Watercolor is where it all began for me. At the age of twelve I started portrait modeling for my aunt who had eagerly joined Pacific Northwest Transparent Watercolor Scene. From the moment she lightly dragged the paintbrush along the rough toothed Arches Paper with two colors simultaneously appearing separate from the long sable hairs, then watching the colors meeting in a tangled embrace to define the cheek bone in the pencil drawing,I was hooked, and so began a teenage journey into color mixing as if the paper was a host and the paint colors were visitors looking for a chair at the party.
Imagine a gaggle of ladies and a few retired old men getting their paint on under the bridge at the river and scattered down the historical Old Town with their easels planted firmly in parking spaces and store front entries, all with the purpose of building lush scenes of dripping wet color colliding with the sharp edges of early twentieth century architecture. This very social group was on a mission, creating images built around what one chooses to leave out. An art form of negative space/ the paper itself as the source of light. White paint was not allowed, in fact white paint was sacrilegious.This was my formative artistic reality. The philosophy of removal of a fundamental source of in Art. Titanium white paint.
To this day I am bent toward a full and busy composition that resolves to a zen peacefulness due to strict discipline of masterful negative space. My watercolor style has always been hyper loose and verging on uncontrollable, so I learned early on to use very thick paper and to pile the color on in multiple layers. When I realize that I have gone too far I get out the razor blade and I lightly score the paper where I want my light and carve out the negative space. This so called bad habit of mine developed into a full blown style and led me down the road to woodcut prints.