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 November Monthly Featured Member, Ann Greene. You don’t want to miss her unique abstract work!
All About Ann
“I fell in love at first splash “
I enjoyed all my art classes in my earlier school years but when it came to choosing a college curriculum, I decided upon what seemed at the time a more practical path. I pursued a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical (Laboratory) Technology, entering a career in the healthcare/hospital industry. My artistic journey, lamentably, played a secondary role until after graduation when I took an adult watercolor class at the local high school. I fell in “love at first splash” when I observed the cerulean blue pigment blossom on wet watercolor paper. Immediately hooked on watercolor painting, I began painting for fun and relaxation, continuing in my career as a laboratory technologist. I graduated into the information technology field as a clinical laboratory liaison and analyst. I married and had a family.
In 2004 I decided to focus more seriously on my art and attended the first of a series of workshops. I studied with many accomplished artists including celebrated artists Barbara Nechis; Frank Webb; Eric Weigardt; Karen Rosasco; Pat Dews; Judi Betts; Gerald Brommer; Skip Lawrence; Nancy Barch; Ratindra Das; Sterling Edwards; Fabio Cembranelli; Robert Burridge; Linda Kemp; and Teresa Kirk. From each of them – and their workshops, I gained additional knowledge and techniques, bolstering my own evolving style and expertise.
In April 2023, I proudly achieved signature member status in the American Watercolor Society. In the words of John Salminen, getting that “AWS” is akin to receiving a PhD. I spent at least as much time and money on classes and materials as I would have at a prestigious art school. In addition, I am privileged to hold signature member status in the Garden State Watercolor Society; the New Jersey Watercolor Society; the International Society of Experimental Artists (Nautilus Fellow); Watercolor West; and the Baltimore Watercolor Society. I have won numerous awards including the Lily Y Award from Watercolor West in 2018; First Place Abstract Award in Women in Watercolor in 2022; Second Place Abstract Award in Women in Watercolor in 2023; and the National Watercolor Society Award XXI in the National Watercolor Society in 2022.
Don’t Bug Me When I’m Painting
A Great Tip for Beginners
A painting begins in the heart/mind of the artist with an idea or a concept … or sometimes with the mere intention of creating something. I advise the novices to take some risks, enjoy the process, loosen up, and allow the painting to happen. In other words- go with the flow!
A Bit About Ann’s Art
I enjoy abstract expressionism, working spontaneously and intuitively, and using a wet into wet watercolor technique that creates impressionistic images and captures the natural essence of flowers and nature. These abstracts build upon a sense of design, color, and movement. They incorporate positive and negative overlapping shapes; strong color combinations; expressive brushwork; textural elements; and calligraphy. Each of these abstract expressionist paintings is a unique, intuitive experience that offers an element of surprise for the artist and the viewer.
My favorite technique is negative painting. Rather than filling an object with color, shading, or detail, I prefer to create objects by painting around them. Negative painting, for me, requires some abstract mental effort. I concentrate on imagining; constructing; visualizing; and producing shapes. Creating organic shapes without having to worry whether they exist, I create forms that suit the space I want to fill in the painting. Each new shape gets tucked behind existing shapes. I introduce hard edges and some rich dark values. I take care to save soft edged shapes from the initial wash. I use stencils, placing them over an area to lift pigment to create a shape, to lighten a value, or to soften edges.
I begin a painting with a general idea of large abstract shapes. I do not work from photo references or sketches. I start by randomly wetting the watercolor paper with a large flat brush. Using a variety of marks – like lines; scribbles; scratches; spatter; and textures – I add interest and unexpected energy to the work. These marks coax the eye to move around the surface and encourage the viewer to engage with the art. I then apply watercolors, allowing the pigments to flow and mix on the paper. Saving some white, unpainted areas on the paper, I allow the surface to dry. When I view the overall design and composition from various perspectives, I begin to conceptualize, using negative painting to create shapes and value changes.
Into the Groove – Since my painting process is completely subjective and intuitive, above is an example of a mark making start.
“The challenge remains to stay true to myself, realizing that each painting will evolve differently, remembering that art often requires a great commitment of time and much effort. Painting what I love and enjoying the process may not always coincide with commercial success; my art may not always please a given audience.”
In the words of Pablo Picasso, “Each time I undertake to paint a picture, I have the sensation of leaping into space. I never know whether I shall land on my feet.”
Most artists create, I believe, not simply because they want to, but because an internal force drives them. It gnaws at them until they begin their art and pushes them until they complete it.
“Creating art is not just something that I do; it is part of who I am.”
I create art to express my ideas and use my imagination. I enjoy the excitement of handling the actual paint and paper. I enjoy seeing with varying perspectives; trying something new; making connections among people; and working without a map. These are all parts of my creative process. Every time I put a brush to paper, I take another step on my journey as a visual artist.
Ann’s Materials of Choice
I use Kilimanjaro, Arches, and Fabriano 140 lb. and 300 lb. cold pressed paper. I have also started painting on Ampersand Aquabord panels, preferring a surface that allows me the freedom to lift and remove color. I use a limited palette of cool and warm primary colors plus several additional colors. My favorites from Daniel Smith include Hansa Yellow Light; New Gamboge; Quinacridone Rose; Pyrrol Scarlet; Phthalo Blue; French Ultramarine Blue; Quinacridone Gold; Quinacridone Burnt Scarlet; Quinacridone Burnt Orange: Cobalt Teal; and Shadow Violet. I also use Holbein Quinacridone Opera; Lavender; and Leaf Green. I use a variety of synthetic watercolor brushes including my favorite, a 1” flat. Recently I have started using gouache and other media to make marks, e.g., charcoal; water-soluble graphite; ink; crayons; watercolor pencils; water-soluble pastels; Stabilo pencils; and Stabilo woody crayons.
Pigments of the Imagination
See more about Ann on her website!
Don’t miss her Open Studio and Holiday Art Sale on December 2.
From Ann: Please visit my website and subscribe to my newsletter. I send the newsletter on the 15th of each month. It includes images of my latest artwork and the stories behind the paintings. I also post information regarding events, workshops, and exhibits.
My website: https://www.annsmigagreene.com
Subscribe to her Newsletter on her website and check out more of her gorgeous work!
Don’t miss out on everything coming up!
ENTRY IS OPEN
This is a non-juried online only members show.
The Prospectus is up on the website.
The Members Only Online Exhibition rules are different from our current Annual Juried International Competition. Please read the full prospectus on the website BEFORE entering.
WIW is thrilled to be able to now offer two different types of shows to display and promote all the amazing women that work in this medium! We hope you will join our membership and take part in this new Exhibition!
Join the MAILING LIST at the bottom to get updates!
ENTRY IS OPEN.
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