Color blind, as many people know, is a misnomer. I do see colors. Just differently than the average person. At times, it is difficult for me to tell the difference between certain colors. I have to choose my colors wisely when I paint so that my color blindness is not an issue.
I was born in Jersey City, New Jersey. I was definitely a “city kid”. We played stoop ball, stick ball, and on hot summer days we cooled off under a open fire hydrant. My childhood heroes were Willie Mays and Binney & Smith. Now, I knew Willie played center field for the Giants and could hit & catch a baseball like no one else.
However, I didn’t know if Binney & Smith were men or women. I only cared they were responsible for my Crayola Crayons box of sixty four.I really can’t remember my life before drawing & painting. I’ve been creating art since Eisenhower was in the White House and Jawbreakers and Hostess CupCakes were my sweets of choice. Today, I still have the same passion for art that I had back then. I feel very fortunate to have found my niche in life so early and I still love Hostess CupCakes.
Actually, I have only been painting with watercolors for about three years. Even though I have been an artist all my life. For a very long time my medium of choice was color pencils. It’s funny, I went from a medium which allows you total control (color pencils) to one that offers a great resistance to being controlled (watercolor).
I usually paint from photographs that I have taken. Choosing the right photo for a painting is for me one of the most important parts of the process. Through experience, I have learned which photos will translate into a good painting. Which is essential, since I can spend up to six weeks on a single painting.
Some people will probably say my work is photorealistic. However, I would disagree. A photo reference is just a starting point. A beginning. My final painting doesn’t usually look very much like the original photo.
The watercolor brand I use is usually the one that’s on sale. As long as it’s a professional grade watercolor I will use it. I really do not have a favorite brand. I’ve used Winsor & Newton, Rembrandt, Da Vinci, Holbein, Daniel Smith, etc. I’m of the belief it’s the “archer not the arrow” that’s responsible for hitting the target.
I am very particular about the substrate I paint on. I always use Strathmore 500 Series, hot press board. I really like the way it accepts watercolor.
To achieve my very bright colors using watercolors I use many, many glazes. Sometimes, 20 to 30 layers of translucent colors. I work many different ways during the course of creating the same painting. Some areas of a painting I will work using a dry brush technique.
Some areas, I will use wet-on-wet and let the paint be my partner. Watercolor has taught me that being in total control is not always a good thing. Sometimes, you just have to let the paint flow. Watercolor certainly has a mind of it’s own. You can see more of my work at the links below!
I would certainly like to thank Charlie O’Shields for this opportunity to showcase my work.