My name is Judy Wood, and I’ve been painting for over 30 years, primarily watercolor and acrylic. I enjoy a variety of subject matter and substrates. I consider myself a mixed media artist, while continuing experimenting with watercolor.
As I reflect on a few of my favorite teachers in college, I’m reminded one of the best ways to learn any craft is to study the “masters”. To find confidence in wet into wet watercolor, I studied Monet – his use of composition and color is so inspiring.
Once I felt I had mastered the technique I was studying, instead of continuing to copy Monet, I used my own favorite subject matter; trees and forests. I also love painting skies! I enjoy mixing colors to create the perfect bright blue desert sky or capturing the deep blue of twilight. I occasionally add salt (and a little fine glitter) for a starry night scene.
I’ve used a variety of palettes, I enjoy travel size palettes, color variety, and intensity. I’ve added Derwent watercolor pencils and Inktense water soluble pencils to my materials and use them often; occasionally for highlights and shadows, and more recently for a pop of color in some handmade book pages. After trying some smaller palettes, I found I prefer my full size palette from college.
The palette feels right, the mixing area is the right size, I know the placement of the colors without looking. I’ve recently replaced missing colors and added a few new colors. In addition to Winsor & Newton I’ve enjoyed the quality of the new QoR watercolors. Recently, I’ve been experimenting with spray inks. The colors are vibrant and the results a bit unpredictable. I enjoy the challenge of using unexpected results to create a mini masterpiece.
After studying painting in college I worked at a local art store. Representatives from various companies supplied paper samples. It was fun to experiment on so many watercolor papers. During the last few years, I’ve enjoyed using Fabriano paper (I use a wide variety of mediums on the soft, decked edged paper) and rough watercolor papers. Paper selection makes a big difference in the outcome of a painting.
Over the years I’ve tried a variety of great brushes – all shapes and sizes. An artist friend of mine paints in oil and draws with chalk pastel. She recently gifted me a Richeson flat watercolor brush, it quickly became my favorite brush for washes, skies, and if I use the corner of the brush I can create some nice thin lines for branches of trees. I bought the travel size set of Richeson brushes and discovered they fit nicely on my art desk.
I enjoy painting loose on location or from reference photos, followed by energetic, expressive ink lines. I use a permanent fine tip pen for quick line work. A variety of fine tip and brush tip pens are great for painting and drawing on location. Ink is a nice way to add a little detail to a loose watercolor painting. I love Sumi ink for line work or washes.
I love gifting art to friends, family, and occasionally dropping off a painting as an unexpected gift in a public setting. Sharing art gives it life!
Lately, I have been thinking about creativity, what drives us to create. I’ve also given some thought to my personal palette and how it changes with the seasons.
I live in the Arizona desert. I have a BFA in painting from Arizona State University. I paint, draw, write, and create almost every day. I’ve taught art in art centers, public schools, and private lessons. I hope to continue to encourage and inspire, and always find an encouraging word for a budding artist.