My name is Angela Fehr (View my online classes and follow me on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram). I’ve been a watercolour addict for over twenty years now, ever since taking my first watercolour class as a teenager. I’m from northern British Columbia, Canada, a beautiful rural region of the country with long, cold winters and a small population. I love our wildernesses and the beauty of this area, and my landscape and floral paintings highlight the hidden gems of our region.
I absolutely love the transparency of watercolour, the ability to take water and pigment and let them flow and mingle on the page to create their own kind of magic, and so my paintings seek to capture nature while still keeping to this loose & fluid style. While I can paint realistically, I much prefer to try to connect to the “spirit” of what I am painting by choosing to loosen up and capture the mood and atmosphere in a way that creates an emotional connection.
I believe that the message of my paintings is that everything is significant. Nature inspires my paintings, voicing the idea that life has purpose, and by doing what I was created to do, I can fulfill my purpose and find peace in where I am right now, even if I haven’t chosen the situation in which I find myself. Just like a tree or a flower, I can flourish where I am without comparing to others (there are always better painters out there) or thinking I need to wait until all circumstances are perfect before living my passion.
A few years ago, while staying home full time to homeschool my three children, I started making watercolour tutorial videos for Youtube. These first awkward little demos, sharing my watercolour “light bulb moments,” struck a chord with people wanting to learn watercolour, and led to an online teaching career. In the last three years I have built an online watercolour school with a dozen watercolour courses and over 6,000 students enrolled. I’ve been able to teach watercolour all over the world without leaving my little corner of British Columbia, and build a watercolour community that connects and unifies through this shared passion.
EXCLUSIVE TUTORIAL FOR WORLD WATERCOLOR MONTH!
One thing that is so important to me about painting is to teach my students to embrace the process. Many of my students discovered watercolour in mid-life and almost feel like they need to apologize for their “newbie” skill level. As humans we tend to be so hard on ourselves, take even our hobbies so seriously, that as an instructor, I spend a lot of time giving students permission to enjoy the journey of learning a new skill, take risks and make mistakes as part of learning, and to learn through playing with watercolour, rather than getting all academic if that’s not their learning style.
This gentle, “have fun and own your journey” approach not only transforms watercolour into a guilt-free adventure, but affects other areas of life as well, and I’ve found that I’m a kinder and more accepting person because of how being more forgiving of myself in watercolour has paralleled how I relate to life and other people.
Even after twenty years, watercolour still remains fresh as I challenge myself to improve my painting and composition skills daily. I think I will always feel in some respects like a student of watercolour, and I get excited when I think about getting older; since every year is making me a better painter, age is nothing to fear! And being able to mentor beginning painters through my classes and watercolour community is such a privilege that even though watercolour is both my passion and my job, it never feels like work.
I’m delighted to be able to offer Doodlewash readers a 50% discount on my online class, “Watercolour Sketches”. Use code DOODLEWASH (DOODLEWASHCAD if paying in Canadian funds) to redeem your discount. During the month of July, I’m also donating $1 from every course sold on my site to the Dreaming Zebra Foundation, to provide underprivileged children with art supplies. I really believe (and I’ve done this with my three children) that the best way to foster creativity in children is to set them loose with great materials, and I’m proud to be a part of this giving aspect of World Watercolor Month.