My name is Natalie Mecham. I grew up in Orem, Utah but now my home is Southeast Idaho. During my childhood when I wasn’t drawing I was outside exploring the beautiful places Utah has to offer. One of my favorite places to be was with my grandma. One of my favorite activities to do with my grandparents was to look through the wood piles on their property, searching for the stray kittens.
Many summers were spent with one goal in mind, find a kitten and tame it so I could have a pet. It was when I was with my grandma that I was encouraged the most to create art. I also spent a lot of time with my brother who is also an artist. I would occasionally steal his charcoal pencils so that I could draw by myself. In my teenage years, I worked with graphite, charcoal, and pastels. With National Geographic and fashion magazines I taught myself how to draw portraits.
I don’t follow the typical rules with watercolors, I use white ink, masking fluid and many other mediums with my watercolor art. I love Arches hot press paper and use it for all my large work. The smooth paper works well for the small details. I do a lot of 5×7” paintings. For these, I use Strathmore ready cut paper.
I have several brands of watercolor, my favorites being Daniel Smith and Sennelier. For my backgrounds, I use Da Vinci Russian Blue Squirrel brushes. For the rest of my painting, I use Princeton Umbria size 6 round. Since I use graphite to help define small details or even to add extra shading, I would say my must-have art supply is my Pentel .5 mechanical pencil.
I got married and moved to Idaho the year after high school. After a few years, my husband and I decided to grow our family. We soon discovered we had fertility issues. During that time, I became very depressed and lost my desire to do any art. After years of trying, we found out I was expecting. I started to do art again and this is when I discovered watercolors. Unfortunately, I went into preterm labor and our twin boys were born at only 23 weeks gestation. They died two days after birth.
I slipped back into depression, but this time I used art to help myself cope with the loss of our boys. About a year later, I became pregnant with our twin girls. It was a difficult pregnancy with many trips to the hospital to stop labor. I was put on full bedrest, but figured out how to continue doing art. I would hold my paper above me while laying on my back and use water-filled brushes to paint.
I gave birth to my twin girls at 29 weeks gestation. Finally, after two months in the hospital they were able to come home. I slowly got back into painting, first painting things to hang in the nursery. Then I started painting for other people, this began a whole new journey in my life. I noticed a big change in my art, I went from painting mostly landscapes or images that had little meaning to me, to painting more emotional pieces.
I am by nature a very quiet person. My art gives me a way to communicate with people and share life experiences that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to. We have all gone through hard times, but if we can be more open about our experiences we will find the support we need to persevere.
It is from my own life experiences that I find inspiration to create emotional portraits. My art has helped me become more aware of myself and who I am. Just by listening, we can discover so much about ourselves or others and be inspired by the strength we witness.
I also enjoy painting scenes of children playing or going about their day. For me, there is nothing more beautiful than a happy child. Sometimes we tend to forget the happy and peaceful memories from our past, so I choose to paint them. I find so much inspiration from my own children but also from my time I spent with my grandparents.
My passion is to create art that evokes emotion. I try to capture a moment in time when Truth, Beauty, and Hope are at the forefront.
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!