Hi! My name is Molly LeMaster. I am a working watercolor artist and love doodling on any available surface – Newspapers, desk calendars and cocktail napkins, to name a few. My paintings, however, are very detailed and colorful.
After majoring in Fine Arts, I put my love of “making art” on hold to raise a family and work as an escrow officer. Luckily, retirement came along early. It was then that I registered for a beginning watercolor class at a local art center. During my years in college, never once did we explore watercolor! I was hooked.
Fifteen years ago, my husband and I moved to Camano Island, Washington. Little did we know that Camano Island has a large community of working artists. I joined the Camano Arts Association and am involved in a wonderful studio tour in the spring. It wasn’t long before I began teaching beginning and intermediate classes on a weekly basis and hosting local workshops.
The Pacific Northwest has been such an inspiration for my work. Many of my paintings are of rocks, driftwood, birds and flowers. We have traveled extensively in Europe, Asia & Mexico and these travels have also been a big influence to my work. Every time we return home to our beautiful island, we are reminded that we must live in one of the prettiest places in the world. Okay, I am a bit prejudiced about Camano Island.
My painting subjects are really varied. The common thread is that they are all colorful and all detailed. As for the materials I use most often, here is a short list: Paints – Daniel Smith and Winsor Newton tube paints, with a few other miscellaneous brands added to the pile. Did I tell you I am an art supply junkie? Papers – Arches & Fabriano 140# and 300# cold press. Brushes – Kolinsky sable and squirrel blends. My favorites are #6 and #8 rounds with a nice sharp point.
To begin with, I photograph my subject several times and choose the best one. The lighting is so important. From the photos, I develop a drawing. It is sometimes very detailed and sometimes a rough sketch. Unlike conventional watercolor techniques, if my drawing is really, really detailed & complex, I block in some of my darkest shadows first, working dark to light.
Sometimes, I add collage elements to the paintings. Experimentation is fun! I love to use bubble wrap, salt, plastic wrap & alcohol. Having fun with your art is important – be passionate about what you are doing!
If you would like to see more of my work, my website is lemasterstudios.com. Lastly, I am a signature member of the Northwest Watercolor Society and the Transparent Watercolor Society of America. If you have interest in these groups, be sure to check them out. Talk about inspiring work! Thank you for letting me introduce myself.