Hi there! My name is Dianne Hermes and I have recently relocated to The Netherlands from South Africa (you can visit my website by clicking here!). First, I would like to thank Charlie for inviting me to be a guest artist on his great Doodlewash site. I feel very honoured that he chose my paintings to feature here. I lived and worked some 50 years without having any time for myself to paint, (there is a necessity to earn a living) and even although I owned a small successful Advertising Studio with several people in my employ, being the CEO, my life consisted of working 6 days a week.
After my husband passed away, I sold my business and retired from Johannesburg to Cape Town. Bought a house in Hout Bay and after 3 years, built a house in Hermanus (Western Cape) and relocated there. I was soooo busy enjoying freedom from working that I did not even consider painting.
My friend Linda in Hermanus planted a beautiful climbing rose in her garden and in 2010 she had an outstanding display of pink roses that were so awesome I had to paint them. I knew that watercolour was the medium with which I wanted to paint, so I got cracking went buy brushes and paint and then I painted the roses! The result was a lovely painting which I raffled for funds for the local old age home. After that, I just put away my brushes and never got around to painting again until I came to Holland.
After settling into my home in Holland, sightseeing all over this small country, I was inspired to start painting again a year ago when a Facebook friend of mind in Ireland started to post gorgeous photos of flowers from her own garden.
First I tried to paint in oils, then acrylic, but I found that I did not like these two mediums at all. I can truly say that I am a watercolour addict as I just love watercolouring. There is no smell of the oils and it is so easy to keep everything clean. I seem to have developed my own style, being a sort of realistic painter, and I do love bright colours.
I love to take as many reference photos of my subject as possible. I then do my drawing and start my painting by sometimes filling in the darker shades before moving onto the lighter shades. The more complex and detailed the subject is, the more I enjoy it.
It was a huge challenge for me when I attempted to watercolour the boats on the Canals as I had never tried to paint a scene like that. And I did not have much confidence in my ability to paint water. I now see that it was because I did not loosen up on the background. It is amazing how much a person learns from each painting. Inspiration to paint is all around us in this beautiful world that God has created for us and the more a person paints the more we grow our technique to paint.
I use Winsor & Newton tubes to paint, but I intend to buy some Daniel Smith tubes as I have just read an article about them having 13 Quinacridone colours which are transparent, and this is what I want to experiment with next. I also love to use VINCENT pure sable brushes.
I just completed my first animal, which is my friend’s dog called “Satchmo”… It was fun and at the same time very challenging for me as Satchmo was my 11th painting since starting last October. And I did not know if I could do him justice. I think that I now feel more confident to attempt to paint any object that talks to me.
I was also very fortunate to be accepted into the International Watercolour Society of Holland (IWS Holland) and went to their second Painting Day which was held in Vleuten. We had watercolour demonstrations done by two of Hollands well known Artists Gerard Hendriks & Hans Groeneveld … really awesome!
The IWS painting day really got my creative juices running. Meeting and watching all these wonderful skilled artists’ watercolour painting, was such a huge treat for me.
I left Vleuten with an amazing desire to improve my technique as an amateur watercolour artist. I have a very long and exciting journey ahead of me in learning all there is to know about watercolour painting and fulfill my wish to become part of this community of very talented people.