These doodlewashes come to us from Jenny Kroik (follow her on Instagram @jkroik), who lives and works in Eugene, Oregon. She started painting with watercolor when she was very young. Her mom gave her a set of St. Petersburg watercolors (now called “Yarka”, ) that she actually brought from St. Petersburg, where Jenny was born. She says, “It’s still my favorite brand.”
She also doodlewashes daily selfies on Instagram which is a great way to practice! “I started doing the daily selfie painting because I’m always available to myself as a model, and I don’t care if I make myself look silly or disproportionate in the drawings. The main idea, though, was to get myself to spend time painting every day. I always felt that it was important, but always in theory and not in practice. Since I brought this habit into my life, I feel that it’s been very helpful to my work in many ways.”
Jenny started studying technique with a no-nonsense Russian teacher when she was 13, doing still-lives, Greek busts, and other “old-school stuff, which gave me a very strong technical foundation in watercolor and drawing.” She studied for her BFA in illustration and animation at the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, and got her MFA in painting at the University of Oregon, where she still teaches painting and drawing. She says, “My education gave me a good understanding of the art world in all its forms, and an opportunity to try a million different things.”
According to Jenny, watercolors are often deemed to be unruly and hard to control, but she actually finds them to be a very easy medium. For one, they are easy to transport, and they are not messy. They lend themselves to painting on location, which she loves, and they are a good way to record color fast. (Couldn’t agree more with this!)
Jenny says, “They are also easy because they are so fast: fast to set up, fast to dry, fast to mix colors. I see and think very quickly, and it matches my thought process well. It’s basically an exercise in mindfulness – letting go of control, and not striving for it to look one way or the other. Watercolor always surprises me… it flows and dries in beautiful and unexpected ways.”
And you too can be surprised daily by the wonderful doodlewashes that Jenny creates by following her Instagram feed! Also, be sure to check out her website at jenny.kroik.net for more of her wondrous work. Thanks so much for being part of the Doodlewash family, Jenny, and we can’t wait to see more from you!