My name is Tana Dowell, but as an artist I go by TanaBelle. I currently live in Scottsdale, Arizona. I have been an artist my whole life, dabbling in ink, charcoal, and graphite, but only recently (in the last 2 years) have developed my love for watercolors. I graduated from college in 2002 with a BFA in Graphic Design, but have never found myself to enjoy that kind of work. I prefer to get my hands dirty in the process of creation.
I was first exposed to watercolors during a study abroad trip to Scotland, in the summer of 2000, while I was in college. Since then, I’ve learned that watercolors are a beautiful thing; with a personality, all their own. They challenge me in my need to have complete control. Because, as many of you know, watercolors are fluid, and I must learn to loosen up and let them do their own thing sometimes.
My preferred supply list includes my mix of different brushes, my palette of Daniel Smith watercolor paints (sometimes, I also use a travel palette of LUKAS watercolors), and Arches, hot-pressed, watercolor paper, 140lb. I typically work on an 11” x 14” size, but someday would love to be bold and go bigger!
My artistic process seems to consist more of thinking and over-analyzing, than painting. I am guilty of spending too much time trying to decide what to paint, rather than just sitting down and painting. I need to work more on the doing part.
But when I finally sit down to paint, I prefer a lot of light (preferably natural), good music, and a “plan” all mapped out in my head. I like to have my supplies scattered out all around me, and tend to misplace a brush at least once or twice throughout the process. I’m typically sitting at the dining room table, since I don’t have studio space yet. Someday, however, I’d like to have a place to leave all my supplies scattered about, ready to go at a moment’s notice.
I have lived in many different states in my lifetime, and would consider myself to be a dreamer. I love the idea of traveling and seeing/experiencing as many things as I can. I love to learn and have a deep thirst for knowledge.
I have been a full-time mom for the last 11 years, and have only now begun to put my paintings out there for others to critique and enjoy. Since I am a full-time mom and my children need stability during this time of their lives, I am not able to travel (for now). So, I travel through my paintings.
I am currently working on a series of the United States, where I am painting each of the 50 states and trying to represent them as I see them. Each state is as individual as you and I. I would love to say that I have traveled to each of these states and painted them on-site, and maybe someday I’ll be able to do so. But in the meantime, I do lots of research (I love documentaries!), and try to talk to as many people as I can, from all over the place. I love to hear where people are from and what their favorite thing is about the place they call home.
After traveling the States, then, I will take on the rest of the world. I have dreams of going back to Scotland with my husband, going to France with my daughters, going to Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Brazil, China, anywhere really! I want to see it all! Feel free to travel along with me and follow me on Instagram or Facebook. Also, tell me where you’re from and what you love about it!
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!