These lovely doodlewashes come to us from Sri Soekarmoen McCarthy, who prefers to be called Oetjoen (follow her on Instagram and Facebook). She was born and spent most of her childhood in Java, Indonesia, but now calls Greenville, Michigan home.
Oetjoen earned her college degree from Western Michigan University. Upon graduation, she returned to Jakarta to work for British Petroleum for nearly eight years. Today, she’s back in Michigan, where she lives with her husband and a black cat named Minmae.
“I fancy myself as a photographer,” says Oetjoen, “and have been taking photos since I bought an Olympus OM10 camera at the age of 15. I photographed everything: people, flowers, wildlife. I have quite a collection of barn photos. I LOVE barns.” About a year and a half ago, she decided to learn something new. she took a watercolor lesson from a local artist for two and a half hours. And now, she has been painting almost every day since.
“I started out with a student grade paper and pigment,” she says. “I copied great artists’ works. I observed how they interpret what they see and transform it into a painting. I learned how they use colors, shadows, light and dark to create shape. I found myself observing the outdoors and learning more about shapes, perspective, and shadows. Who would have thought that the colors of trees are not always green yellow and red? The sky is not just blue. Shadows on snow are not only grey. White is not all whites and black is not all blacks.”
She says she doesn’t know how to sketch and has yet to learn whether she likes Winsor & Newton, Holbein or Koi pigments, Strathmore, Fabriano or Arches paper. “I use watercolor pencils, ink pens, India inks, liquid acrylic and Sharpie pens in my painting. I use low and mid-priced brushes and palate knives. To create texture, I use salt, water and alcohol … and the exploration continues. A friend in the office called me a ‘watercolor factory.’ I paint birch trees, peacocks, flowers and barns almost every day.”
Painting has taught Oetjoen to be a bit braver, take chances, and be patient. Most importantly, she says, “it allows me to poke fun at myself. It allows me to say ‘It’s OK to make mistakes.’ Many great artists have messages behind their works of arts. I don’t. I don’t have a message behind my painting. I am quite content with the joy of creating. If my paintings brighten someone’s day, I am OK with that.”
“I am grateful for artists who are generous enough to help me grow, not just as an artist but as a person. Artists like Charlie, are the ones who keep the world of arts alive and kicking! Thank you, Charlie, for sharing your passion for arts and for allowing me to be one of your guests.” Thank you Oetjoen, it’s my pleasure to feature you and your lovely work! Be sure to follow her as she makes new wonderful doodlewashes on Facebook and Instagram!
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!