totally loved it! I was surprised and then ultimately it was accepted into some big shows and also won awards. Go figure!
Remember the juror has to choose a limited number of pieces and they want to feature different styles. Unfortunate but true, some really good paintings are rejected for sake of showing diversity.
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t win. Keep trying. If you get in and win an award in a big show, don’t get too smug, just be humbly grateful. It’s pretty much guaranteed you will be knocked down a few pegs eventually. That’s reality for most of us.
Advice for artists just starting out entering shows and competitions?
- Start with small, local shows and work your way up.
- Read the prospectus carefully. I print them out and highlight important rules. Each show the rules are slightly different so pay attention.
- Use your own photo references.
- Frame carefully
- I encourage you to keep records from year to year. I keep a spread sheet of shows I enter and the results.
See more about Suzanne Accetta and follow her on Social Media!
Meet More Members
Here are a few more members we would like to introduce you to this month! Click on their social media links to see more of their work.
Don’t Miss Out
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Women in Watercolor Working Together
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Edited by Lynn D. Pratt